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BBC to develop iPlayer for Mac OS X

updated 09:30 am EDT, Mon September 10, 2007

BBC iPlayer for Mac OS X

The British Prime Minister's office has responded to calls for broader support in its BBC iPlayer software, opening the path to a Mac OS X version. A petition last week called on the British government to go beyond Windows XP, currently the only operating system for which the iPlayer beta is available. "The BBC," reads the petition, "should not be allowed to show commercial bias in this way, or to exclude certain groups of the population from using its services. The BBC say that they provide 'services for everyone, free of commercial interests and political bias'. Locking the new service's users into Microsoft Windows whilst ignoring those members of society who use other operating systems should does not fit in with the BBC's ethos and should not be allowed."

The iPlayer allows users in the United Kingdom to watch the last seven days of BBC TV on their computer, a move to make the BBC more relevant in the digital age. It is also a service to British citizens, who must pay license fees to receive programming. The software is otherwise free.

In its reply, the Prime Minitster's office says that "...the [BBC] Trust noted the strong public demand for the service to be available on a variety of operating systems. The BBC Trust made it a condition of approval for the BBC's on-demand services that the iPlayer is available to users of a range of operating systems, and has given a commitment that it will ensure that the BBC meets this demand as soon as possible. They will measure the BBC's progress on this every six months and publish the findings."

Accordingly, the iPlayer beta website tells visitors that development is in progress for "Windows Vista, Apple Macintosh and Linux operating systems." The client should also eventually appear on "portable devices," and less direct Internet platforms such as Video On Demand services.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    iPlayer

    Excuse me? We ARE talking a bout the BBC? Right? I mean to use the words "free of...... political bias." to refer to "The BBC" is a complete and total oxymoron! Sheesh......

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Progress?

    I smell bureaucratic stonewalling. Measuring progress toward OS X and Linux versions every six months suggests that they're not even expecting one to appear (even in primitive beta) for at least two of those periods or over a year. Pitiful. They should name a date and do what it requires to meet it.

    Multi-platform capability should have been in the basic specs from the beginning. Any product that doesn't already run under OS X and Linux shouldn't get considered at all.

    --Mike Perry, Untangling Tolkien

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    well, that's

    iRonic.

  1. UnCal

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ugh, hello!?

    "A petition last week called on the British government to go beyond Windows XP"

    The writer of this article has ignored the fact that while the BBC is state-owned, the government does not use it as a puppet to dictate which operating systems it can use in its iPlayer. The BBC Trust and their software developers make those decisions. To assert otherwise is ignorant. Read up next time

  1. booboo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    BBC - unbiased my a**

    I'm annoyed the BBC wasted x00,000's of license payers money to develop a proprietary player and delivery system when what they should be doing is offering programmes for sale on iTunes.

    They're happy enough to offer podcasts of radio shows, when it suits them.

    What needs to happen is the BBC's copy protection must be broken ASAP so that it's pointless for them not to offer programmes on iTunes.

  1. fishtech

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    BBC/MS Memo of Understani

    This 'Memorandum of Understanding' is where all the latest MS/BBC BS started:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5390000.stm

    BBC World stopped and excellent Quicktime streaming service around 2003. The BBC has not supported any Quicktime technologies since, istead supplying everything through Windows Media Player or Real Player.

    So, reading about the MOU made me particularly uneasy and I was disappointed, but not surprised when iPlayer was revealed as a PC only product. until today, the only silver lining to this sad story is that it won't run on Vista yet (mwahahahah.)

    But it's excellent news that the hegemony of Windows Media Player and RealPlayer is finally being taken to task at the BBC. The BBC will be forced to provide provide content in formats other than RP or WMP or risk penalties. Let's hope Quicktime is given due consideration.

    ft

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    stuff

    I smell bureaucratic stonewalling. Measuring progress toward OS X and Linux versions every six months suggests that they're not even expecting one to appear (even in primitive beta) for at least two of those periods or over a year. Pitiful. They should name a date and do what it requires to meet it.

    Just like what Apple did with Leopard! Oh, wait. Nevermind.

    Multi-platform capability should have been in the basic specs from the beginning. Any product that doesn't already run under OS X and Linux shouldn't get considered at all.

    And if no product meets those specs, is it better to just kill the whole idea, or start with a platform that far supercedes all others, and then work from there? (Of course, being in the list of 'others', we'd all say "kill it! Don't let those damned Windows users have anything we can't have!")

    And who decides, then, what platforms to support? Why just Windows, OS X, and Linux? And what versions of those get the OK? iTunes, for example, only runs on Windows 2000/Xp/Vista (sorry, you win 98 losers!) and OS X 10.3.9 and 10.4.x. WMP doesn't even work on the Mac (no idea what versions of windows it supports). Linux generally only supports a bunch of 'open standards', but who wants to use those types of things? (Well, not those trying to impose DRM, for one). I'm annoyed the BBC wasted x00,000's of license payers money to develop a proprietary player and delivery system when what they should be doing is offering programmes for sale on iTunes.

    They're happy enough to offer podcasts of radio shows, when it suits them.


    Yes, because, we know the iTMS doesn't discriminate on who can watch their movies. What? Linux can't play iTMS video? Nevermind.

    BBC World stopped and excellent Quicktime streaming service around 2003. The BBC has not supported any Quicktime technologies since, istead supplying everything through Windows Media Player or Real Player.

    These types of things usually revolve around one thing: Money. Generally, for big-name places like the BBC, they get the media player companies to pay them to cover some, if not all, of the cost of converting and hosting content, let alone the bandwidth and computer power needed to stream it. In case you didn't know, all that takes money and time, and the return on investment for the broadcaster is limited at best. Its usually more of a benefit to the media player companies, because it gives them another marketing point to drive people to their players.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    testudo...

    So, I'm starting to read that diatribe, thinking "Man, that reads like the kind of hogwash testudo would spout off..."... and what do I find the spoutings signed with...?

    Little amrchair analysts like testudo just to see themselves write...

  1. McDave

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Not too bothered..

    ..by the lack of OSX support, I'm not going to sit at my computer to watch TV i want it on my iPod & AppleTV.

    Online BBC content isn't going to be useful until it's offered via a range of other services such as iTS, Unbox et al. Free in the UK, probably chargeable elsewhere. I wish networks would try to give up their end-to-end control, admit they're c*** at systems & software and stick to content production & distribution. Leave the tech stuff to the tech companies.

    & by the way Testudo - you're wrong. Windows may be the most popular OS but it's the media platform that's relevent here. The most popular system for chargeable media downloads (not free stuff as it's no gauge) is iTunes on Quicktime by far.

    Also, iTunes CAN discriminate between countries AND has parental controls. When iPlayer transitions to a service it'll be great & lucrative. No more excuses aunty beeb.

    McD

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