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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  1. Paw Bokenfohr

    On a plane?

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

    1. Test Man
      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.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        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.

        1. Fibbles

          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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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...

    1. mark1978

      Re: Not quite the first

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

    2. CABVolunteer
      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.

  3. AdamT

    "Soon" ?

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Test Man
        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).

        1. Bit Brain

          Re: "Soon" ?

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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strange, the article

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

    Never ?

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Strange, the article

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

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        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.

        1. Armando 123
          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.)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        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.

        1. BorkedAgain
          Happy

          Re: Strange, the article - @ Jack Bodiless

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

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " The idiotphone users should come second?"

      They are, didn't you read the article?

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      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.

    4. Armando 123

      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.

    5. bluest.one
      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?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        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.

    6. toadwarrior
      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

  6. GettinSadda
    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.

    1. GettinSadda
      Thumb Down

      Re: Not this again!?

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

      1. GettinSadda
        Thumb Up

        Re: Not this again!?

        Unless I have my laptop running Connectify, and go:

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

        Then it does work!

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Obviously never to MediaCity then

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

    You get a tram> to the new HQ!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      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.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    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)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "content"? discontent

      Google RadioDownloader

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      2. Platelet
        Happy

        Re: "content"? discontent

        radiodownloader + dropbox + foldersync lite

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "content"? discontent

        "Radio Downloader"

        For time-shifting only of course.

    2. Chris 3

      Re: "content"? discontent

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "content"? discontent

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

        1. David Cantrell
          Boffin

          Re: "content"? discontent

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

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "content"? discontent

      Does get_iplayer not run on Android?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    30 days?

    iPlayer = keep for 30 days

    get_iplayer = keep forever

    whistle whistle

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: 30 days?

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

        1. Shades

          @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.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        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.

  10. Ali on the Reg

    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.

  11. lemmac

    This is new?

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

  12. Divney Mathers

    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.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: i™

      Don't forget, the BBC were for many decades completely biased towards PAL instead of NTSC and SECAM. Now it's DVB. It's almost as if they care more about supplying useful services than about their impartiality remit. Root of all evil if you ask me.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: i™

        PAL is the standard in Britain and it's the British Broadcasting Corporation.

        I think saying they are biased toward PAL is like saying that London transport is biased to driving on the left.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: i™

          Re: Yet Another Anonymous coward

          Whoosh!

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: i™

            Arrgggghhhhhh ..........

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: i™

      Funny, thought Windows was the 1st platform to get iPlayer....

      as for the "i" surely PocketPC should of been the 1st with the iPaq....

      1. Test Man
        WTF?

        Re: i™

        Should of? Should have? Why should the PocketPC be the first? Is this some sort of bragging rights that PocketPC ought to have?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: i™

      Dealing with the bbc day in and out, they are full of middle/upper class morons who have no idea what they are doing especially in the development side of things, its all about the shinny aspect for them and apple stuff is seen as status, even if they dont know how to use it properly.

    4. OSC

      Re: i™"This is not impartiality" <- FWIW

      BBC and Apple: http://www.opensourceconsortium.org/content/view/211/1/

  14. Greg 24
    Holmes

    Saw it here first

    So this has been available on various mobiles for nearly 4years, but now it's on iPhone it's being announced as if it's a new media dawn for mobiles? Wait for more cries of Android copying iphone once it's out on that platform too...

  15. Ripperroo
    Mushroom

    we dont care that apple has this feature, android has bittorrent

    so the bbc has finally woken up to the limitations of mobile services, shame they are only doing it for apple devices but I suppose as bittorrent is probably not available on that platform it's good that they have another option.

  16. Mark Major
    Stop

    Fanbois

    Please, please, could The Register stop using this word? I am no Apple fan - and it used to make for funny reading BUT. But years later, while it seems to me that many readers have even grown a bit bored and intollerant of the endless cycle of Apple/Windows/Linux wars in the comments, The Register still seem to do a 'Search and Replace' on every article to get this word in somewhere? It's getting very old and dull!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only some fanbois

    since the appstore gives me the brush off with a "This app requires iOS 5.1" message

  18. Chris Miller

    For non-iStuff users

    get_iplayer

    That is all.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ITV plans?

    ITV makes plans? I thought things just happened to them.

  20. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Come on BBC rather than improving iPlayer for iOS get a version of the iplayer for Android that doesn't require flash, the 3rd party apps Myplayer and Beebplayer managed it years ago but the BBC are dragging their heels even lobbing Adobe to put Flash back on Google play just so they don't need to update the Android version.

  21. h3

    When it comes to Jelly Bean and flash support - All I know is my Xoom with stock US rom still has the old style browser with jellybean 4.1.1 (So flash works fine - annoying thing is it is not in the market so you have to keep it upto date manually which is a security risk).

  22. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Hmm... this _is_ 2012

    At least in Germany you can get sub 60 Euro DVB-S2 receivers which will happily record BBC One HD for you in perfect quality on any USB mass storage device you can think of. Sure such devices must be available in the UK. If not you can always mailorder from other countries. (Keep away from HD+ or CI+, those are the few which actually encrypt their content on USB disks)

    So the average not to smart user could simply record it onto a micro-SD card, pop that into their mobile device and off they go.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Hmm... this _is_ 2012

      The BBC are working on a regional coding system which will allow only "Dad's Army" and "Allo Allo" to be recorded in Germany.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suprised? not...

    BBC are the biggest bunch of clueless iTards going. They are too busy playing on their iDevices in wine bars to notice the world has moved on.

    Thank goodness for Bittorrent. It's like iPlayer but without the restrictions.

    When will these people learn, until they offer a credible and convenient method to use stuff WE own (and I class paying my UK license fee as giving me unlimited viewing of BBC content), then people will use P2P networks instead.

    1. the-it-slayer

      Re: Suprised? not...

      Shame the source of BBC content has been killed for your precious torrents.

      Anyway, if you pay premium, you get things first (generally). Also, the Apple product line is probably the least complicated to code for (with the endless list of custom Android devices to support).

      Makes sense. No icon because this post makes sense.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Suprised? not...

      No, they aren't. They have internal cross-platform tech that leaves the iPlayer in the dust, but while they're trapped between the lawyers and the no-nothing loudmouth gobshites such as yourself, it will never be allowed to be rolled out to the public.

      There are nice things, but many people can't have them. One of those people is you, and having seen the drivel that you just posted, I am not sorry.

  24. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Biased bbc

      >The bbc are completely biased towards the left.

      You see "antiques in the attic in the house in the country challenge" as a savage indictment of bourgeois capitalism ?

  25. toadwarrior
    Thumb Up

    Fandroids are a bunch of thieving freetards. I don't blame the BBC for ignoring their platform.

  26. Wild Bill
    Holmes

    Morse

    Why would anyone want to buy a digital episode of Inspector Morse for 99p when they can get an episode on DVD, plus a magazine and ring binder for only £5.99 each month?

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