CBC radio: Metro Morning – the best show has the worst website

I listen to CBC Radio’s morning show, Metro Morning, for the same reason I was listening to Free Europe’s Metronom when I was 14: I like the DJ.

I spend weekday mornings with CBC’s Andy Barrie while driving to work , nights with UK Classic FM‘s Helen Mayhew (online) and long Q107 Psundays with Andy Frost.

Not the content, nor the music come first: it’s the DJ.

** **

But sometimes a good DJ show delivers quality content, the one that you feel compelled to go back to.

It happened many times in the case of Metro Morning.

I liked something in the show, I got to my office, got online and checked the show’s website, just to find that the show’s audio can only be listened in .ram format by downloading Real Player.

Tell that to the IT security guys!

And even if I could squeeze in a Real Player download through the cracks in the firewall, I wouldn’t. I’ve had enough of Real Player taking over my computer at home.

Having the audio in .ram on your website is so early-00s… and also ironic for Metro Morning, because other shows on CBC Radio’s website save their content in the ubiquitous .wma

(.wma is still a limiting option, denying Mac users access to your archived shows).

This suggests that different shows at CBC use different developers for their websites, and all gets mixed in together in this “tasty, throw-it-all-in” website soup.

** ** **

I could go on and say more about Metro Morning’s website (especially on how the great amount of good information is wasted in bland pages), but they are currently “in a hiatus”, inviting everyone to come back soon.

Hopefully the revamping will allow users to listen and download in mp3

Or, if it’s not too late, maybe they can have a look in their own backyard at CBC’s Spark website. That one’s a step ahead of everybody!

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LATER EDIT (Nov.2009)

The site works just fine now.
The audio archive is in .wma, well organized and easy to access.

For example, I wanted to go back to a thrilling interview Andy did with Kay Redfield Jamison (Kay Redfield Jamison lost her husband, lover, playmate, and colleague Richard Wyatt after twenty years together. She speaks with Andy Barrie about her book, Nothing Was the Same. Andy lost his wife last year, so both people in the interview knew what they were talking).  I heard the interview live while driving to work, and then went online and forwarded the archived file to everyone I knew.

So congrats CBC Metro Morning team, and thank you for the great radio you’re putting on air and on line.


1 Comment

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  1. That has NEVER made sense to me, why ANYONE continues to hold on to RealPlayer junk. Love it or hate it, I think we can all agree that mp3 has reached a certain level of ubiquity. It’s as close as we’ll get to a universal format.

    I’d be willing to bet money that their listener stats would jump 10% in the first week of use JUST because it would be easier for listeners to access.

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