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The BBC's iPlayer app for the iPad will be out on Thursday, a Corporation apparatchik has Tweeted. The message comes from one Geoff Marshall and it reads: "iPlayer App for iPad is being released this Thursday - 10th Feb. 3G connection is browse only. Browse+Playback requires Wi-Fi." Geoff's profile describes the fellow as a " …

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Flame

License money well spent

I'm so glad that the Beeb is spending wads of my sodding cash making an 'app' for a specific fashionable device that duplicates existing functionality.

I might cancel my subsc... oh wait, it's the law that I have to pay them. Fantastic.

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@Martin

"it's the law that I have to pay them"

No, you don't. Not always and there's even precedent for not having to pay when you have a working tuner (but that was a very edge-case scenario).

---

Other than that, I agree with your sentiments. It's a shame that one has to use a third party system (e.g. XBMC) if one wants to watch iPlayer on Linux (although it does work quite well, even on my aging lappy and original xBox).

Maybe that will change when they release a Droid app. Which, really, they should have done first but I guess the iPad gets them more PR. I can't wait to see the complaints from all the Yanks about how their BBC app doesn't work. :o)

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WTF?

BBC Trust says no to kit-specific iPlayer apps

I thought the BBC Trust said they wouldn't write kit-specific iPlayer apps?

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Anonymous Coward

Well they won't

Apart from kit the upper echelons own, obviously.

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Anonymous Coward

Not as such

What the BBC said was in essence that they wouldn't write anything on the back end to support specific hardware at the front end. If it can't interact with the server platform they have now then they are not going to make any changes to the server platform to support it.

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Anonymous Coward

@BBC Trust says no to kit-specific iPlayer apps

That's what I thought as well. And to make it more galling I they took steps to prevent access from a 3rd part Android app.

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FAIL

Android left in the cold?

I can almost guarantee that there's more Android >= 2.1 non flash capable devices out there than Ipads. Why can't they get an Iplayer app?

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FAIL

We had an Android App..beebPlayer

But the Beeb insisted that it be stopped, rather than buying it off the dev and rebranding it.

So impartial Auntie!

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Surely the question should be the other way around?

Given that it already works just fine on all shipping iOS and Android devices, why bother with an iPlayer app for anyone?

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No it doesn't

***"Given that it already works just fine on all shipping iOS and Android devices, why bother with an iPlayer app for anyone?"***

No it doesn't.

To use iPlayer on Android you need the following:

Android 2.2 or higher

An ArmV7 processor

Plenty of "shipping" Android devices (e.g the HTC Wildfire) have ARMv6 processors and will never run Flash 10 ( and therefore iPlayer), and plenty more have Android 2.1 or lower and may never get an update.

Then, when you consider that *all" Android devices could get acceptable iPlayer service from the apps that the BBC killed and the iPad has acceptable iPlayer service *without* this new app, you have to wonder WTF the BBC is playing at.

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@Eponymous Cowherd

I stand corrected. I find what you're saying to be surprising, but that's hardly the point. Other devices with ARMv6s ship with some version of Flash that seems to do video content, such as the Nokia N8. That's why it hadn't occurred to me that it might be an issue.

I assume the other apps dipped into the H.264 stream that the BBC supply for iOS devices. Everyone else is now locked out of that since certain client certificates shipped only with those devices are required. That said, they were going around finding ways to locking people out on a case by case basis before they came up with that.

I'm with you in that case. If you're going to invest time in an app, ship it for a platform that can't already view the content anyway. The charter doesn't require them to find some way to get rid of the status bar or whatever else the negligible improvement of a custom app would be.

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Not quite

"I assume the other apps dipped into the H.264 stream that the BBC supply for iOS devices. Everyone else is now locked out of that since certain client certificates shipped only with those devices are required."

Actually no. The Beeb got rid of the app from the Market, but I guess the API was already too well established, and locking it to devices would get the Beeb in trouble very quickly. BeebPlayer still works! Assuming you used ASTRO or similar to back up the *.apk... ;-)

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Jobs Halo

A

Huh.

Take THAT android users.

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Jobs Horns

Works with Safari?

Funny, when I go to the "big screen" URL what I get is - a you must install flash message, which when clicked takes me to Adobe's website that tells me to get lost because Adobe and Apple aren't friends...

I found i had to use www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/iplayer to get BBC Iplayer to work with the iphone native "quicktime" style player...

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still no BBC iPlayer for Xbox

so the BBC make an 'app' for a device which has been out for only a few months, yet still havent developed the iPlayer for a media device which has been out since 2005!?

We could compare numbers here....

....so I will. 7.5 million iPads, 45 million Xbox 360s. Great. BBC TV tax well spent!

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Anonymous Coward

re: still no BBC iPlayer for Xbox

I was under the impression that this was blocked by MS.

MS wanted it available to Gold customers only.

A breakdown, BBC didn't want viewers to feel they were being charged twice, MS don't like giving customers something for nothing,.

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Boffin

Does bigscreen verion work on xbox?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen/

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Stop

Blame Microsoft...

