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BBC iPlayer for Mac by the end of 2008

updated 11:15 pm EST, Thu February 7, 2008

BBC iPlayer for Mac

The BBC will reportedly be launching its iPlayer online video web service for the Mac platform by the end of 2008. In a self-published article, the BBC acknowledged the desires of Mac users that the player is currently in progress, stating that the initial PC release was concocted simply to reach the broadest amount of users in the shortest possible time. The BBC iPlayer is currently only available in the UK, with an international version planned at some point in the future.

by MacNN Staff





  1. kirktalon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The current video player leaves much to be desired being subpar to the CNN, Fox, and MSNBC plus others.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    who cares!

    Seeing as how 90% of the BCCs content is blocked to those trying to access it outside the UK_

  1. 72jal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    why we do!

    Dear uberfu, it may surprise you to hear that there are Mac users in the UK. Life the other side of the pond - who'd have guessed?

  1. richardh99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Already there...

    The iPlayer Mac beta has been working pretty reliably for a month or two now. The background however is not that "the initial PC release was concocted simply to reach the broadest amount of users in the shortest possible time" but that the BBC has been sequentially in thrall to proprietary commercial interests, firstly with a dreadful contract with Real and latterly with Microsoft. What they've effectively done is perpetuate a level of discrimination in access to their service that would be illegal in most other areas. IIRC, it was only the new BBC Trust that made them fix this.


  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    UK users care???

    Uberfu, last time I looked out of the window, the UK still had a population of about 60 million people, or about a 1/5th of the US population. Some of us own Macs and some of us even read MacNN.

    You could even have skipped the story, as I tend to do with things that are very US specific?

    And yes, it's blocked outside the UK. You start contributing our TV licence/tax, and we'll give you the advertising free programs that we enjoy because of it.

    Richard - The iPlayer Beta for Mac is streaming H264 video, wrapped in Flash DRM. What they're talking about here is the download and playback offline version, which PC users have, which uses Microsoft DRM. As it happens, usage patterns show the streaming version has been massively more popular than the version that requires you to download and install software.

    I don't think the BBC really have an option to build and deliver yet another media playback platform, so they have to use commercial software to deliver their programs (just as they use commercial broadcast formats for TV signals). As they use Real, Microsoft and Flash, and also have free Video on Demand over Virgin cable I don't see any sign of them favouring a single vendor either.

    About the only technology they've not used is Quicktime, and that's largely because Apple have avoided getting into providing DRM for third-party firms.

    IMO - surely the easiest solution for Mac and iPod users would be for them to not bother with iPlayer but offer their content as free rentals via iTunes? (Better still - I want the streaming iPlayer on my Apple TV)

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Blocked and delayed

    Blocked content and player delayed again now until end of 2008 or beginning of 2009 or 2010.....ect..... Why bother? If they are going to put content on there website then let people access it for pete sake. What good is a player if none of the content can be played? Wake up BBC!

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too BAD

    They must not have heard of a little thing called "open standards." There are plenty of other ways out there to get video content across that people can easily view with currently available cross-platform apps. I guess they're stuck on branding and pushing sponsors like the other networks.

    Whatever, their loss. Of course, they're certainling not loosing my eyeballs because they never had them (oft-slanted reporting).

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