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BBC To Launch Music Download Store

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the cat-detector-van dept.

The Media 107

Jackson writes "According to a post on Cnet today, the BBC is working on a paid-for download, and ad-supported streaming music store, making available its entire archive of music recorded at BBC studios for TV and radio. The venture has major label backing and is rumoured to be launching next year. More interesting still is that the service will be run by BBC Worldwide — the commercial arm of the BBC — meaning downloads are likely to be available to the entire world, not just the UK. Beatles radio sessions, anyone?"

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Publicly funded? (4, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864377)

The thing I don't understand is this...

If the BBC is publicly funded by the British people, why the hell are they charging for their content? Isn't that a bit absurd?

Same thing goes for PBS here in the States, though I've got slightly (very slightly) more ambivalence towards them because they receive such a minuscule amount from the government and they are always stretched on budget. But still, PBS shouldn't be charging for content...

Re:Publicly funded? (2, Funny)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864395)

You wouldn't pay for Mr. Rogers on Demand?

Re:Publicly funded? (2, Funny)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864413)

Not if I'm the one paying for those damn sweaters! (Yes, I donate to PBS as well as pay taxes)

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864401)

Sorry, replying to my own post here, but my final point meant to say ...

"But still, neither PBS nor BBC should be charging for content..."

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Saint Gerbil (1155665) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865099)

I'm fine with them charging for content they have been selling DVD's and Video's for years. I just think they should reduce the cost of the TV licence rather than expand their services most of which very few people use.

Re:Publicly funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864409)

To keep my TV licence down?

Sounds fair to me.

Re:Publicly funded? (5, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864459)

Hmm, but would you want your taxes/gifts/donations etc going towards royalties to some music company? I would presume that the BBC doesnt have complete control over some, or most of the music they would be distributing.

And on the other side, if they can make more money from this, it means they can A: put their normal funding to better use, or B: not use as much.

However, having it ad-funded, will inevitably make the advertisers have more control over its existance.

And as for PBS, I think they should be allowed to charge for content in certain cases, like VHS/DVD/CD copies of shows as they have already put their income into making the show, not duplication and distribution of discs.

Re:Publicly funded? (5, Informative)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864497)

Seems you're right about ownership of the archive:

"BBC Worldwide has already struck a deal with EMI to use the Corporationâ(TM)s archive of recordings by the majorâ(TM)s artists and it is understood to be in talks with the other three majors about reaching similar agreements."

Re:Publicly funded? (0, Troll)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866655)

The same EMI who dared to sell copy protected CDs on certain areas of planet which they think they are likely to rip their content. Speaking about racial profiling and discrimination.

If there are people hoping it will be an international store which you may use just because it is "BBC Worldwide", don't hope too much.

I don't understand why companies try so hard to drive people to piracy.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864645)

I guess it was easier for them to issue a blanket charge instead of trying to suss out between stuff they own the whole copyright to (which is funded by the British "telly tax"), and stuff that they only have partial copyright to (e.g. stuff they hired an outside artist or corp to compose and produce).

Still dumb, but that's what happens when a multi-billion-pound corporation gets lazy.

/P

Re:Publicly funded? (2, Interesting)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864827)

Well don't rule it out entirely, the deals arent all set yet... I dont see why they couldnt have the normal ad-funded stuff Mon-Sat, and then maybe the (entirely hassle/ads) free stuff on Sunday, or an entire station(s) devoted to the free stuff, I'm sure that whatever archives they have are already fairly well split into one pile or another, the "safe for anything" and the "check the rights" before playing piles, not very hard to go from there.

Re:Publicly funded? (3, Insightful)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864665)

You say that you're in the US, so you're not funding them; they certainly have the right to charge you.

As for charging the British... well, this certainly doesn't sound like something that comes under the remit of the TV license fee, so charging users is the only other way to get funding for it.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

seriesrover (867969) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864939)

You say that you're in the US, so you're not funding them.

Actually we in the US are funding them, but I suspect to much lesser degree. PBS (who in part get funded by the US taxpayer) buys the rights to view BBC content.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865019)

Actually, the Beeb does get money from the US viewer: BBC America (among others) is considered a semi-premium channel in most cable and satellite packages, which means the rights are paid for by either Cable/Sat corp or by the viewer directly. Also, there are some rather distinctly American-oriented commercials (for instance: how many UK car commercials tout miles-per-gallon fuel efficiencies, and displays the sales prices in dollars?)

