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back to article BBC dishes out fanboi-only telly downloads ahead of ITV plans

The BBC's mobile iPlayer app will now let users download content for watching later – provided they have an Apple device of course. Sonic Screwdriver - Doctor Who Lucky fanbois can nab last night's episode of EastEnders or the latest Doctor Who for perusal at their leisure for up to 30 days, though once they've started …

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On a plane?

Does that have to be within UK airspace to be legal?

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Stop

Re: On a plane?

TV Licence already allows for this provision and has done for decades, under the "portable device, defined as one running on batteries, etc., is covered by the main home licence" part.

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Re: On a plane?

You only need a TV licence to watch or save the live streams on iPlayer, not the on-demand stuff. These days, with the rewind feature, you don't have to wait too long before it is legal to watch without a licence.

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Re: Jonathanb

I know this is true, you know this is true, most techies probably know this is true. Capita still sends out letters saying completely the opposite though. I know quite a few parents who've paid for a TV license when their sprogs went off to uni because Capita sent them a threatening letter falsely claiming they needed a TV licence to watch catch-up services.

I'm at a loss as to how the BBC can keep outsourcing to these extortionists with impunity.

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite the first

Mildly surprised I'm the first to point this out (maybe?), but Auntie gave owners of Nokia smartphones the ability to download and play back (admittedly, DRMed and time-limited) iPlayer shows back in about 2009-10.

It's still an option - I downloaded and watched "Asylum Of The Daleks" just this weekend on my N8 - though how long the Beeb will support downloads for Symbian devices, is anyone's guess...

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Re: Not quite the first

Yes, I was watching downloaded iPlayer videos on my N96 in late 2008.

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Go

Re: Not quite the first

Quick! Someone tell the USTPO about this prior art *before* Apple makes the inevitable application for a patent on the ability to watch BBC downloads on a mobile.

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"Soon" ?

Can I have a small lemon soaked paper napkin with it too please?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Soon" ?

Agree ... but don't the BBC already have to fix iPlayer for Android never mind any issues of downloading ... as Adobe won't allow flash to be installed on any new devices then the BBC's line of "we support Android as it has flash, but have to do special case software for iDevices that don't" has suddenly evaporated. Interesting to see if the BBC Governors will allow the BBC to continue to provide such a degree of special support to one manufacturer.

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Stop

Re: "Soon" ?

Actually Adobe Flash Player is back on Google Play in the UK - rumoured to be specifically because the BBC "asked for it" while they look into transitioning off Adobe Flash (officially Adobe's "partners" had expressed some concerns regarding what their apps use now).

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Re: "Soon" ?

Flash may be back, but it’s not available for devices running Jelly Bean.

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Anonymous Coward

Strange, the article

didn't mention when the Windows Phone version will be available.

Never ?

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Re: Strange, the article

Is that the deprecated platform (7) or the as-yet-unreleased platform (8)?

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FAIL

Re: Strange, the article

What do you think a WP7 owner is going to do, if he discovers that WP7 is obsolete ?

I would humbly suggest they would not consider WP8, making it a moot point.

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Coat

Re: Strange, the article

Most people with obsolete Windows platforms will run them until they fall apart.

(All jokes about Windows, obsolescence, and falling apart are left as an exercise to the reader.)

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Coat

Re: Strange, the article

Is that the deprecated platform (7) or the as-yet-unreleased platform (8)?

Nah.. That'll be the never to be released platform 9 3/4.

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Happy

Re: Strange, the article - @ Jack Bodiless

Oh very fine, sir. Have an upvote. :)

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Anonymous Coward

When will corporates realise they are only providing services to a small fraction of their "customers"?

Surely you satisfy the majority first? The idiotphone users should come second?

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Anonymous Coward

The idiotphone users should come second

Behind what?

You can already do it on a desktop and last I looked, Apple was the next largest platform, and no I don't own one and have no intention to.

Andriod's all well and good (I own a Android tablet), but what version 2.2, 2.3. 4.0, 4.1 (lets not forget the 3.0's although most have)

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Anonymous Coward

" The idiotphone users should come second?"

They are, didn't you read the article?

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They did a full exhaustive market study of the 3 interns in the BBC coffee shop and discovered that 100% of the target demographic of middle class media studies students only use Apple.

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I have heard that, because of the diversity of Android hardware specs, testing software for it becomes a much more involved, longer, and (therefore) more expensive development/testing cycle than for iOS.

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Megaphone

People seem to have forgotten how stupidly the BBC tied themselves to Real media some years ago - where you had to download a ad and spyware infested piece of crap (or eventually hunt down the less horrendous version made specifically at the behest of the BBC that was hidden in a basement behind a sign saying "Beware of the Leopard") just to listen to audio clips, or streaming radio or news clips on the BBC website in Real Media format.

They don't seem to have learned their lesson.

Anyone with a brand new Jellybean Android device is SOL. But, meanwhile, the Beeb pander to Apple afficionados.

Frankly, it's just easier to pirate and take an end-route around their lack of giving a shit.

That's what they want right?

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Trollface

Android owners are freetards and google appears to only care about advertising dollars so you guys get ignored. Fandroids will just bitch anyway that it's not like their torrent based solution and tell the BBC to die so screw 'em

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At the time RM was the only practical solution.

el' Reg readers would have been equally annoyed if nothing was available for 3 years while they developed their own format - and the same people would be moaning about the millions being spent on a NIH solution when RM was available.

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Facepalm

Not this again!?

Why have they decided to only allow downloads over WiFi, without any way to allow you to switch 3G downloads on!

