“Could Project Kangaroo be stillborn? The commercial equivalent of the BBC iPlayer seems to be beset with difficulties, the latest of which has seen figurehead Ashley Highfield leave for a position heading up Microsoft’s UK web services across all platforms.”
In related news, a note on the BBC blog reveals significant progress bringing TV and radio show downloads on demand to the Linux platform. (BTW – anyone notice that this is embedded iPlayer content…)
The BBC’s announcement last week that it will allow users to download television programmes from iPlayer direct to their mobile handsets, via a wireless internet connection or “over the air” is based on a series of deals with technology and licensing companies CMLA, CoreMedia and Intertrust.
As a result the BBC is now allowed to use OMA DRM 2.0, a digital rights management protection system developed by the Open Mobile Alliance and offer audiences the ability to download television programmes from BBC iPlayer directly to their mobile device.
The BBC has announced that content downloaded to Windows Media PCs using its iPlayer service can now be side-loaded to a growing family of compatible devices – and stormed at Apple’s reluctance to share its DRM as reason for the lack of feature parity for Mac and iPhone users.
The news means video can be played on any mobile device that supports Windows Media digital rights management. The BBC has assembled a list of compatible devices.
To use the feature users simply select a new ‘for media players’ option when downloading content using the iPlayer service, it can then be pulled across to the device. The BBC will in future iPlayer content available for the Nokia N96.
You can listen to radio shows up to seven days after they were broadcast. Shows are made available in MP3 format, compressed to 128kb/s, and listeners must have a WiFi connection active in order to download the shows.
The BBC’s Mark Friend (Controller, Multiplatform & Interactive, Audio & Music Interactive) observed, “One of the secrets of radio’s success has been the ability to listen to it while you’re on the move.
Speaking to Jeremy Kirk, he promised the broadcaster would continue to innovate its service, introducing new social networking features soon to make the whole experience of TV-watching online a more collaborative experience.
“”Last year, the BBC chose what you watched,” Rose said. “This year, you choose what you want, and next year your friends will help you pick what you want to watch.”
Facing increasing competition in the market, online video service, Joost, has opted to dump its desktop client, reinventing itself as a cross-platform browser plug-in.
Joost was the brainchild of Skype/Kazaa co-founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström. At its inception the service aimed to distribute TV shows and other video content online using its own proprietary peer-to-peer technology.
iPlayer is already available through devices including the iPhone, Wii, PS3 and via Virgin Media, now Nokia has collaborated with the BBC to build an application which will let N96 users both download and stream iPlayer content over both 3G and Wi-Fi.
Enabling over the air show downloads is likely to be a plus for potential N96 purchasers – that and the up to 24GB capacity of the device. Even the iPhone can’t access BBC shows over 3G…
BBC Four, CBBC and CBeebies will be available to watch live online from 16 September 2008, Jana Bennett, Director of BBC Vision, announced today.
The channels join BBC Three and BBC News which are already simulcast, and can be watched online via their channel sites on bbc.co.uk through a wide range of internet enabled devices and also using iPlayer (available on a computer and a range of other devices, including the ever-popular iPhone).
Anthony Rose, former Kazaa technology chief and now head of the BBC’s iPlayer team was interviewed by Andrew Keen for the Independent last month. Here’s what Rose had to say.
Thanks to BBC for the heads-up.