/P

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

DevonBorn (975502) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865363)

I have a feeling that we still use miles-per-gallon over here. We're not completely metric yet. It's just a slightly bigger gallon. You're right about the dollars bit though.

Re:Publicly funded? (4, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865683)

Also, there are some rather distinctly American-oriented commercials (for instance: how many UK car commercials tout miles-per-gallon fuel efficiencies, and displays the sales prices in dollars?)

The big difference here is that there are *no* adverts on the BBC TV or radio channels *at all*...

Yup, no adverts. You know that TV Licence we pay? Well, you know how it's quite a lot less than you pay for cable or satellite in the US? We don't get adverts on our BBC channels. Doesn't it suck to *pay* to watch TV and still get bombarded with ads?

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865971)

Actually, we still have local broadcast channels that cost nothing - perfectly free. The Portland Metro (Oregon) area has about six or seven of them.

/P

Re:Publicly funded? (2, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866171)

Actually, we still have local broadcast channels that cost nothing - perfectly free. The Portland Metro (Oregon) area has about six or seven of them.

Do they have adverts?

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24868061)

Most do, some do not. And overall, to be honest, I'll take the adverts over having to pay for the privilege of owning a television, and paying up by governmental force. It's drop-easy to excise them from my computer (or skip right past them with the DVR), where at least I still have a choice in the matter.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24869239)

No ad tv, [more] right to privacy and encryption (granted, we'll be at or below a UK level soon enough)...a personal choice. I prefer the former. Don't fault anyone who prefers the latter though.

Re:Publicly funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24870483)

Yup, no adverts. You know that TV Licence we pay? Well, you know how it's quite a lot less than you pay for cable or satellite in the US? We don't get adverts on our BBC channels. Doesn't it suck to *pay* to watch TV and still get bombarded with ads?

And you also have several broadcast stations that do show ads, and which to my taste have more entertaining programming (certainly the best of British comedy.) Is it possibly to opt out of the TV license so that you don't get BBC but do get those? Didn't think so.

You also have Sky TV and other pay services just like cable in the US, so that argument means nothing.

There's also the school of thought that a reasonable amount of advertising to subsidize "free" programming isn't that bad of a system. It isn't exactly cheap to create and broadcast a TV show, after all.

My point? I don't really have one, but your smugness irritates me.

Re:Publicly funded? (2, Insightful)

M-RES (653754) | more than 5 years ago | (#24871973)

The Licence fee covers all BBC services available to the UK (which doesn't include BBC America as far as I'm aware, and only recently included BBC World Service), and as part of the deal the BBC aren't allowed to sell advertising space on any BBC branded channels.

It's great for films as you can sit down and watch uninterrupted, but as some have pointed out, you have no choice in paying this 'tax' if you own any equipment capable of receiving BBC channels whether you watch them or not, which is totally unfair.

What's even more annoying is that old BBC shows are aired on the UKTV range of 're-run' channels inc Dave (formerly UKTV Gold) UKTV Food, UKTV History, UKTVG2, UKTV Style etc etc etc, but these channels have quite a LOT of advertising. In keeping with the BBC charter the channels have their own distinct branding which is completely separate to the BBC's, but I still find it annoying that these channels are broadcasting programmes the British public have already paid for as an outlet to sell advertising for additional revenue. I don't know the state of the accounts for these channels, but if they return a profit then surely that money should be issued back to the license-fee payer as a rebate on the following year's programme-making.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#24873173)

Yup, no adverts. You know that TV Licence we pay? Well, you know how it's quite a lot less than you pay for cable or satellite in the US? We don't get adverts on our BBC channels. Doesn't it suck to *pay* to watch TV and still get bombarded with ads?

Whilst the BBC can be pretty good with no adverts (well, if you ignore all the self-promotion for BBC material they still do), the problem is that if you do want other cable or satellite TV channels (since the BBC don't show everything), you still have to pay for them, and watch the adverts - and you have to pay the TV licence fee on top (even if you don't watch the BBC - it's mandatory so long as you watch any TV, even online).

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#24875045)

if you do want other cable or satellite TV channels

But I don't, because they're all shit. And they have loud, intrusive adverts, which only adds to the shitness.

Re:Publicly funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24866021)

Mile per gallon? Most of them - that's how most of us think still. The difference is just the definition of a gallon. Ours are larger. :)

What I'm more baffled about is commercials on the beeb at all - none of Auntie's channels are supposed to carry them, which is the justification for the license fee in the first place. I guess you get the ads because you don't get the fee. :)

Re:Publicly funded? (3, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864843)

That's why it's being put under BBC Worldwide. They claim British money doesn't go into the Worldwide portion so they can do what they like.

