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back to article Flash-based iPlayer is go

UK Linux and Mac fanboys can afford to turn a lighter shade of puce today, as the BBC has opened the shutters on the Flash-based version of iPlayer, its seven day TV catch-up service. It's also set to prove popular with Windows users who don't want the hassle of the buggy, DRM-locked download iPlayer. The service has been …

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Linux

So...

No 64bit Linux then? What with the Flash Player for 64 bit Linux still not available. Of course this does mean I'm able to get some work done as I can't go to You Tube at work.

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shorter version

"we reckon it'll prove a lot more popular than the download client, which is an unfortunately clumsy and anachronistic front end for [the] BBC"

Yeah it's still just some old bollocks from Aunty tho isn't it. I can get all that on normal P2P and UK Sattelite channels. Really, my days of installing extra stuff I don't need.. over. Embed stuff in webpages already, I don't want more proprietary rubbish clogging my hard drive, Windows is enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Does that work on Wii?

Wii supports flash and plays YouTube, does Beeb work on it?

I guess some of the other consoles and even iPods could also play that if they've done it right.

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That's better

Just tried it and it seems to do all that I'd want (I have no desire to store drm infested crud on my hard drive anyway and certainly no desire to host the BBC's content for it).

Get thee behind me you peer to peer devils...

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Gates Halo

It should be specifically disabled for Linux

Fine, make it work on Macs for techno-illiterates who don't know any better, but people who use Linux on the desktop are all unwashed hippies who probably don't pay their license fee anyway.

Still waiting for the penguin icon to grow horns...

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Re: So...

Install a 32-bit browser then. It's not just Linux that has that issue as far as I know.

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Unhappy

Urrgghhh....

Is anyone else hating how they've rebranded the BBC Radio Player to make it all iPlayer-y?

It looks awful.

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Linux

@Simon Proctor

Simon - try this:

http://gwenole.beauchesne.info/projects/nspluginwrapper/

(hate to see you get some work done!)

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Tim
Paris Hilton

Knickers in a twist

Hence the Paris icon.

God knows what the fuss is all about. What's wrong with a VCR or whatever the hell the digital equivalent is called today.

I'd much rather the BBC spent their money on developing programmes (sorry, 'content') than this sort of thing. If people want to time-shift it then they can go out and buy a proper shiny box.

@64 bit Simon: Never happy eh? That's probably because you're trying to watch TV while sitting on a hard chair in your office while the rest of us are curled up on a nice warm couch with a woman and a beer. You can keep yer spare 32 bits - hope they keep you warm at night.

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Jobs Halo

appleTV..?

Similarly to the Wii question, anyone know if it'll work with AppleTV which works nicely with the YooToobs? Would save a whole *bucketload* of hard-drive space compared to eyeTV recording of stuff I don't particularly care about keeping.

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Not horns

@Mark Rendle

No we just need a seal-snatching-penguin icon.

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Gates Horns

@Mark

A Windoze user accusing Mac users of being techo-illiterate.

Best laugh I've had all week - it obviously takes technical genius to use Lord Gates overpriced, insecure, bloated, buggy, DRM embuggered P.O.S.

The Bill G icon already has the horns (and your money, sucker) - the penguin icon is slowly growing teeth.

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Gates Horns

As long as it's not RealPlayer

I wish BBC News online would catch up with the rest of the world and drop RealPlayer / WMP in favour of Flash-based embedded video. I don't think I've watched a video on their website... well, ever; not for lack of trying.

Perhaps they'll tie it in with the embedded iPlayer. That would be luvverly.

Oh and I really hope this will stop the linux fanboys whining. The BBC were originally just trying something new, and trying to keep it simple while they worked the kinks out; it's only because of a concerted FUD campaign by slashdot types that they've been forced to push the whole thing through before they even know what they'll use it for. Although I'd love to download BBC content to my Mac, I'd rather they did some beta testing and break a few Windows PCs first...

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RE: Windoze(!)

Hilarious. How you ever stop laughing long enough to rebuild your kernel is a mystery.