Apparently Microsoft and BBC can't agree on terms on this one - BBC Wants it to be free to all Xbox users, Microsoft wants it to be part of a Gold subscription. Google it, it was reported a while back.

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The BBC are bound by their charter not to support the XBox...

... because Microsoft won't allow them to release for free and the charter won't allow them to charge. That's the officially given reason why they're on the Playstation and the Wii, but not the XBox.

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In fairness

That's not the BBC's fault - it's Microsoft's. MS want VoD services such as SkyPlayer to only be available to Gold subscribers, but the BBC cannot have a charge in place for access to iPlayer, as it's already part of the license fee.

All MS would have to do is make it available to *all* XBL subscribers and then it could be on the Xbox too, but they won't.

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Anonymous Coward

Blame MS for that one

In short MS want to limit it to Gold account subscribers, and the BBC can't accept that because of the public service remit. The BBC can't move, and MS won't, so no iPlayer on XBox.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/02/iplayer_xbox_360_limbo_fee/

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Bub
Jobs Horns

Not BBC's fault though is it?

That's not the BBC's fault though - Microsoft won't let them offer a free app to all Xbox users - only to Gold subscribers - and that's apparently against BBC's terms of service.

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Gates Horns

Actually

...in this case it's Microsoft's fault not the BBC's. Microsoft refused to let iPlayer be distributed for free to licence payers (i.e. without an Xbox Live Gold membership) so the BBC said they couldn't do it.

El Reg covered the story a while ago - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/02/iplayer_xbox_360_limbo_fee/

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Megaphone

Time for change

Now that Android devices are out-selling IOS, when will the BBC wake up and bring out a iplayer for it?

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No

Whilst the BBC acknowledges that Android has a position with the sphere of the mobile application user experience, the vision of the BBC does not synergise with the multi-faceted plane of operations that exists within the Android universe.

As a leader in beyond-blue-sky rolls-outs and co-laterisation of dynamic consumption methodologies, the iOS framework is a much better partner for delivering ad hoc, viewer determined entertainment within the scope of the personal media utility system.

Or something like that.

Probably.

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WTF?

re: Time for change

When BBC execs start using Android devices, rather than the Apple stuff. (Or when one of them with enough power does).

I own an iPad and even I think this is waste of that forced subscription fee I've got to pay. I've already got an iPlayer shortcut, so what benefit will an App bring?

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Android devices aren't outselling iOS devices

Android phones are outselling iPhones — you're thinking of statistics directly from the mobile phone industry. If you add the iPod Touch and iPad to the iPhone, versus all Android phones + tablets then iOS remains ahead. This year's Android tablet push by multiple manufacturers should go a long way to redressing this disparity.

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Irony, but so near the truth

@The BigYin

The sad thing about that post is that, despite the intended irony, it is a fair representation of the sort of double-speak bollocks that you get from the Beeb when they are trying to explain some of their more absurd management decisions.

It is *seriously* taking the piss that they can kill of two perfectly serviceable Android iPlayer clients (not to mention XBMC), refuse to create their own native Android client, then proceed to develop for a device (the iPad) that has a fraction of the penetration of Android and *already* has a perfectly serviceable method of accessing iPlayer anyway.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: No

Damn it, I just bought this keyboard!

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@Eponymous Cowherd

The iPlayer add-on is working again in XBMC (I am using it on Linux and an original xBox).

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Stop

This Week

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2011/02/bbc_iplayer_apps_coming_soon_t.html

It's just that some media are only reporting iPad and not Android. The Telegraph managed to mention both. Shame on El Reg for the omission - or maybe it was a deliberate Troll-ploy?

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Existing service

Ignoring the driodboi sour-grapes that will no doubt come out, can I ask why the existing web-based service wasn't good or open enough?

It works fine...apart from the annoying requirement to completely reload the page (and scroll back through) if/when the content goes "out of sync" and needs to rebuffer. That bit needs to be better.

If that bit is fixed, and possibly smooth the scrolling on the "big screen" interface, then I'm all for the app. I'm sure the driodboi bleaters will get theirs soon too.

If it's just a re-face of the web site, then what a bloody waste of (my) money...

Oh, and BBC...no "ping"-style web 2.0/social media bollox either please. <barf>.

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Anonymous Coward

As per the article

I've been happily doing that since as good as the launch of the iPad.

Surely as Android is perceived to be so open you don't need a app you already have hundreds, or use your flash enabled browsers that you think run so fast and the freetards download a copy of the content anyway.

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Android did have an app

...and the BBC took it down. I can't remember why.

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Big Brother

They persuaded the dev to remove the BBC streams

Because the app would stream lower bit rate media over 3G (for obvious reasons). Auntie Beeb decided that rather than be blighted with lower quality media playback when we're out and about, we would be better off with nothing at all.

If you can get your hands on an older version of the third-party app, it still works.

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It already works on Android

Though they seem to have transitioned it to Flash since Flash became supported. Going to the iPlayer site without Flash installed gives you the message "To play this programme you need to download the Adobe Flash Player from the Android Market" and supplies a link (albeit labelled "Click here" suggesting that somebody on the web team can't think beyond their mouse) that goes directly to the relevant Google marketplace page directly in the browser, exposing a download button. The rest of the iPlayer site is the mobile version for small screens. So it's clear that they have somebody there who has thought about Android and ensured that the site works.