However I don't buy that the worldwide unit doesn't get any benefit from the tv licence. Hell, the fact it was British licence money that funded those records means that we've paid for them to have those recordings and now we're going to get charged again if we want something from there.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864859)

I which I could edit my reply but anyway...

Another reason for those is that they don't have to support Linux or Mac since it won't use tax payer money. I suspect this will be a windows thing.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865715)

They don't really support Mac and Linux now, and haven't (that I can remember). Even before the advent of iPlayer, radio was available via WMP or *shudder* Realplayer.

But the tech which "supports" Mac and Linux now is what they'd have done anyway if they only supported Windows.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866639)

... radio was available via WMP or *shudder* Realplayer.

But the tech which "supports" Mac and Linux now is what they'd have done anyway if they only supported Windows.

Realplayer has always supported mac and as both wmp and realplayer have fairly widely used codecs getting either to play under linux has never been a problem (realmedia may even be avalible on linux (not that id touch the thing)

as for the current iplayer, as a linux user and a British citizen i realize that they have other priorities but i am happy to use the flash or script versions until work on the mac & linux versions is complete.

Re:Publicly funded? (3, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866821)

Funny that you mention you wouldn't touch such a thing (Realplayer Linux) while it is the cleanest, best performing Real player on the internet which you can actually build right away from source (Helix Community).

OS X version which has been always praised is the closest thing to Realplayer Linux, it is built on Helix Code/Cocoa Frameworks such as Webkit.

The baseless "hate" against Real Player as they are clean for years gives those MS bribed officials ideas of WMP only streaming etc. They think "Oh they hate Real anyway" as someone will of course question the choice of WMP while Real is available to anything you can imagine.

Also let me be the one to say as a OS X user. Flip4Mac can't and will NEVER do WMedia DRM. If BBC chooses WMA/DRM, say bye to your Mac streaming and install Bootcamp or Parallels ;)

They gave up perfectly working real/embedded for Flash/download and act like streaming. Do you know the result? My Mac Mini G4 connected to HDTV can't show BBC embedded video anymore.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24870941)

There are two issues with Realplayer:

The codec is proprietary, so Helix player cannot actually be used to play the content.

The current Linux version does not work with Pulseaudio, which many distros are moving to and which seems to be the future of Linux audio.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24873003)

The baseless "hate" against Real Player as they are clean for years gives those MS bribed officials ideas of WMP only streaming etc.

shut it macboy, the hate against realplayer is because it bombards you with ads and writes itself to your start up services (on windows machines) and is generally an anoying piece of crap.

Funny that you mention you wouldn't touch such a thing (Realplayer Linux) while it is the cleanest, best performing Real player on the internet which you can actually build right away from source (Helix Community).

There is realplayer for linux, but last time i used it it was just as bad as the windows version.
As for the helix player is an open source player that last time i checked could NOT support realplayer.

They think "Oh they hate Real anyway" as someone will of course question the choice of WMP while Real is available to anything you can imagine.

thus proving that the BBC did support everything by streaming in realplayer. The truth is tho that WMA is much better supported on most OSes than realplayer.

They gave up perfectly working real/embedded for Flash/download and act like streaming.

Nope the as of 14:57GMT realmedia is still alive at the BBC for all radio streams. the choice of flash only for tv streams is disappointing but given the success of flash vs alternative video formats on the web i cant really hate them for it, i just hope that the download option for mac/linux comes sooner rather than later.

Re:Publicly funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24872155)

Yes, the flash version is far better than the alternative - Silverlight.

Have you tried using ITV's on-demand service. It uses MS Silverlight for Win & OS X (sorry Linux... no support atm AFAIK, which I find insulting). The OS X version of the Silverlight player plugin is absolute pants! The streaming playback is jerky and sometimes unwatchable. When you view it full screen you lose all controls (not even accessible by moving the mouse) until you Esc out of it, so you can't pause/rewind/skip in full screen. The audio is horribly over-compressed and sounds like you're watching AquaphibianTV inside a glass bottle. In comparison the BBC's iPlayer service running Flash video is smooth as a baby's behind - fast playback, relatively glitch-free and audio that's totally acceptible (oh, and viewable in fullscreen with complete control).

Re:Publicly funded? (3, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865497)

Hell, the fact it was British licence money that funded those records means that we've paid for them

I suspect BBC Worldwide will pay the BBC for a license to sell this content.

