Recent posts in my iPlayer Category

March 30, 2010

Why the BBC Trust simply had to examine the BBC's iPhone plans

The decision of the BBC Trust to examine whether the BBC's iPhone application plans need further regulatory oversight is the right one, and the only that could have been made.

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December 16, 2008

Reflections on the BBC Internet Blog's "iPlayer day"

Last week's iPlayer Day on the BBC Internet Blog illustrated some of the tensions that still exist between 'corporate' and 'personal' blogging. After the event both Nick Reynolds and Dave Lee have blogged about what they thought well and what didn't. However, both these posts have appeared on their 'personal' blogs, rather than surfacing on the BBC Internet Blog itself. Nick's post at least featured on the blog's linkroll, but Dave's is yet to surface. On the day itself I...
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February 12, 2008

Measuring the iPlayer impact on broadband usage

There was an interesting piece on the new-look online Guardian yesterday about how the better than expected take-up of the streaming version of the iPlayer was putting undue strain on Britain's broadband infrastructure - "What is the true market impact of the BBCi iPlayer?" Steve Hewlett points out some flaws with the original market impact assesment as part of the regulatory process for approving the iPlayer - the Public Value Test - because it did not rigorously enough examine the...
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January 2, 2008

Top Gear the second most popular downloaded TV show on BitTorrent

Yesterday TorrentFreak published an end of year round-up of Top 10 Most Pirated Movies and TV Shows of 2007. Nestling in amongst the usual suspect at #2 in the TV chart was the BBC's Top Gear. Top 10 TV downloads - Most popular episode on Mininova 1. Heroes (2,439,154) 2. Top Gear (1,217,923) 3. Battlestar Galactica (706,209) 4. Lost (705,724) 5. Prison Break (608,487) 6. Desperate Housewives (457,805) 7. 24 (524,303) 8. Family Guy (522,839) 9. Dexter (435,670) 10. Scrubs...
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November 2, 2007

Busting the BBC's 600 Linux users myth

It seems my ex-boss Ashley Highfield dropped a bit of a clanger this week with a claim that amongst's 17 million or so users, 5% of them use Macs, but only about 400 to 600 users run Linux. The Linux community has been spluttering with outrage at the low figure given, and there is already a group on Facebook with the aim of collecting more than 600 members who run Linux and visit the BBC website to prove the...
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August 20, 2007

My Sony and BBC Wikipedia editing shame

There has been quite a fuss this week about edits made to Wikipedia from within the BBC. Changing George Walker Bush to George Wanker Bush using a BBC IP address is pretty damn stupid, but writing an article accusing other organisations of manipulating Wikipedia in a bad way, without first checking whether you had your own IP address related skeletons in the closet was even sillier. The story feeds wonderfully into the paranoia of those who believe the BBC is...
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August 10, 2007

Using the BBC iPlayer outside of the UK

This article doesn't explain how to use the iPlayer from outside the UK, it is about what happened in 2007 when the iPlayer was first launched and the BBC thought you were outside the UK. An official international version of the BBC iPlayer is now available. I was hoping this week to be able to write a piece about how the BBC's iPlayer beta performed when I took it out of the country on my laptop. I was all geared...
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August 7, 2007

Why doesn't the BBC iPlayer system tray icon use native Windows UI elements?

Well, it's been mostly iPlayer this and iPlayer that around here recently, and today is no different - and this time I have a bit of a user experience gripe. The iPlayer library software does something that really annoys me on Windows machines - not taking advantage fully of the common native UI elements. One of the reasons that any OS like Windows or a Mac OS has a standard set of UI elements is so that they can...
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August 6, 2007

5 quick usability wins for the BBC iPlayer beta trial installation process

Having spent two of the last three weeks sitting very near to the iPlayer development team in the BBC's Future Media and Technology department in White City, I'm aware that there is no shortage of people telling them what they ought to have done with the product. And that is both outside and inside the BBC. From the Open Source Consortium's 'rip it up and use video codec DIRAC instead' vote, to Guardian journalists patiently explaining to commentators on their...
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August 2, 2007

BBC iPlayer search plugin for Internet Explorer and Firefox, and an iPlayer Google Toolbar button

  BBC iPlayer  [Add this search to your browser]   BBC iPlayer custom Google Toolbar button  [Add this button to your Google Toolbar] Today I've added an OpenSearch plugin and Google Toolbar button for the BBC's iPlayer to the list of plugins and widgets you can download from this site. Since both the OpenSearch standard and the Google Toolbar standard are cross-platform, it means that this iPlayer search plugin should work in Internet Explorer 7 and above, and in Firefox 2 and above....
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July 30, 2007

Sense of humour failure as my iPlayer comment is re-written by The Telegraph

Over the last couple of months I've been very impressed with the development of The Telegraph's site, particularly their user engagement and blogging. I've signed up to the My Telegraph service, and was just actually going to set up my My Telegraph space properly today, when all that good work by the paper so far came to a shuddering halt. When I logged into my page I saw a list of my recent comments on The Telegraph site. At the...
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July 28, 2007

ITV advertise using the keyword 'iPlayer' on Google and Yahoo!

