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back to article Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster?

The story of the BBC's iPlayer is of a multi-million pound failure that took years to complete, and was designed for a world that never arrived. More was spent on the project than many Silicon Valley startups ever burn through, but only now can we begin to piece together how this disaster unfolded. When the iPlayer was …

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I disagree

I use the iPlayer on my laptop and its great, it just takes a little bit of forward planning. It is not click and watch which is clearly what some people may have been expecting.

At the end of the day 20 or 30 days is more than enough time to watch what I download on iPlayer. I have watched hundreds of shows in hotel rooms in an evening when working away.

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I find it useful.

Sure, it's not exactly cutting edge. But when I miss a TV show, I know I can just download it via iPlayer and watch it later.

In any case, I'm perfectly happy with the BBC spending millions on this, as it's useful to me. Spending millions on Jonathan Ross, on the other hand...

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BBC Archive Trial

The online access to the BBC archive was a far more interesting and innovative project. You seriously felt their pain when watching the background material on the issue of obtaining the rights to rebroadcast old programming.

The streaming aspects of the iPlayer seemed to have ended up in the archive trial. Along side this the great use of meta-data made the archive material pretty easy to browse and hopefully is the model for future iPlayers.

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Download is the only option

I can't speak for anybody else, but the only internet TV service I am interested in is platform independent download, preferably free of the idiocy of DRM .

There is no practical difference between recording a broadcast and keeping the recording, and downloading the same program from the internet and keeping it.

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Anonymous Coward

Downloading GOOD, DRM Media Player BAD

My preferred choice would be, DIVX or XVID via a P2P cluster with the tracker hosted by the beeb (who could refuse tracker connections outside the UK if they wished, or give access to a version with adverts to non UK viewers). But not pure streaming, there just isn't the bandwidth at peek viewing time to guarantee the video will play.

The download choice was fine, it was the best choice, but it was the DRM and the choice of Media player that weren't.

(The Flash knock up is only viable because it's for a limited audience.)

Adding the DRM immediately meant that you could only play it on a PC, and only a *Windows* PC and then only if you'd agreed to Microsoft EULA terms, which in turn required WGA installed and and and ... it was effectively hijacked by Microsoft.

It didn't just restrict who the content was delivered to, it restricted how it could be played too. Even an iPod won't play those files.

BTW, Miro player works perfectly well, is P2P and doesn't have all that baggage associated with it.

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Apart from...

The stumbling block with iPlayer is that many independent producers have obviously not allowed it to distribute their programmes, Dragons' Den being one obvious example.

Apart from that, I quite like it. When it works, which I'd say is about 80% of the time.

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Is this the same department that...

removed the BBC news player from Windows Media Centre online content a couple of weeks back? BRING IT BACK YOU NUMPTIES! IT WAS GREAT!

I didnt know it was in fact beta - nothing about its use betrayed its staus - until you told me so in the same popup where you told me you were killing it off!

PUT IT BACK.

Grrr.

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Title

"In focussing on DRM and Linux interoperability, campaigners have missed the bigger picture."

Damn straight. But at least we don't have to pay campaigners money to get it so very wrong.

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(Written by Reg staff)

To the downloaders

Just to reiterate: I'm not saying downloading is rubbish, just that those of us that do it don't represent the vast majority of licence fee payers, and never will. The BBC already turns a blind eye to BitTorrent et al. It doesn't need it's own expensive, crappier version.

- Chris

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It's the author of this article who is missing the point

"we want to make it clear we're not making a happy-clappy anti-DRM argument against the iPlayer. The BBC has unshakeable obligations to producers who spend vast sums on the expensive telly-making process."

Well I invite you to think again and to make that argument.

Noone stopped the BBC from selling the downloads in high-quality, non-DRMed format, thereby honouring their "unshakeable obligations".

Stream low quality for free, sell high quality downloads - is that so difficult to understand? After all their IQ has extended to selling programs on DVDs through HMV, why not downloads through the 'net?

