BBC iPlayer for Apple iPhone, iPod touch is a winner

“We knew this day would come, but didn’t quite expect it so soon. The BBC iPlayer is now available as a beta for the iPhone and iPod touch. Streaming only, mind,” Dan Grabham reports for TechRadar.

MacDailyNews Take: Surely Dan’s heard this one before, but, since we’re feeling a bit playful as we wait for Wall Street to figure out the implications of what Apple did yesterday (it’ll probably take ’em awhile) and to beat Ampar to the punch: Were Dan’s ancestors pig rustlers?

Grabham continues, “‘We’re creating 516Kbps streams (400Kbps H.264 video, 116Kbps AAC audio) that show off BBC programmes brilliantly on an iPhone,’ says Anthony Rose, head of Digital Media Technologies at the BBC in a blog post about the launch.”

“So what’s it like to use? Well firstly, you’ll need a Wi-Fi connection. It won’t work over anything else,” Grabham explains. “It has to be said that quality is excellent, both visually and surprisingly in terms of sound… If you exit the programme at any stage to check your mail or make a call, the vid will resume at the same place – very handy. If a call comes in, you can start the video at the same place by clicking play after the call has ended.”

Grabham reports, “One problem with the decidedly beta release of the iPlayer for iPhone is the lack of programming available in the new encoding. That’s something which will obviously change.”

More in the full article here.

Chris Williams reports for The Register, “We’ve had a quick look on our iPod Touch via the office Wi-Fi, and it’s the closest thing to watchable mobile TV we’ve yet seen, so thumbs up from us.”

“It’s worth noting again the BBC’s deal with The Cloud means there’ll be free access across thousands of public locations too,” Williams reports.

Full article here.

The Beeb’s Anthony Rose offers a behind-the-scenes look at BBC iPlayer on Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch here.

The BBC iPlayer site:


  1. Any BBC iPlayer outside the UK would be a paid for or subscription service. UK Households pay for a Television license and this is why the service is a: free and b: currently restricted to the UK.

    Those of use lucky enough to have a VPN connection to a UK based server can of course use the system for “free”.

    NB I do not as a network admin advocate this as a good practice or indeed use for VPN ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Note to BBC: I live in the US. Since I have a half hour train ride to work, I greatly enjoy watching Doctor Who, Torchwood and Ashes to Ashes on my iPhone. Right now I download them from usenet and covert them for the iPhone (btw, love those dual core Intel processors for video conversion — iSquint converts an hour TV show AVI to a iPhone-compatible MP4 in like 7-8 minutes on my 24″ iMac) and you don’t get a cent–or a pence for that matter. Howzabout making iPlayer available in the US for a fee? At least when I used to watch Doctor Who on the old PBS station (anyone remember Doctor Who on Channel 2 in Miami?) when I was kid you were getting paid by the local station….

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