Well, here's one amusing thing that I didn't predict about the day of the BBC's iPlayer software launch. Early yesterday morning, ITV - or someone making mischief on their behalf - were buying up keywords on Google and Yahoo! related to the BBC iPlayer, to trumpet their own streaming on demand service. Boasting that there was no software to download, there seemed to be two or three variations of the advert, which stopped appearing around lunchtime. Some BBC properties, like...
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July 17, 2007

BBC iPlayer launch: The first 14 days

With just ten days to go until the launch of the BBC's much anticipated iPlayer software, I thought I would gaze into my crystal ball and predict what the first two weeks hold for the software... Day #1: iPlayer launches Day #2: The press reports that the BBC website 'crashed' due to demand for the iPlayer, because someone emailed someone at The Telegraph saying they couldn't download it over their dial-up connection. A BBC 'source' is quoted as saying that...
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June 13, 2007

Free the BBC from the same old tired DRM debate

I was pointed via Wonderland yesterday at the Free The BBC site, where a petition is gathering against the BBC's proposed use of DRM in the upcoming iPlayer application. And of course, a quick look shows that this has sparked the same tired circular arguments on the mailing list. One person has been arguing that DRM is a bad thing because their sister accidentally wiped clean their iPod, whilst someone else is claiming the only basis for the BBC's...
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April 30, 2007

Peter from Spalding is not impressed by the BBC Trust's iPlayer approval

The torturous path to the BBC actually launching the long-awaited iPlayer got a little shorter with the announcement that the BBC Trust has approved the plans. This hasn't impressed everybody though. Faced with the ability to download TV programmes from the last 7 days over the internet for free, with 30 days to watch the files, Peter from Spalding was less than happy. He had the honour of being the first, and at the time of writing this, so...
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March 6, 2007

The depressing DRM debates on the BBC's mailing list

Since the announcement that the BBC's iPlayer would contain elements of Microsoft's DRM, and that any forthcoming versions for the Apple or Linux OS would also need to incoporate some type of DRM, a debate has been raging on the mailing list. Opinion is broadly split into two camps. There are those who understand that in order to facilitate any kind of on demand service, the BBC needs to protect the interests of the rights-owners involved in making...
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February 7, 2007

OFCOM and the BBC Trust do not appear to have heard of games

If you've carefully read through the documents published in the last weeks by the BBC Trust and OFCOM about the BBC's proposed on demand services and the iPlayer, you'd be forgiven for misunderstanding one large element of the home entertainment landscape in the UK. OFCOM, in particular, look at several major media formats in the UK, and the iPlayer's potential impact on consumption, on secondary rights sales, and on innovation and investment in nascent markets. The BBC Trust for their...
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February 6, 2007

Can we really quantify how much 'free' TV downloads distort the value of the market?

With the release last week of the BBC Trust's provisional findings into the proposed iPlayer on demand service, there has been a lot of focus in the places where I hang out online on the market impact of downloads and piracy. After several attempts over the last few months, I resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to be online long enough to BitTorrent down the Season 2 box sets of 'Lost' and 'Desperate Housewives'. Realising that...
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February 5, 2007

The BBC's definition of "stackable series" in the iPlayer doesn't make commercial sense to me

I mentioned in my previous post about the iPlayer that I found I could not agree with everything that had been said by the BBC Trust in their proposed approval of the BBC's new on demand services, nor with all of OFCOM's submission about the potential market impact of the service. One area where I find the BBC Trust's decision mystifying is on the issue of series stacking. They have decided to divide BBC programming into series which can be...
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February 2, 2007

The BBC iPlayer's odd bookmarking restriction

At the weekend I bumped into an ex-colleague from the BBC at Stansted Airport, and one of the things we chatted about was the iPlayer project that they were working on - so I was even more interested than usual this week when the BBC Trust announced their preliminary findings about the BBC's proposed on demand services. Whilst I can't say I agree with all of the restrictions that are being proposed for the service, nor with the whole of...
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