Don't tell me "DVDs are protected" because most definitely they are not.

I would have been happy to be able to download full-D1 6000 kbps MPEG2 versions of rare programmes, which I cannot find in HMV, and pay a couple of quid per title.

With DRMs and the lousy quality I won't touch iPlayer and its content, ever.

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Stop

Uknova.com

max's your downstream, good quality and no DRM.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: It's the author of this article who is missing the point

"Noone stopped the BBC from selling the downloads in high-quality, non-DRMed format, thereby honouring their "unshakeable obligations".

The obligations we're talking about are legal contracts with independent producers that force it to use the most effective DRM if it wants to distribute via downloads. Like it or not, they say means Microsoft. As other commenters have noted, some production companies think even this isn't strong enough protection, and won't allow their shows on iPlayer. Competition regulations mean the BBC has to use independent producers.

"Stream low quality for free, sell high quality downloads - is that so difficult to understand? After all their IQ has extended to selling programs on DVDs through HMV, why not downloads through the 'net?"

The public have already paid for these programmes to be produced and distributed and the BBC Charter would not allow them to be sold back to their owners - us. Physical sales arrangements are negotiated separately and handled by BBC Worldwide, a separate commercial company.

- Chris

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Gates Horns

To all the posters saying "Oh no, works lovely..."

I've got the supposedly golden combo of XP, Media Player & internet exploder and it crashes more often than Richard Hammond.

I wanted it to work as it said on the tin, it didn't, I went to the torrents, the unofficial archive of the 21st century.

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Fools

I've hardly used it at all, largely becuase the interface is just so rubbish.

Given that auntie has given us one of the nets most useful little apps - the radio player, from ewhere I get at least 50% of my media fix - it beggars belief they didn't adopt that same simple uncomplicated approach to the TV interface.

Too much style (and that's being generous) and too little substance.

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Unshakeable obligations?

Well, the BBC may have contractual obligations to its co-producers in other countries, but there isn't any *good* reason why the general public who paid for the production should not have an unfettered right to view the material within the UK without further payment. Admittedly, getting paid many times over for the same piece of work has become very fashionable disguised as "monetization", but just because it's fashionable doesn't mean it's right. A simple change in the law could remove BBC productions from the scope of UK copyright law (without affecting overseas rights), solve the distribution problem and provide the basis for a vast new creative industry [as indeed would adopting the same approach to OS mapping...]. There'd be a bunch of whining thesps, but they're not exactly in short supply or likely to sulk too long if they had to do so out of the limelight.

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Anonymous Coward

The 'i's have it

Why is seemingly every consumer tech innovation, especially wonderful web two dot zero bollocks, now branded "iSomething"? What have I missed in the last x years which has led to this global phenomenon? Are they all hanging off the back of the iPod, was the iMac before that or something else? Is iGoogle copying the branding of the iRiver? Is iPlayer competing with the iPhone and iTunes?

Have I missed something or is it all a load of iShte?

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Obligations

"but there isn't any *good* reason why the general public who paid for the production should not have an unfettered right to view the material within the UK without further payment."

You're not a lawyer, I'll bet.

"A simple change in the law could remove BBC productions from the scope of UK copyright law .... solve the distribution problem and provide the basis for a vast new creative industry"

Did you come here in a space ship?

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@Chris Williams

Thanks for clarifications of the legal position.

It is still frustrating that instead of using their negotiating power and influence to try to make the producers see some sense, the BBC resorted to the easy option of spending millions on a useless product (if it can be called that).

They could designate the Internet sales as a Commercial Service, set up a subsidiary and get an "appropriate Minister's approval" if it is deemed that the sales of downloadable content constitute a "subscription service".

An opportunity sadly missed.

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Stop

errr...

"just that those of us that do it don't represent the vast majority of licence fee payers, and never will."

any statement with 'never' in it is a very bold one to make!

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: errr...

"any statement with 'never' in it is a very bold one to make!"