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Anonymous Coward

UK only (for obvious reasons), but...

...is there any way I can make it work from outside the UK?

Now, before the license payers start moaning:

1) I'm an expat Brit.

2) I pay for BBC 1-4, BBC World, and BBC Prime through my digital cable subscription here in The Netherlands.

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Unhappy

No "I'm Out!"

No Dragon's Den from Monday and it's not available on the unpredictable Virgin Media 'on-demand' service either. Did somebody swear?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: As long as it's not RealPlayer

I note that across the bottom of the Flash iPlayer there are buttons for BBC News and News 24 channels. Click them and there's no content, but it can only be a matter of time before they encode in Flash too.

- Chris

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Joke

@Mark

I don't think it's what you said that'll get the fanboys flaming you - it's the arrogant way you dismissed all the uber-geeks that'll do it!

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Outside UK

It might work, you just need to use a proxy server in the UK to connect to it.

Google for it and you'll find more info.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: No "I'm Out!"

"No Dragon's Den from Monday and it's not available on the unpredictable Virgin Media 'on-demand' service either. Did somebody swear?"

It's not available on any catch up service as Sony haven't agreed the rights yet and they own the format.

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Joke

Rant for Rants sake

Gah, Flash ! That horrible Adobe thing...rant rant rant....

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Thumb Up

Yeah but.....

They cant put everything on the iplayer - it would be good if they could. isnt dragons den produced by someone else for the bbc?

Heroes wont be on as it's again produced by someone else.

Im happy - i have no need for my windows laptop anymore - it even saves me electricity.

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It doesn't seem to work!

A few programmes play, but most of them simply give "Sorry <programme> is not available to play here."

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Linux

@Simon, AC

Simon -- I haven't tried it yet, but the latest GNASH is supposed to work with YouTube (although I usually use youtube-dl and play the downloaded .flv files with ffplay).

Back in the days, I used to make a hobby of brazenly asking Macromedia for the Flash player Source Code everytime I registered myself a new domain -- and I damn nearly got it, once! Not sure how that would go down since the Adobe takeover, though.

You ought to be able to watch iPlayer from outside the UK, by arranging for someone in the UK to set you up a proxy server. They may have to hack the Source Code so it doesn't send an X-Forwarded-For: header (or sends a false one) and they will need a fast outbound connection.

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Hmm I wonder...

Does it work with unplug in mozilla to get the source flv files (drm free!)?

hehehehe

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Happy

@Simon Proctor

Works fine on 64 bit Solaris 10. If you will use a toy operating system then expect these things...

.... grabs asbestos jacket.

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Flame

Sorry, this programme is only available to play in the UK (Why?)

Indeed since I receive all the BBC programs from Satellite, Radio Devon on MW and R4LW on LW, in sunny Limerick.

The *REST* of my family lives in UK. My IT Sister could of course open an VPN for me.

But I have a 320G Byte Dual tuner Sat PVR, so if i program it properly I'd never need the inferior online versions.

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Works fine on Ubuntu Gutsy 64bit Linux

using ndiswrapper and 32bit flash. Looks & sounds nice, though no full-screen of course as it's not the latest Flash version.

Smooth too on my 'up to' 8MB connection, which is actually less than 2MB, but I can't blame the BBC for that.

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Heart

It's more than good enough for me

I've just tried the full screen Flash (on a laptop over WiFi) and it's more than good enough quality for me.

Does this mean I can get rid of my barely used TV and not need to pay a licence fee? As I understand the law, the TV licence fee is for reception of over the air broadcast transmissions, so streamed data to my PC doesn't count?

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Linux

Whiney fanboys?

I thought the complaint was that the BBC was encouraging the more adventurous of the world to break the law. DRM and proprietry software hasn't stopped people from accessing software before. Ask RIAA et al.

*nix users all hippies? Someone better warn this chap that we are starting to take on the disguise of regular folk now who don't know are arse from our elbow. You never know, you may be living next door to one of these terrorists!

Oh, and 'no' I don't pay for a license, but apparently I owe them £135 for a service I don't use. Slightly confused there.

