All India Radio (AIR) has launched an audio broadcast channel over free dish and the internet called RAAGAM. The channel is currently available as an app over Android, iOS and Windows. A Financial Express report mentions that the channel will also be beamed through one of Digital Terrestrial Channel (DTT) of Doordarshan.
The RAAGAM app streams quite a few AIR channels; we found 13 in our area which included AIR Urdu, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Vividh Bharati, FM Gold, FM Rainbow etc. Tapping a channel takes the user to a new screen and starts streaming whatever is playing on the channel. Users have limited controls, to go to the next or previous channel, increase, decrease the volume and to pause the music. However, pausing is pretty temporary as switching channels or the screen restores the channel to its default playing location.
The worst thing about the app is its inability to run in the background. This is a major oversight on AIR’s part, as users can do nothing else but keep that app in the foreground if they want to continue playing music. Switching screens, tapping on notifications or leaving the app screen for even a moment instantly stops the music. However, users can keep it on in the foreground and switch off their phone screen, so the app is much more useful for playing music when doing something else that doesn’t require phone usage.
The app also lacks notification bar and lockscreen controls, but then again these features are pretty useless on an app that can’t run in the background. As of now, the app version on Android is 0.0.4, which hints that AIR knows it has a long way to go towards being a stable, fully functional app release. Hopefully, the next update will let the app run in the background to make it much more useful. Note that the app is especially useful for users living outside India or outside their state, wanting access to local radio channels.
Other developments at AIR:
– In October last year, AIR appointed releaseMyAd as a virtual agency to let advertisers book ads for all of AIR’s stations online. releaseMyAd would accept and process radio ads for AIR’s network stations including Akashvani, Vividh Bharati, FM Rainbow & FM Gold.
– In March, the agency had to stop operations of Gyan Vani FM because Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) had stopped its payments.
– In September 2014, AIR updated its text updates for news service from the originally launched English to add 5 regional languages of Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Dogri, and Nepali to the service.