It's an opinion and I could end up being wrong. But at least me taking the risk won't have cost £4.5m, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Could be useful...

I actualy could find the service useful. I love the 40D service which also uses Verisign's Kontiki 'platform'. It works well, and it's on demand or for downloading - great stuff, well implemented.

I don't care about the DRM - it works fine on my machine which is all well and good. I can see the hate for the P2P delivery if users are on crappy ISP's that limit uploads, but again people do have a choice to use a propper ISP if they want to. Pay peanuts, get a monkey service.

However the BBC iPlayer is awful. When I play any content the DRM restrictions are obviously so tight that I can't play the content back on my PC. (It's ancient, but 4OD and porn all play fine on it!) So it's useless to me. Plus there is no streaming - which sucks.

The 4OD service (still based on Kontiki) is great - I really recommend it. However the iPlayer is a bag of crap. I use 4OD for watching peep show, father ted etc. Anything from the beeb is going to have to be BitTorrent...

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Spend

It seems to me that they only had to wait for someone who knows about software and who would want to be associated with the Beeb's (still) global brand to offer their services for free. The Great Accountant (Birt) has much to answer for.

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Disney model

the Beeb should adopt the Disney pay model. Disney's voice actors supposedly all get the same daily wage and sign over all character rights, no matter how big and famous they are, which (Robin Williams aside) reduces problems afterwards.

When you do a programme for the BBC, productions companies should have to automatically agree to a standard set of rights and marketing distribution which gives the BBC complete control of what way the programmes are distributed. The BBC logo is on the show so the production company is getting the kudos of being on the BBC and signing over these rights means that sensible options (like selling the shows on iTunes) become practical.

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IT Angle

Individual Programs have it..

The likes of Newsnight, Daily Politics and Working Lunch let you watch the last program straight from the web site, no software (except Real Player or Media Player) is required. Why not extend this to all BBC owned stuff (obviously imports like Heroes wouldn't ever be allowed to be streamed) - much better IMO.

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Why it's wrong?

Led by a twat at the top (Highfield)

Poor user experience (how many windows open?)

Ugly design

Impossible to install and sign up for

Poor range of content (about 30% of the programmes?)

Poor quality encoding

Slow

DRM (I understand their worries, but I just go elsewhere)

How about them apples?

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Anonymous Coward

My use of iPlayer

I use iPlayer on my PC at work, in conjunction with some cunning Auto It scripts which, as soon as a download finishes, pulls it from the download directory and runs it through FairUse4WM so that I can watch the WMV file through VLC on my (Ubuntu) laptop when I get home. I also have a big, fat "Kill Kontiki processes" button which does exactly what you would imagine.

It's not perfect - it needs Windows, and IE for that matter - but a little scripting has turned a white elephant into something actually useful.

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Dead Vulture

They don't understand the audience

I think one of the reasons the iPlayer is effectively a failure is the DRM. And not the idea of DRM, but more it's implementation. I'd consider myself IT literate, and I have experience of DRM elsewhere (so probably not your typical iPlayer user, or at least not the target user), but the beeb's model is absolutely baffling. My understanding is that you download a show, which you can keep for X days, when you start to watch it, the period you can keep it for changes to Y.

For the average Joe on the street who just wants to watch Eastenders, it's a step too far and will completely baffle them.

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OK but needs streaming

I use 4oD and iPlayer (on Vista) and if anything, 4oD is more problematic. At least in iPlayer you have the option to suspend kservice.exe after it's finished downloading. There is no such option with 4oD. In otherwords, regular users are forced to constantly upload blocks (against their knowledge or consent) using 4oD but have the option with iPlayer to turn it off. I even found a quick and dirty hack from Google:Tales of an English Coffee Drinker that uses a modified khost.exe to automatically disable kservice.exe when you close the Kontiki control panel. Yeah, it's a big ol' hunk of junk compared to what could be achieved, but it works. ITV streams live very well, so it's doable and we can see 40D content being streamed welll using Kontiki. I fear many of the BBC iPlayers woes are attributable to policy rather than technology. So if you're wondering where all that money went, I suggest you look in the direction of the beancounters rather than the coders.

