BBC's iPlayer service for the iPhone is getting worse

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by quadgirl, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. quadgirl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #1
    Over the weekend, while at my parents, I thought I would catch up on a some BBC shows I'd missed. I couldn't believe it when the 2 shows I wanted to watch couldn't be viewed. I then tapped around randomly for other shows, and they also couldn't be played. I found 1 that could.

    I then did some research and it seems like the BBC are now using DRM'ed content for their so called new 'iPlayer Mobile' service, which isn't compatible with the iPhone. The BBC are blaming Apple for the lack of third party DRM solution.

    Have you guys noticed the lack of iPhone supported streams recently? Please post your experience. Do you think it will get better or worse?
     
  2. jonnyb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    Wow - you're right. There's hardly anything available. What most frustrating is that the thumbnails appear but when you click on them you get the 'not available' message.

    I hope Apple and the Beeb can sort something out as this makes iPlayer on the iPhone a bit pointless
     
  3. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Home
    #3
    THe BBC might be keeping their own programs non drm, but having to do it for the others. Lest we forget it took a wee while and a chunk of taxpayers money just to get the iPlayer we have now, from it's previous less useful incarnations...
     
  4. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    There have been a few problems this week. They've affected the Windows desktop download files as well.

    No conspiracy though, the server just fell over for a few days. Seems to be up and running again now.

    No no no. That's a completely different service using different formats. The BBC are saying there that, unlike they've been able to do for the N96, there's no facility for *downloading* (ie not streaming, but a copy you can watch offline say when on the tube) for the iPhone. This is because Apple won't licence Fairplay (DRM has to be used to enforce that the content must expire after 7 days. That isn't an issue with the streams as long as they're reasonably difficult to capture, because after 7 days the BBC just stop streaming it).

    The BBC have done a few things to the stream for the iPhone to make it more difficult to capture, but they were done months ago and shouldn't affect anything if you're playing it on an iPhone.

    There are *very* occassionally programmes that aren't on the iPhone service that are on the desktop streaming service for rights issues, but the only programme that affects at the moment is Heroes I think (which isn't on the N96 player either, or indeed Virgin's cable service).

    Nope, the DRM is a BBC Trust requirement and applies to all programmes that are downloaded apart from radio podcasts.

    Phazer
     
  5. tallyho macrumors 6502a

    tallyho

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Although I couldn't begin to go about working out how to capture the iPhone streams myself, it's not that difficult to use other people's methods posted on the internets...and Stephen Fry said the same thing in a speech a while back didn't he?

    A more surprising thing for me, actually, is how little I actually want to download and keep BBC shows. Films maybe, I guess, but do I want to keep an archive of every episode of some BBC TV show, in glorious iPhone-screen resolution? I thought I might do, but then I realised I just couldn't be bothered! The DVD box-set isn't dead quite yet, I think.
     
  6. Loopy65 macrumors 6502a

    Loopy65

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #6
    Yup we've noticed it too. Unfortunately I don't think it's just a 'glitch' as there are programs we have been following (or the kids have!) and they're just not there any more. Really hope it gets sorted out as it's an excellent 'time filler' for the little ones when we're staying in hotel rooms!! ..
    Hubby and I use it a lot too so at the moment it's a real hassle! ..
    I missed last weeks episode of 'The Restaurant' :( (yup, I'm hooked!!!)
    It would be wonderful if it's just temporary .. time will tell I suppose ..
    Loopy
     
  7. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    It's not hard to find out how to pick a door lock on the internet, but if you don't lock your front door your house insurance won't pay out. Same thing really, legal best endevours and all that.

    One would note that capturing on demand streams from the internet isn't legal in the UK for any purpose without the express permission of the copyright owner. Not even for timeshifting.

    Phazer
     
  8. quadgirl thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #8
    Guys, this thread is regarding the streams for the iPhone (or lack of) for many programmes on the iPlayer website, not about how to downloaded the streams or the legalities of doing so.

    Despite an earlier comment stating it's back to normal, this is not the case. I still can not watch any of the programmes I want on my iPhone - either a greyed Quicktime icon appears, or a message stating 'this programme is currently unavailable'.

    Of course this has nothing to do with DRM versions available for Windows Mobile devices, but this lack of iPhone content has only appeared since the introduction of this new mobile service.

    So the big question, are us iPhone owners going to be left out in the cold?
     
  9. john316 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Location:
    Aigburth, Liverpool, UK
  10. quadgirl thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #10
    Little Dorrit
    Heroes
    In Love with Barbara
    Little Britain Episode 4
    The Conspiracy Files

    .... the list goes on
     
  11. Lara F macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    #11
    Not to derail the current conversation but...

    Being from the US I accept (though I still wish there was a way for international users to pay) not being able to access the TV shows on iPlayer. But why can't I stream BBC radio on the iPhone when it's always been available to me on my computer? :mad: I'm not talking Five Live, just basics like BBC 1-2-4-6. Is there any good reason for this?
     
  12. Loopy65 macrumors 6502a

    Loopy65

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #12
    I agree the list is getting endless .. more and more are not available! .. my kids watch them too so there's Big Barn Farm/Dinosapien/MI High/the Restaurant/Nuzzle and Scratch/Dani's House etc etc .. more added each day!

    Very frustrating indeed .. am thinking the BBC could care less about the iPhone platform at the moment!

    Loopy
     
  13. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    We know! You were the one who claimed it was.

    Just a coincidence. The Windows downloadable versions died this week too. It was just because the encoding server fell over.

    Little Dorrit, In Love with Barbara and The Conspiracy Files all work fine. I've just watched all of them on my iPhone with no problems.

    Heroes, as I said, isn't available to iPhone, but never has been. The BBC don't have online rights to stream it to mobile phones. But remember last year they didn't have the rights to put it on iPlayer at all, so this is still a considerable improvement rather than in any way a degredation in the series (http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co....bout_iplayer&nlpq=heroes&kb=seo&submit=Search)

    Little Britain USA is the only programme on that list that's actually still broken, but that's because of the encoding server, as mentioned above. When I said it was fixed I mean that the server has been fixed, so all new programmes are going up okay now. I didn't mean content that broadcast while the encoding server was down has been gone back and sorted yet, though given most of the programmes you mention are now working I suspect LB will be fixed shortly.

    Phazer
     
  14. quadgirl thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #14
    OK. Glad to see the iPhone formatted programmes are now working, with just a few that have the greyed out QT play buttons.
     
  15. pennbank macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    #15
  16. jonnyb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    Yeah I got an email from their feedback email address saying they'd had some problems which were now fixed.
     

Share This Page