updated 12:25 pm EDT, Tue October 16, 2007
iPlayer for Mac by 2008
The BBC has announced that its iPlayer software, which allows users to catch up on the last seven days of BBC television programs, will support Macs by end of 2007, according to MediaGuardian.co.uk. The UK-based television network in September of 2007 promised Mac users that it would bring the free service to Macs, but offered no estimation on when the service would debut. Yesterday's announcement confirms the BBC's progress and commitment to bringing Mac users up to speed with Microsoft Windows users. iPlayer is designed to make the BBC more relevant in the digital age by bringing network content directly to internet users, negating the need to turn on the tube. [update: timeframe changed to by end of 2007]
The BBC initially release a Windows-only version of iPlayer earlier this year, but users of other operating systems like Mac OS X signed a petition that called upon the British government to make its software compatible with other systems.
"The BBC 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'," the petition read. "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 Prime Minister's office replied to the petition, saying 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."
The iPlayer beta website was modified to inform all visitors of development progress toward working versions for Windows Vista, Apple Macintosh, and Linux operating systems. The BBC also noted that the client will likely appear on portable devices as well as less direct platforms, like Video On Demand services.