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Selling BBC programming

Seems to me I have about ten old long-playing records of the BBC Goon Show. Seems to me I bought these from a store. The sleeves have "BBC" printed on them.

Now, if that didn't violate the BBC Charter, why would selling downloads of old video from the vasy BBC archives violate the BBC Charter? Was the Charter rewritten for television?

As for DRM, there was nothing to stop me from making audiotape copies of those old Goon Show albums.

As for independent producers who won't allow their sacred works to be distributed without DRM, I'm sure the BBC must have decades of video that is not so encumbered. We could start with that and wait for the holdouts to soften their stance in the future.

Behind all this I can just sense an ingrained Fear of Digital. But fear won't make it go away.

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Boffin

The BBC... who?

There was time when the BBC was relevant around the world... If it is true that the BBC is now something of a lap dog for Microsoft's plans to dominate video on the internet (fat chance) then they have chosen the route of becoming irrelevant.

I have used Linux for 10 years (using Debian for five years). The Internet and video work very well indeed with all of the modern Linux distributions. With Firefox and several other web browsers available for Linux, video over the internet is simple now.

So it is sad that the only website of its type (The BBC is somewhat singular and historic with its background) is without usable functionality with any video ( it certainly should have been a player in the world )... is the BBC.

Pathetic.

So I have to ask... is the BBC useful as a news service or a source for important information or even documentaries anymore? Are they qualified to comment on technological content given their absolute failure to see the world is moving away from a Microsoft centric computing environment? Especially on the Internet Microsoft never was dominant, Nor is it so in Supercomputers.

Conservatively speaking there are 30 plus million Linux users on the desktop now.

The smart money says that Microsoft will not be the dominate OS in the world, ON THE DESKTOP, by 2014... Is that news to anyone.

And were will the BBC be?

In the days of Radio and Television the BBC was relevant.

But they are lagging now and if they stick with Microsoft... The once mighty BBC will sink with Microsoft into the back pages of future computing technologies yet to come.

Come to think of it the entire UK is lagging in computer technologies by sticking with a Microsoft centric view... wake up, the world is out there.

Linux is on the rise :)

Technologically superior in every respect.

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Stop

It's not the IPlayer that's the disaster.

It's the pathetic broadband speed we get in the UK (especialy in rural area's) and the complete and total lack of investment, even now!!!! At least the BBC had some vision.

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@Cyfaill

"Linux is on the rise :)

Technologically superior in every respect."

So what? Beanus sniffus.

History is littered with technologically superior failures. Betamax anyone?

With you in spirit, but only when there is a lull in the relentlessly disturbing harsh reality field called "life", when I can dare to wear my rose-tinted specs for a while.

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@Cyfaill

err the BBC produce programming, Linux is a OS kernel that runs on a computer. (pat head)

I think you are a very confused individual, go and have a lie down somewhere in the shade.

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Re: Did you come here in a space ship?

@Orlowksi

"You're not a lawyer, I'll bet".

No, And neither are you, I gather. But I'm sure we both know that the UK has international copyright obligations secured by treaties which require the UK to respect copyright established in other jurisdictions and in return require those juridictions to respect UK copyright.

So, what? That does not require the UK to have any copyright provisions for UK-originated works within the UK or for the term of their copyright within the UK to be the same as agreed internationally. Hence apparent "anomalies" such as the copyright status of Peter Pan within the UK. We're not taking about buy-ins, but BBC-financed productions shown within the UK, so international treaty rights aren't in scope.

And in any case, the ownership of rights is a matter of contract. The BBC routinely agrees rights agreements with staffers which permit their contributions to be aired ad nauseam without further remuneration. There is no legal impediment to a similar agreement with entertainment providers and I'm sure such agreements could be concluded if it weren't for the powerful union stranglehold over both the "talent" and technical sides of broadcast production.

