Monday, June 30, 2008

On the iPlayer beta

The wizards at the BBC have been hard at work and have let the next version of iPlayer into the word. I've spent little time exploring but it's lovely!.

I turned to it on Saturday to watch Dr. Who and Elbow at Glastonbury (note fast forward four minutes).
Watching Davros and the Daleks on my Mac Book Pro was a delight, even from behind the sofa!

My only complaint as you might expect is that I still can't download programmes on the Mac, but that facility will be here soon so I should be patient.

The new site brings together TV and radio in one place, a sort of super media portal for all the BBC on demand services. They say that sound quality is improved, and the screen is 640 pixels bigger. There's some scheduling information, last played programme information and an excellent scrolling carousel. Watching television is just more fun using the iPlayer interface. The Yesterday on TV display is a clever idea, as is the bringing together of radio and televison programmes in the categories displays. If you have to stop watching a streamed programme, on returning it starts to play where you left it; no more fiddling and estimating running times.

At present the beta version is running in parallel with the mark one player, but I have read somewhere that it will be going fully live in July.

Since iPlayer arrived I have exceeded my ISP download limits twice, it's time to sign up for a new contract

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1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately the BBC has a bit of a history of making bad choices of streaming media technology. First RealPlayer - who uses THAT nowadays? Now Flash Video with all its attendant problems. It is a shame they didn't plump for Microsoft Silverlight, which would have made their technology both browser and Mac/PC agnostic (and, in time, it would work with Linux too). Silverlight is, I suspect, going to be the next big thing in browser technology, but we shall see.

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