Tag Archives: iplayer

iPlayer redux

Talking of unintelligent design, I finally got round to trying to make iPlayer work today. Waste of time.

First of all, I tried opening it in Firefox, only to have it inform me that it only works on IE. Then I opened it on IE, only to be told it only works with Media Player, which I have, but it didn’t recognise. Much faffing about with crappy, slow, buggly Microsoftware later, and I finally got the site at least talking to me, and the crucial actual iPlayer sofware downloaded (which appears to be little more than a DRM interface to stop Media Player playing things it shouldn’t be – and this took years of development?!).

So, anyway, I finally got to look around, picked a couple of programmes to watch (coverage of Gordon Brown’s statement on constitutional reform wouldn’t even download – clearly the programme couldn’t cope with the demand), downloaded them, pressed play…

… only to be told I didn’t have a license to watch them (which I do, by the way). Big floppy donkey dicks.


I was expecting the BBC’s new iPlayer to have launched by the time I returned from my hols, thus allowing me to catch up on Heroes. Instead, it would appear they have little more than a beta version (how long has this thing been in development? Certainly long enough to produce an omega version!), which the main BBC website doesn’t link to, but Google does, and that when I register to subscribe to, it doesn’t send me a confirmation email. And that’s ignoring the fact that it doesn’t run on Macs, or even Windows Vista.

I find it truly extraordinary that the BBC can’t produce a service that Channel 4 and even ITV have been doing for ages now. No doubt the predictable excuse will be “we didn’t get a high enough license fee in the charter negotiations” – as per. Doesn’t all this rather suggest that the license fee is holding the BBC back?

UPDATE: As Ryan predicted below, I’ve now had a confirmation email from the BBC. When I next have access to a PC, I’ll have a look.