There's a very good case to be made for there being at least a very limited rights duration *within the UK* for BBC-originated material . It's a reasonable quid pro quo for the Licence Fee. BBC accounts show that it makes a negligible amount from its commercial sale of rights, so as an organisation it has nothing to lose financially from the loss of a small proportion of an already-small revenue.

Of course it would cause similar upset to the end of Spanish Practices in Fleet Street - which is why it would almost certainly have to be done by government through amending copyright law and/or by making changes to the BBC Charter - but that doesn't make it illegal, impossible or undesirable.

I can understand that Planet Journalism may be hostile to the notion of copyright limitation, but back in the real world, surgeons don't get paid for that new hip every time it climbs a staircase and plumbers don't get paid for every flush. It may be convenient to imply that there is some legal justification for this, but there isn't - quite the opposite when it concerns a bunch of people have a legally-sanctioned right to dip their hands in the nation's pockets and to come back and take more whenever it suits them.

Which, of course, is what DRM is there to support and why the BBC have wasted so much money on it. A complex technical "fix" when it would be in (almost) everybody's best interests simply to change the rules.

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@Chris

[The obligations we're talking about are legal contracts with independent producers that force it to use the most effective DRM if it wants to distribute via downloads.]

Well NO DRM is effective. It's predicated on encryption technology which only works if the hacker and recipient ARE DIFFERENT PEOPLE. DRM has the hacker and recipient as the same person.

And I'll ask you the question: are the producers of the 60's ToTP being served by their stuff being deleted? How about the beatles' recordings dying off? How well is this paying them?

After five years, anything the BBC produces should be free to download. If producers of content don't want that, then they can sell it to ITV or not sell it here in the UK (how much is it worth when nobody is buying? You can use your house, car or toaster but IP isn't real property like they are.

Anything currently there should be either

a) digitised at the BBC's expense and given "freely" to TV license payers (heck, mail it with the TV license, if you like, have them fill in a form of what they'd like to have)

b) given back to the producer and the BBC recompensed for storage costs etc (and the producer should keep it available until copyright expires, otherwise that's abandonment and you LOSE your right to real property under abandonment laws)

If the BBC is keeping it, then the producer isn't interested in making money off it any more. They've been paid (same as recording artists' work is a work for hire in the US and so no ongoing royalties are due) and if they aren't making money NOW with the exclusive right, what have they lost if the BBC gives away the exclusive right? NOTHING.

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Crybabies

You know I take my hat off to Chris and Andrew for responding to the beard stroking, Linux crybabies that have absolutely nothing to contribute to this debate other than a lot of fucking wingeing. Stop being cowards and just admit you use the iPlayer like straw-man in the way you do in any other argument when you can vent your ideological rage against Microsoft. Personally if I had anything to do with The Reg I'd shut down these pages that let you respond publicly to articles as the sort of chumps writing in have nothing intelligent to put forward. You embarrass the whole language of criticism.

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@Cyfaill

"Conservatively speaking there are 30 plus million Linux users on the desktop now."

You can substantiate that, can you? More than 30 million Linux *users*, rather than 30 million recorded downloads of Linux? I'd take your bet regarding the dominant desktop operating system in just over six years, too.

Furthermore, iPlayer is specifically limited to UK residents. I doubt Linux is the primary desktop operating system for more than a handful of them, and I'm sure they're all quite happily downloading their visual entertainment from secret bittorrent trackers that can only be accessed by the raw IP address anyway.

Reg: Can we have angel/devil icons for that stupid penguin, please?

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@Charles Platt

This isn't (necessarily) a digital fear, it is a fear of the accountants. To them, if someone makes money, you've lost that money, whether you would or wanted to make it is irrelevant.

