On the BBC iPlayer, as well as watching TV from recent days or weeks, you can also listen the output of national and local radio stations. Most music shows can only be heard for seven days. The podcast versions cannot include any commercial music. For example, I can listen to the Adam and Joe show on BBC 6 Music in full (three hours long, in a format relatively difficult for people to keep on their computers) or the podcast highlights on iTunes (mp3).
Imagine if audio (and video) broadcasts and podcasts were combinations of the broadcasters’ and local playlists. If music cannot be licensed for more than seven days, the podcast playing application could insert music from the playlists on the listener’s device. If tags were added at times when music is played stating the title and artist, it could play from the local device if present. If not, similar music could play. In Apple’s iTunes 8, the Genius system is designed to create playlists of similar music. That system could find replacements in a listener’s library to follow the mood of the show.
If you were listening to a combination radio broadcast/local playlist ‘live,’ there could be user-interface item to how much music content was from the radio station playlist, and how much is local:
This could be the way that future radio stations work, each listener could configure the shows they way they want. They could choose how much control they have over the music, whether they hear news, weather or traffic reports. Different shows might have different settings depending on the music choice or the kind of things the DJs say between the tracks.
It would be interesting to imagine a similar system for visual content.