The Unofficial BBC Radio Widget


for version 4.7, updated 27/02/2015

I get a warning that the widget is "from an unidentified developer" and I can’t open it!

Please try ctrl-clicking (or two-finger clicking) on the widget, and choosing "Open". This should allow you the option of running the widget despite this warning. This occurs on recent versions of Mac OS X because the widget is not correctly digitally ‘signed’. I am looking into fixing this problem but it unfortunately costs money!

Something’s not working properly after I’ve upgraded the widget.

Make sure you’ve refreshed the widget with ⌘R, or rebooted. If you’re still having trouble, read on!

I’ve got no sound! / The volume slider isn’t working. / Why is the volume slider disabled?

Are your speakers on?... Is the volume slider turned up? Get in touch.

I just get a spinning progress indicator. Nothing seems to happen!

Upgrade to at least version 4.61, and make sure you have Mac OS X 10.6.8 (fully updated) or newer. Contact me if you still have problems.

The audio cuts out for a few seconds every time I leave Dashboard. / Audio sometimes doesn’t start if I leave Dashboard.

This is usually a timing issue, as there are a couple of (I believe unavoidable) situations where things can go awry. If you leave Dashboard after audio has started, but before the spinning progress indicator has stopped, you’ll get a stutter; if the indicator has stopped, but playback has not begun, it may never start. Please either leave Dashboard quickly, before playback and before the indicator stops, or after playback has started and after the indicator has stopped.

The widget is telling me to install Flash.

It shouldn’t, as Flash is no longer used. Please make sure you have installed all of the available updates from Software Update (Mac OS X 10.6 and above is required). Then, close all copies of the widget – hold down the option (⌥) key, hover over the widget with your mouse, and click the ‘x’ which appears in the top left. Try rebooting. Please be in touch if this does not work for you.

It keeps telling me I’m not connected to the internet, but I know I am.

Are you completely sure? It could also just be a temporary problem with the BBC webpage that the widget tries to reach. Try ⌥ (option) clicking the play button; that bypasses the connection test. If it works, and you keep having this problem, you may want to consider setting this preference permanently; see this question for details.

One of the stations doesn’t work.

Ensure you’re running the latest version available, and try rebooting. Please let me know if there’s still a problem.

The widget says my Mac OS version can’t fetch this station’s schedule.

This should only occur in old versions of the widget. Please update to v4.5 or above.

Some or all of the schedules aren’t working, or are incorrect.

Chances are, this is a temporary problem on the BBC’s end. The schedule information is relatively new, and still in beta. If the problem persists for more than a day, please drop me an email about it.

The station I selected isn’t the one that’s playing!

Ensure you’re running the latest version available, and try rebooting. Please let me know if there’s still a problem.

I’m outside the UK and/or trying to listen to the cricket / football / rugby, but I get a recording telling me it’s not available.

Licensing restrictions mean the BBC sometimes restricts coverage of sporting events to UK IP addresses, or sometimes cannot broadcast them online at all. If you get this message throughout the day, even when it’s supposed to be original BBC content such as talk or discussion programmes, there may be a problem. Please let me know about it here.

Is there / will there be an iPhone version?

No, I’m afraid not. But check out the BBC iPlayer Radio app (also for iPad).

Are there any hidden settings I can change?

Only one - you can tell the widget never to check for an internet connection when playing. It is recommended that you don’t change this, but if you really want it can be set by entering a command in (inside /Applications/Utilities/):

defaults write widget-com.phantomgorilla.widget.bbcradio DisableTests -bool yes

Or, to restore the default behaviour,

defaults delete widget-com.phantomgorilla.widget.bbcradio DisableTests

This may be useful in case the widget is persistently misreporting your internet connection to be down.

Where can I find a full changelog for the widget?


What licence is the widget released under? Can I redistribute it, or include it on a compilation cd?

The widget is released under a custom licence, which allows modification for personal use and family-and-friends level distribution. Feel free to learn all you can from the source code, and use small snippets of it; but redistribution on a large scale, of this widget or any port or modified version of it, requires prior permission in writing.