This is why fansubs are taken down: the anime isn't being sold by the distributor, but if someone is making a copy available, EACH and EVERY download is a "lost sale" (though how it can be when it isn't being sold by ANYONE is, as I've said, irrelevant).

That's why lyric sites are taken down. For the accountants, anything to do with their product must be done only by them. Failing to do so is to lose a sale. Again, that they aren't selling isn't relevant.

They don't know anything about their product so they don't know where sales can come from, so they don't investigate (RIAA killing downloads rather than using them is an example). They see every use that could *possibly* be a revenue stream as something they have the sole right to do (compnies sueing Spiderman for the visibility of their billboards in the movie is an example, and the idiocy continued in their attempt to sue the movie for digitally removing their billboards from that movie rather than pay:"It's a derivative work!!!").

The accountant doesn't understand the business. They understand money. They have lawyer friends who understand laws. They are getting in charge of everything now. And since all the understand is the money, they only care about the money.

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Too many platforms

When are we going to see a collaborative application to merge iPlayer, 4OD and others? One application (with all its faults) is bad enough!

Dave.

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Nice Space Ship, Jon, can I have a go?

You mention the unions, acknowledging their pivotal involvment, the extent of change required, and the almost certain need for Government intervention and a change of law.

But all we need is a "simple" change in the law.

Presumably your space ship uses the Infinite Improbability Drive?

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Unhappy

@Cyfaill

Unfortunatly not entirely accurate.... 4OD also demands the Microsoft/XP or Vista monoploly, time this was investigated officially as an anticompetitive abuse of position.

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Rubbish article.

Hold on, I'm sorry, but this article is rubbish.

* For a "multi-million pound failure", iPlayer signups are running well ahead of the BBC's projections, even before the full launch that's advertised happens… Man, I hate it when my projects fail like that.

* So, the BBC "inexplicably binned" streaming in 2005 and then "cobbled together" streaming in 2007. Err… no. How likely does that sound. The iPlayer has always, always, always had streaming on it. That sticking "iPlayer" and "streaming" into Google doesn't bring up anything written in 2006 isn't exactly proof that it was somehow abandoned.

* The article doesn't mention *at all* the public value test that Ofcom did. Which accounts for well over a year of the iPlayer's development time, and a significant part of the cost, and a large part of the restrictions on what the BBC can and can't do.

* There's this bizzare insistence that streaming is so much more desirable than downloads that isn't backed up by any sort of logic or evidence. People use YouTube a lot? Not nearly as much as they peer to peer download, and the argument that "people who download want to keep the content forever" is frivolous and simply wrong. And lets look at Joost and YouTube shall we? They're nigh useless on many people's machines, given the speed and reliablity of broadband in this country. And if everyone did start using a mass streaming solution like you propose in watchable quality, oversold contention ratios would mean the UK's entire online structure would slow to an unwatchable crawl anyway. Not to mention being able to put downloads on portable media players, or access content offline, which is still rather important to most people in this country. BT Vision is a financial catastrophe.

* No addressing that, since the BBC can't wrap the streams in advertising, the BBC are financially disincentivised to provide high quality streaming - the more people stream programmes, the more it costs in bandwidth, the more money is taken away from programme making.

* Streaming is more interoperable on mobile platforms? Is it hell.

* No mention of BBC Worldwide's plan to sell programming that's downloaded . Kangaroo is actually a pretty compelling proposition - download programmes to catch up from the BBC for seven days, and if you like it or want it after that point, pay BBC Worldwide and the DRM comes off. In addition, Kangaroo, which is going to be built on the iPlayer by the looks of things, looks like it will feature most of the content from all the UK's major broadcasters - that's an extremely compelling selling point, and is likely to push the service into the stratosphere.

* If the time limited download concept is so rubbish, why have both Channel 4 and NBC copied it?

* You seriously attempt to suggest that the BBC should have sat on it's arse for four years about how to distribute this content, at the same time as saying the market even now is "immature". On that basis, why wouldn't they wait another four years? And before you know it, we're all dead before there's a service at all.