Re:Publicly funded? (2, Interesting)

seriesrover (867969) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864883)

You could also point out why should one pay full retail cost for BBC DVDs etc. At the end of the day, whether these things are covered or not under the TV license, the *real* cost of operating the BBC is what they're trying to cover. In my view the TV license covers basic tv viewing (and radio); everything else has to get paid for somehow. Actually I think the TV license is a pretty outdated model when you consider how things have changed over 20 years with VHS \ DVD \ internet.

overlords (1)

symes (835608) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865135)

I, for one, am proud of my BBC overlords - for a small(ish) fee I get a bunch of fairly devent radio and tv stations. Best of all, the BBC offers an ad-free haven in this increasingly ad saturated world. The BBC also sells a bunch of magazines, so there's an existing model for the BBC charging for some content at least and, seeing as the BBC does not own all the songs in their archive the choice to charge is not there's. There will be some music that is owned by the BBC so perhaps some will be free.

Re:Publicly funded? (2, Insightful)

azadder (1118711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865169)

The content may be free.

They could be charging for the continued storage and bandwidth needed to capacitate the service.

In that way, the service could be self-supporting (as in not requiring more funding from outside sources to run).

Or at least, that's what I hope (seeing as no pricing information was given).

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865241)

The BBC may have produced the recordings, but the compositions are copyrighted, generally by the artist's label under contract. I record live bands all the time, and I own the recordings, but I can't sell them without the consent of whoever wrote the songs.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865685)

Why should the British people give things away for free outside Britain?

Besides, the BBC don't own everything that has been produced or broadcast by them. Often the institution is supposed to provide a platform for young talents to develop (e.g. world class comedy) or generate high quality news and current affairs reporting (which *is* given away free globally).

I'm not a huge fan of the license fee; there doesn't seem to be much public service broadcasting at the moment and the news does get a bit of a pro-Labour bias at the moment (which is quite an achievement, really). But I can't chose to stop paying for it and still watch TV, as I can (and do) for ITV.

Because it costs too much to police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24871843)

Not policing it will not cannibalise sales. Release under non commercial creative commons and if someone wants to SELL it, they have to pay for a license.

But it costs to police, even if nobody is breaking the system. And your system WILL be broken. And that means that all those you're trying to police are getting what you're paying to refuse them to have anyway.

Accountants don't think like that, though.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

AdamPee (1243018) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866473)

The thing I don't understand is this... If the BBC is publicly funded by the British people, why the hell are they charging for their content? Isn't that a bit absurd? Same thing goes for PBS here in the States, though I've got slightly (very slightly) more ambivalence towards them because they receive such a minuscule amount from the government and they are always stretched on budget. But still, PBS shouldn't be charging for content...

Like most everywhere else, BBC and PBS already charge for physical copies of most, if not all of their series and shows, not only does it increase revenue for the organization, which is required for anything that broadcasts anything, but it also will work to cover server costs and rights for the product. You still pay for a copy of the original office, why wouldn't you pay for a radio session that the BBC had previously not released?

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866693)

International community tries so hard to fund them (really!) and yet they don't allow us to pay for their great content and have it.

It is getting way more surreal every day. I know americans who would pay to get iPlayer content right now and they are people which Hollywood couldn't sell a single byte.

BBC can actually make profit and wouldn't need tax payers money if they figure out what "putting your content to internet" means.

About ad supported streaming? Virgin of UK tried it, failed.

As a pessimist, let me be the first to guess: They will rely on a Windows only technology such as WMA, Silverlight somehow. Hopefully they will prove me wrong.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Kaiyoteek (1357037) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866859)

Good point, but how else would you be able to get a hold of all that content?

Access to BBC's entire archive of recorded music is access to a considerable amount of music history. Although BBC is publicly funded, all that content has been previously exclusive and to have all of it suddenly available means someone is paying for it somewhere.

That, or people are just looking to make money as usual. Either way, it's up to you whether or not you want to give up some of your own money to hear exclusive content regardless of whether or not BBC (or PBS) is publicly funded.

Re:Publicly funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867247)

As it says, BBC Worldwide is the "commercial arm" of the corp... their job is to make and/or sell programs to fund itself, and the parent publicy funded BBC. All the DVDs of BBC programs are published by Worldwide, all the stuff you see in the states on BBC America is from... Worldwide!