Like many that live "out in the sticks" I only have very limited DSL with no opportunity to get a service that doesn't have a very low usage cap. Yet I get great speed on my truly unlimited Three "one plan".

I have, however, found a work-around... If I enable the WiFi hotspot feature, the iPlayer sees that WiFi is active and downloads. I need to do checks to make sure that it really is using 3G for the download, but it seems to be.

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Re: Not this again!?

Grrr... doesn't actually use 3G for downloading, even when using as a personal hotspot

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Re: Not this again!?

Unless I have my laptop running Connectify, and go:

3G ----> iPhone --{USB}--> Laptop --{Connectify-WiFi}--> iPhone.

Then it does work!

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Obviously never to MediaCity then

watch them on the road, on the tube, on a plane.

You get a tram> to the new HQ!

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Re: Obviously never to MediaCity then

I don't think you can watch the new exciting dynamic multimedia customer output "product" on a tram - I think you are limited to Hovis commercials.

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Anonymous Coward

"content"? discontent

No, it lets you download telly, it seems. Weirdly, the option to do the same for radio programmes is missing. That's a shame, as it pretty much kills the appeal for me. I don't really mind that it doesn't work at all on current up to date Android, with that in mind.

(Too bad the BBC lawyergrammed "MyPlayer", which could download, and worked like a treat, for TV and radio, ages ago)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "content"? discontent

Google RadioDownloader

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Re: "content"? discontent

You might want to check out the BBC's wide selection of podcasts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "content"? discontent

Many things are not podcasted, mostly due to rights owners being cocks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "content"? discontent

Yeah, it's nice, but it's dependant on having a desktop in the mix, of course. The iPlayer downloader lets you grab something you want to see just before you leave for the plane/train/etc., without having to know what you fancy when you were last sitting at home in front of your PC.

If it just did radio too, it'd be excellent.

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Happy

Re: "content"? discontent

radiodownloader + dropbox + foldersync lite

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Re: "content"? discontent

Most of the radio programs are available as podcasts, so you can download them that way. On an iDevice you would use iTunes to download them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "content"? discontent

"Radio Downloader"

For time-shifting only of course.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "content"? discontent

Does get_iplayer not run on Android?

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Boffin

Re: "content"? discontent

With a little bit of shell scripting anything can be turned into a podcast!

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Anonymous Coward

30 days?

iPlayer = keep for 30 days

get_iplayer = keep forever

whistle whistle

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 30 days?

Much as I find get_iplayer useful, doesn't it rely on the "loophole" (AIUI) that iDevices have to be served un-DRMed MP4 videos of iPlayer content, and the script basically fools the server into thinking the script is an iThing, in order to receive said vids?

I just wondered whether this new iPlayer/iWotsit download arrangement will lead to a change to the MP4 provision - in all honesty, I'm surprised get_iplayer is still working (i.e. the loophole hasn't been removed) after all this time. Not that I mind, though...

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Re: 30 days?

The first rule of get_iplayer is that you don't talk about get_iplayer......

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Re: 30 days?

That is one of the options get_iplayer offers, but flashhd, when available, is the best quality for downloading, and flashvhigh which is pretty much always available is also better than the iPhone version. They use rtmpdump which fools the server into thinking it is Adobe Flash and downloads the stuff that way.

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@YAAC. Re: 30 days?

That's exactly what I was thinking. The only person I know that has it, apart from myself, is my girlfriend and she hasn't got a clue how to use it nor really any desire to, its just there for when I haven't got my laptop around. The more this useful little tool remains below the radar the better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 30 days?

Its hard not to talk about it though. It really is a useful little tool because it's the only way to actually watch iPlayer content on some older laptops due to the BBC's decision to use Flash.

These computers have usually got some underpowered Intel shared memory graphics solution and simply overheat after 15 minutes of watching any video full screen using a Flash player. This despite the fact they can play DVDs perfectly well. Get_iplayer allows me to stream an iPlayer programme directly into VLC where it will play smoothly without taxing the computer too much.

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Fair play

It's an overdue step in the right direction, for now I just use a HDR-FOX-T2 + Handbrake. In fact given the superior quality I think I'll just keep on using it.

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This is new?

only my old Samsung Wave has been downloading iplayer shows for the last 2 years

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Windows only originally.

When the BBC iPlayer was first introduced it was only available on Windows so why the sour grapes?

It'll be on all platforms shortly no doubt.

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Anonymous Coward

i™

Is there any connection between the BBC's player being called "iPlayer" (with that capitalisation) and the corporation's bias toward Apple products? Even their news service fawns all over Apple announcements, launches and speeches.

It just strikes me that were some small developer to have created a media player at the same time as the BBC and called it "iPlayer", they'd almost certainly have been swatted by Apple's lawyers. Yet the BBC use the name with no problems. Is there some kind of understanding between them?

iPlayer doesn't even sound like a BBC name, and isn't an interactive service. So why wasn't it called the "bbcPlay", "Watch Again" or something?

I'm really not bashing Apple, I'm honestly asking why the BBC are so biased toward Apple. They're currently investigating Chris Evans's radio show because he gave the current Prime Minister a lot of friendly air time a couple of weeks ago, and this looks like bias to many. And we all know what they're like at mentioning brand names too much, yet it seems Apple have a special dispensation, and can be plugged without limit.

The same goes for certain social networking sites, which over the last couple of years have been plugged endlessly, with many radio presenters being 'encouraged' to open an account if they haven't done so already. If a Radio 1 presenter opened a MySpace account today and started plugging it on air, they would without question be spoken to by the Controller and told not to mention it again. Because it's not the 'correct' site.

That is not impartiality.

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