Still once this has matured I may well start watching TV again.

Oh well, off home now as my elbows aching from sitting down all day.

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Linux

@Mark (again)

Ohh, but I don't stop laughing while I'm recompiling my kernel(s).

1) Because I don't have to - I can download a prebuilt one if I'm feeling lazy.

2) Because I ~can~ rebuild my kernel if, when and how I want to - unlike M$ sufferers who use what they are told to by Mr G. (yes, a dollar-sign instead of an 'S'; my humour knows no bounds!)

3) Because the money I save not buying overpriced software and the time not wasted trying to work out why it's not working properly, removing viruses from it, cleaning up the mess it's made of my harddrives or otherwise just swearing at it can be spent on beer and loose women.

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Seemed great

I was quite happy with this while testing it out watch Have I Got News For You when it suddenly stopped and said "There has been a problem, please start again". In order to get rid of the message I had to refresh the entire page which reset the player and it didn't even remember how much it had previously downloaded.

Hope they get it stable soon as it's a hell of alot better solution than that POS they brought out earlier.

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Linux

Works fine on Fedora 8

No problem with it working on Linux. I can see this being way more popular than the iPlayer thingy. Good thing too. Nobody in their right mind is going to use this to replace a proper video recorder or PVR, but for occaisional things like when you forget to set something to record, it could be useful. The penguin is victorious.

The full screen video quality isn't that great, but was it expected to be? This way you don't have to download more crud to run in the background and make things even more unstable.

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Nice!

I've only tried it briefly but it works nicely here! I use 64-bit Opera and there are tricks to get the 32-bit Flash working. I suspect they'll make it work automatically soon. As for 64-bit Firefox, just install nspluginwrapper (not ndiswrapper, that's for wireless!) as suggested. Anyway, nice job, Beeb. Not sure I'll use this much myself though because I have MythTV and a DVB-S card.

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Tim
Bronze badge

Re: Does that work on Wii?

Have yet to try, but I suspect not as I think the version of Opera that's used in the Wii Internet Channel has an outdated version of Flash. Depends what the Beeb's thing requires.

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Black Helicopters

Nice job, Auntie.

Now you're one step closer to justfying your ridiculous position that anyone with an Internet connection in the UK must pay the Beeb tax. Healthy cynicism, people. You know it makes sense.

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Vividas anybody?

I stumbled across them today.

http://www.vividas.com/products/internet-tv.html

Their demo was quite impressive and the blurb seems to indicate it will work with any modern browser on any platform. I wonder if that includes an iPod touch?

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Go

"These go up to eleven"

I don't know if anyone else has noticed yet, but the BBC iPlayer flash interface's volume control goes up to eleven.

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Tim
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Wii

Answer is... no.

The Wii uses Flash 7 which is very old. It's a problem with a lot of other Flash sites. Apparently Nintendo and Opera are stuck because the newer versions require some SDK from Adobe which isn't available for the Wii, or something like that. So blame Adobe.

Though if you have a Wii, you surely have a TV to watch BBC shows on anyway (and presumably a video recorder of some sort) ;-)

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Unhappy

Re: Does that work on Wii?

Doesn't work on my Wii sadly, flash just directs me to it's update pages.

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Happy

Excellent

Using Ubuntu 7.10.

(Had to upgrade to a newer version of flash before full screen would work - same version for both Windows and Linux!)

Just caught up with the last episode of Top Gear - Brilliant. Brilliant.

Who needs windows now?!

I just wish the Beeb hadn't wasted license player's money on the other thing.....

spegru

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Anonymous Coward

Idiots

I bet my socks that the development team wanted to do it using flash in the first place. I can't beleive BBC and Channel 4 both use that Kontiki crap.

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Gates Halo

should have done this in the first place

the quality is not as good as the download iplayer but at least I don't have to keep running services.msc to enable then disable the kservice when I have got the content.

It works with firefox so ie is binned again

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Something fishy

This version of the iPlayer has a tendency to hang. When it does, firefox reports that it's transferring data from "uk.sitestat.com"

Is the BBC using one of these scummy tracking firms?