* A completely throw away coment at the end that the whole download client should be abandoned, contadicting any sort of common sense or logic.

Sorry, poorly researched rubbish. Not that some of the comments above are any better.

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Waste of time

I am not one of the loons out there who run around screaming about the evils of DRM, or the lack of compatibility. I actually feel they made the correct decision on not supporting insignificant market shares for the majority in the first place. But the overall model which they followed does seem all wrong now we're used to things such as YouTube etc. It's still a much more prefered medium for viewing BBC content than anything the BBC actually provides.

But, my big gripe with the project, was the lack of streaming off the site, and also lack of choice on it. Probably the lack of content is the bigger issue. If it's supposed to have 50 years of old TV we can wonder through, where is it? 400 staff and what the heck did they do? obviously not digitalising content.

And come on, what could be more useful for the beeb to get users watching it that doing things people want to watch. How about watching an England sporting disaster live at work, via your browser with only having to whack in you license fee number? No client, no faff. Thats how it all should of been.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Rubbish article.

"For a "multi-million pound failure", iPlayer signups are running well ahead of the BBC's projections".

Sign ups yes. Usage? Well, the Beeb isn't saying.

"So, the BBC "inexplicably binned" streaming in 2005 and then "cobbled together" streaming in 2007.Err… no."

Err... yes. Try this backstage podcast: http://blip.tv/file/483043

"The article doesn't mention *at all* the public value test that Ofcom did."

That's because Ofcom didn't do the public value test, the BBC Trust did. Ofcom carried out a market impact assessment. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2006/08_august/31/test.shtml

"BT Vision is a financial catastrophe."

Says who? Do you have access to BT's internal accounts?

"If the time limited download concept is so rubbish, why have both Channel 4 and NBC copied it?"

God knows.

"And if everyone did start using a mass streaming solution like you propose in watchable quality, oversold contention ratios would mean the UK's entire online structure would slow to an unwatchable crawl anyway."

"BBC are financially disincentivised to provide high quality streaming"

So why is the Beeb doing it?

"People use YouTube a lot? Not nearly as much as they peer to peer download."

Just not true. ISP data shows YouTube accounts for about 13 per cent of web traffic now, on the basis of low bitrate Flash video. That's a lot more actual viewing than the vast music, film and software BitTorrent streams that account for about 40 per cent of total traffic.

"Saying the market even now is "immature". On that basis, why wouldn't they wait another four years?"

Because they made a bad decision, which was kind of my point.

"Sorry, poorly researched rubbish."

You said it.

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@Mark Rendle

Well, given there's no activation and a single download can be copied onto hundreds of machines (well, unlimited, really), 30million downloads actually used MUST mean more than 30 million installations of Linux and also is highly unlikely to be less than a fraction more than 30million users of Linux.

So even if 30 million doesn't actually get used, it's likely to be a lot more than 30million installed machines with linux and quite likely to be around 30 million users of linux.

Unless you have hard facts and figures that you were asking of Cyfaill

Oh, and AC, who's the crybaby? You're the Daily Mail reader that complains about all this money being spent on things you don't use, aren't you. Well, Linux users can't use windows-only products.

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keeping an open mind

Where can I find a beta of the streaming Flash iPlayer for Linux?

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Unhappy

Disagree

It works really nicely, and they handled the p2p kontiki issue far better than channel 4 or sky. At least when you switch it off, it stays off.

The article above sounds like a mac fan boy ranting/crying.

Please stop printing tripe on the reg, the quality of the material is really going downhill. I really liked it when it produced insightful and witty content.

"Your one source said this and another source said this" is really an infantile way to write a supposedly serious article. Please do your research instead of quoting your mates down the pub.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Disagree

I can confirm that I hate all computers equally. The piece makes the point that interoperability arguments are an (albeit entertaining) diversion when it comes to iPlayer.

Anonymous sourcing is an essential part of journalism. If you don't like it you can read the BBC's press releases.

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