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BBC iPlayer Now Available for Mac

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BBC announced that a version of the iPlayer that works on the Mac and Linux computers is now available.
The iPlayer is the BBC's online media player that lets viewers stream programmes for up to seven days after broadcast or download and watch them for up to 30 days.
While streaming had been available to Mac users, downloading had not. When the iPlayer first launched it was criticized for only being compatible with Windows XP. The new version of the iPlayer was written with Adobe's AIR platform.

The product is currently in public beta with a final release expected in February 2009.


Article Link: BBC iPlayer Now Available for Mac


See also MacBytes BBC iPlayer Desktop thread by neiltc13.
 

The Grood

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2006
182
0
Any one know if this means the download service will work on the iPhone too?

If so, sweeet.
 
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James_C

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2002
2,389
910
Bristol, UK
Great. But the download video quality is worse than the streaming quality :(

yeah I agree I was disappointed when I tried it last night. As it is in Beta then perhaps the quality will improve. Its OK in the standard window, but significant artefacts if you view in full screen.
 
Comment

Luke Redpath

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2007
731
6
Colchester, UK
I downloaded this last night and had a play and I'm afraid it gets a big thumbs down from me. I appreciate that they've put effort into getting this on Mac/Linux but to be honest I prefer the web version of iPlayer, which IMO is very good.

The new app sits in the background and you still use the web interface to browse programmes, which will have a "download" link. Clicking this downloads starts the download in the AIR application.

The problem? The download itself appears to be the "normal" quality that you get on the web interface. The "high" quality on the web interface is better, as is the h.264 encoded version for the iPhone.

This means that the *only* advantage of the new AIR app is the ability to download, but since the iPhone version was released, this has been possible using a script by a former colleague of mine, Paul Battley:

http://po-ru.com/projects/iplayer-downloader/

The above script is a command-line utility that lets you download the iPhone version of the programme without any restrictions. Not only that, but the code is open-source and people have started turning this into a GUI for various platforms.
 
Comment

voodoofish

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2004
180
3
London
this is good news, particularly as some broadcasters eg. channel 4 refuse to support Macs at all, however does anyone know where you actually download the adobe air based iplayer (not the hacked iphone one) from?? i'm signed up for iplayer labs anyway, but still no luck.
 
Comment

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
this is good news, particularly as some broadcasters eg. channel 4 refuse to support Macs at all, however does anyone know where you actually download the adobe air based iplayer (not the hacked iphone one) from?? i'm signed up for iplayer labs anyway, but still no luck.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/install/bbc_iplayer_desktop

Will have to try this out. Shame the quality isn't very good. Is the low quality offset by small file sizes?

136 MB for 30 min program I downloaded.
 
Comment

The Phazer

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,862
514
London, UK
This means that the *only* advantage of the new AIR app is the ability to download, but since the iPhone version was released, this has been possible using a script by a former colleague of mine, Paul Battley:

http://po-ru.com/projects/iplayer-downloader/

The above script is a command-line utility that lets you download the iPhone version of the programme without any restrictions. Not only that, but the code is open-source and people have started turning this into a GUI for various platforms.

Of course, there is the minor matter that this is illegal, and indeed arguably a criminal offense under the Computer Misuse Act...

Phazer
 
Comment

hob

macrumors 68010
Oct 4, 2003
2,004
0
London, UK
I have it downloaded, (mind you I had to google for the player...) but for the life of me I can't work out how you use it! It opens the website but there's no "download" links... :confused:
 
Comment

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
I have it downloaded, (mind you I had to google for the player...) but for the life of me I can't work out how you use it! It opens the website but there's no "download" links... :confused:

Only comes up on very few programs at this point in time. There will be a download button to the bottom left of the normal streaming video player.
 
Comment

joseph2166

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2006
255
0
This from the BBC internet blog: "Right now BBC iPlayer Desktop makes use of the same 800Kbps H.264 content that's used for our High Quality streaming option." - so apparently it SHOULD be the same quality as the HQ on the streaming site.

"We're working on improving that, to provide 1500Kbps H.264 content that should be close to television quality. So, starting around February, we expect to deliver substantially better quality for downloads (these 1500Kbps streams will also be offered for streaming, providing near TV quality in iPlayer)."
 
Comment

farleysmaster

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2008
762
58
London, UK
Which programs does it work for? I can't see the program download link anywhere. It was also hard enough to find the actual desktop app download link. I'm guessing the mac-website is going to get updated soon?
 
Comment

drlunanerd

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2004
1,635
112
UK
This from the BBC internet blog: "Right now BBC iPlayer Desktop makes use of the same 800Kbps H.264 content that's used for our High Quality streaming option." - so apparently it SHOULD be the same quality as the HQ on the streaming site.

Well, it ain't :(

"We're working on improving that, to provide 1500Kbps H.264 content that should be close to television quality. So, starting around February, we expect to deliver substantially better quality for downloads (these 1500Kbps streams will also be offered for streaming, providing near TV quality in iPlayer)."

Good news. Will get the ISPs sweating (or buying the BBC's caching boxes, kerching £££).
 
Comment

esXXI

macrumors member
Apr 2, 2005
45
0
Preston, England
Terribly ugly and confusing interface that doesn't even try to follows HIG guidelines. Doesn't actually tell you how to download shows, just links to the index. Poorly done icon (the 16px state doesn't even have transparency so it ends up with a white background). It's even a hassle trying to FIND the download.
 
Comment

caribousteaks

macrumors newbie
Dec 19, 2008
11
0
washington dc
UK only

I find it sad and frustrating that Big Brother Corp has, in the past 30 years, not sorted out its copy-write agreements to allow the viewing of its programs outside the UK. No, we foreigners don't pay television tax, but online who does? No one! US and other foreign shows can be viewed anywhere when accessed online, and often in HD. Shows on iPlayer are only viewable in the UK and outsiders are left only with stuffy BBC Radio. In this day and age, that is ridiculous. It has taken way too long for BBC to fumble out an advanced iPlayer, yet this is all for not for anyone outside the island. The new iPlayer is no news for the rest of the planet.
 
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