Auntie, say it aint so!

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Linux

At long last...

Yeah, I'm on Linux, I tried it, it works. Not bad either. For a beta it's pretty smooth and by the time they've ironed out a few wrinkles it might even add up to a half-decent player. If you're trying to view from outside the UK, use Opera and look for the proxy Widget. You should find a proxy there in the UK to run through.

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Thumb Up

Excellent!

It works just fine, a nice delivery. And what they should have done in the first place. So, congrats to the Beeb for getting it right, the second time round.

The cynicism about the BBC Licence fee is well justified. The requirement for one is quite clear. You need a BBC Licence if you have any equipment capable of receiving TV transmissions. There is no restriction on how those transmissions are made. Thus, unless you are living the life of a hermit with zero display technology, the chances are near 100% that you will need a TV licence.

Cynicism fully justified then.

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Unhappy

@ Mark & Stu (yes, I'm talking to you)

The two of you sound like people who feel hurt by the "I'm a Mac - I'm a PC" ads or something similar, maybe an unfair and nasty remark about your computers made by a *nix hippie that you obviously couldn't really respond to because you're rocket and not computer scientists (hence the unfairness). If it's about the Apple ads: I believe they were actually just meant to be funny but if you believe that Steve did them because he wanted to make you feel bad then I agree, that's not nice at all. People should not make people feel bad. It's just not done. (And the internets should finally adopt the irony and humour tags. But I digress.)

As one of the guys with a job so embarrassing that it actually takes a computer to complete - or to get started - not just make it easier or faster (so no, it's not accounting, marketing, administration or cool stuff like that) I typically don't find myself spending my time with tools of the Windows ilk. It seems they're simply not intended to be used for those kind of purposes. Because of that I feel a bit guilty here by some kind of association. So will you please accept my apology for any wrongdoing committed by the hippie computer scientist acquaintance or SteveJ or whoever it was who hurt your feelings. It should never have happened. It's _completely_ ok to use Windows and be happy with it and feel sympathetic towards the great businessmen who made it happen! You should _not_ feel inferior because of that. Maybe it is exactly the right tool for the job you're using it for. Or maybe you just don't care that much, after all you have lives and families and families and families to attend to etc. Either way, you don't have to feel bad about it. Let go of the inferiority and be free!

I hope this helps.

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Joke

Thanks, dude!

Quote: "use Opera and look for the proxy Widget." Thank you for allowing me to circumvent BBC controls. I am sure that the BBC content-control police will thank you too, personally, using many fast-moving blunt objects. That is, if you are in the UK, and they can locate you.

I was surprised that this change even happened, considering the rather small minority of Linux users anywhere, quite frankly. I surmise that they went about this decision in the following way.

1. Roll out iPlayer, win32 version. Mac and Linux fanbois complain (ignore). iPlayer beta testers complain (what's this?) iPlayer loads unnecessary bloatware, trackers, cookies, etc. Oh, do we have a problem then?

2. Let's see what other people are doing...Youtube? Ah, interesting, iTMS (hmm, not much potential there, but we'll keep it on the back burner). Pornotube, Youporn, etc...hey! looks like we have a winner. Clean it up a little...deploy.

Now, wait for the whiners to come up with a new song....doesn't work on 64-bit Linux you say? (ignore)

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Boffin

These go to eleven.

Its true. The first thing I noticed was the volume control went up to eleven. I guess its one louder than ten, Maybe Nigel Tufnell is employed at the beeb.

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Flame

@ Simon Proctor

There's this 64-bit ELF to 32-bit ELF Mozilla plugin wrapper somewhere. I forgot what's it called. Google it up.

In other news, nope, doesn't work for people outside the UK. And they have Arthur, too.

Thank you so much, BBC! I was so close to getting my much needed Arthur fix, and I would have gone back to a normal geek instead of a blunt, frustrated one if I have had the fix. I hope you're happy that I still can't get my Arthur and am on the verge of snapping.

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