Compare that to the iPad where, also, the site works, and you get to pondering why anybody needs an app.

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Anonymous Coward

Because

"...and the BBC took it down. I can't remember why."

All the takedowns the BBC have issued over iPlayer apps have been down to the apps not supporting the DRM requirements of the iPlayer spec.

If you happen to be a freetard you will object to this and nothing anybody can say will change your mind. If you're not a freetard you will side with the BBC on this.

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nothing to do with 'freetards'

"All the takedowns the BBC have issued over iPlayer apps have been down to the apps not supporting the DRM requirements of the iPlayer spec."

Fair enough, but then they replaced it with.... nothing. So all the Android devices that don't have flash (which is a lot) can now no longer have Iplayer.

This is what people object to, there's almost certainly more of these devices out there than Ipads, yet the Ipad gets its own app and Android doesn't.. why not?

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Utter bollocks!

***"All the takedowns the BBC have issued over iPlayer apps have been down to the apps not supporting the DRM requirements of the iPlayer spec."***

The first app the BBC took down (BeebPlayer) merely used the 3GP streams initially intended for Nokia devices. These streams didn't have any DRM component.

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Grenade

3G connection is browse only. Browse+Playback requires Wi-Fi

What basis are the BBC making this decision on?

I am paying for a special 3G mobile data package that has special clauses to allow for a increased broadband capability on my mobile devices, and its not cheap! BUT the BBC refuse to allow me to access the mobile iplayer - why?

In order to use iplayer I have to use the desktop version which works but is not suited to small screens.. Why do the BBC insist on this restriction? What remit do they have for it?

In addition why does the BBC always see fit to appease iPhad users with multiple special apps and streams solely for them? and sticks fingers up at everyone else?

I think its about time to rise up against the BBC. Massive pay cuts are required to bring the employees out of the luxury bracket and back into the real world.

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Grenade

Official Complaint Filed...

feel free to follow suit here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/

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An app is not a website

Perhaps the iPad app will allow you to download the programmes to watch later when you don't have a network connection? The web service cannot do this.

MaFt

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Anonymous Coward

FAIL

Yes it can.

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That would make sense

It's what the iPlayer app that already ships on Nokia phones (well, at least the N8) does.

I have absolutely no idea how the existence of a Nokia app plays into the wider picture — for all I know, Nokia developed it or otherwise paid for it.

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Anonymous Coward

thank you BBC!

personally, as an ipad user, its great news, as the web app version has horrific lip sync issues, esp with the HD content. Perhaps spending the money on sorting out the web app may have been better use of taxpayers cash, but quite frankly i'm happy - so I dont give a ....

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FAIL

Android

Assuming your Android phone is new enough just use the mobile site. As for the old Android phones, well sorry to say upgrade.

As for iOS, the Beeb are pissing our cash away on this. The phones should meet the spec of iPlayer, not the other way around.

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Gates Horns

Xbox

IIRC that's due to legal kerfuffles; Microsoft won't let them release it for free, and the BBC aren't allowed to charge for it.

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Alert

BBC Consultation - LAST DAY!!

If you have not already expressed your views/opinions on the BBC's operation of iPlayer do it NOW!

https://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/departments/bbc/on-demand-syndication---provisional-conclusions/consultation/consult_view

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Good

God, Android fanboys are a bunch of whiners aren't they? Why can't your marvelous and 'open' platform just use the Web version of iPlayer?

I won't watch the iPlayer on an iPad, but the BBCs universal service commitment makes it logical to do so. Sure, there are hacks to do it, but will most people know them? Nothing wrong with an app, and if it's just bundling the 'hacks' then it was presumably very cheap to make.

And you can shut-up about 'wasting' licence fees. I groan a bit every time I see sport on the BBC. I don't watch it, and the sums spent on it are vast. Do I complain about it though? No - the BBC isn't just for me, it's for everyone, even simpletons who get exciting about grown men kicking a ball around.

Just grow up you bunch of whingers and get upset about things that are really important, like the destruction of the NHS that is currently going on, for example. Get a grip on what's actually important and write and complain to people about that.

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@DominicT

Oh the irony!

Instead of writing in to whinge about whingers, why don't you follow you own advice and "get a grip on what is actually important"? ;)

As to the iOS/Android issue - there's a very valid point here. There *were* 3rd party applications that allowed non-ARM7 Android devices to access streams compatible with their hardware, but the BBC *chose* to shut them down, rather than support them. There was no need to do anything at the back end, because those streams are already there (I think they are the Nokia streams). Similarly, with the flick of a switch, the BBC could make the iOS streams compatible with both iOS and Android, but once again *chooses* not to do that and instead intends to add further support to a device that it already supports via the web interface.

In fact, the BBC has direct support for iOS, Symbian, and Blackberry, and yet insists that Android users must use Flash, which is fine and dandy for those with a Flash-capable phone, but not for those who do not.

So much for impartiality and universal service! Yes DominicT, universal service should apply to *everyone* and not just iPad owners! ;)

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