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

McFadden (809368) | more than 5 years ago | (#24868255)

A large percentage of the BBC's material is licensed or subject to contractual agreement. That license/contracts normally coves the UK only. Since it would be ridiculous to expect the British to pay extra just so that the license can be extended for a overseas viewers who pay nothing, the BBC is usually left having to charge, or take advertising in order to offer overseas services. If the British people (of which I am one) found out that they were paying for Auntie Beeb, while 'Johnny Foreigner' gets everything for free, there would be open revolt. It particularly affects me as I'm an expat living overseas. I would gladly pay the equivalent of the UK television license fee (that funds the BBC) in order to get 24/7 access to their output, but it's not available, so I'm left largely relying on selective torrents.

Re:Publicly funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24870673)

But if you're an expat living overseas, then you're not a license payer so you should not get the content for free.

I will admit that as a British citizen who is currently typing this while on holiday in my home in Spain, it does hack me off that I can't use iPlayer out here on my Windows laptop, let alone my Linux one.

However, a lot of the expats out here are currently in a furore over the fact that they've been paying for an illegal Sky cable service (that also included BBC TV stations) that has now been disconnected by the Spanish government following complaints by both Sky and the BBC.

This all boils down to the fact that those of us who pay the license fee should get it for free and should not be expected to subsidise those who don't.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#24872199)

He's not expecting to get it for free; he just said that he'd be willing to pay the license fee. He just can't, because the BBC doesn't make that an option.

Re:Publicly funded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24871211)

The BBC is not directly funded by the government. It's funded via a license fee on colour televisions and TV receivers i.e. VCRs, etc.

It's a subtle difference I know but it's not the same thing. The government does not control the BBC, the BBC's board of governors does.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 5 years ago | (#24871419)

> If the BBC is publicly funded by the British people, why the hell are they charging for their content? Isn't that a bit absurd?

Because most of the content is not *owned* by the BBC. The TV license fee covers the cost of obtaining (either commissioning or buying in from overseas) and broadcasting TV/radio. If you want the DVD then you pay extra for that, although I am sure that these sales help keep down the cost of the license fee.

Re:Publicly funded? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#24872697)

I agree. Another example is the way that the BBC flogs a lot of its classic shows off to other networks like (IIRC) UKTV Gold.

So first I've had to pay my BBC licence, then I have to pay to get UKTV Gold, then I have to watch loads of adverts on top... all this for old content! Shouldn't it get cheaper as it gets older? Instead I'm having to pay three times.

Only music? (2, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864411)

I have the HHGTG books, I taped the TV series from PBS, and bought the DVD of the movie, but I have never heard the original radio play. Will it be available at this new BBC store? If it is, I want a copy!

Re:Only music? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864739)

Ahhh, you mean the 30-year old recordings. I think they're available on Amazon as audiobook CDs. Yo can also get the scripts published as a book - including the "naughty" bits the BBC wouldn't broadcast - like Slartybartfast's original name

Re:Only music? (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865299)

According to Wikipedia (so it must be true, right?) "Special editions of the Primary and Secondary Phases have been announced by the BBC for release in November 2008. These have, according to the BBC, been given "a thorough clean-up and remaster" by Dirk Maggs. ":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy_(radio_series) [wikipedia.org]

If I was a betting man I'd say that once they've sold a pile of them they'll be rebroadcast on Radio 4 or BBC7 some time next year...

Re:Only music? (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865003)

You can't want it that much seeing as you can order it any time [amazon.co.uk] .

It's good BTW.

And if you're trying to cover all the media, don't miss the game [wikipedia.org] which was partly penned by the man himself.

Re:Only music? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866665)

God damn the "No Tea/Tea" puzzle. Along with every other one in that game.

Re:Only music? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866681)

Oh, don't forget that the game is freely playable online [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Only music? (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 5 years ago | (#24868105)

I am working on the long lost sequel to that game. Where someone forgot to apply the DST patch to the Restaurant At the End of the Universes time servers, thus causing the entire space-time continuum to be not curved, but totally bent. Before the Universe explodes at your pleasure (TM), unfortunately when you are still on Earth, you must buy the new game and hitch a ride back to Magrathea to consult with the mice about the patch. Unfortunately, when you try to download the patch from Microsoft/Sirius Cybernetics Corporation with Sub-Ethanet explorer, you get the following message:

This page cannot be displayed.

This game will be release at about the same time as Duke Nukem Forever, or The Year of the Linux Desktop (TM), whichever comes first.

Re:Only music? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24872481)

Wow, I'd forgotten about the game completely; I played it way, way back on an Apple IIe. My now-drinking age kids were infants! It was a hard game, I could never make it off the earth. I'm better at FPSs (but even then I lack the m4d 5k1LLz some guys had)

Of course, I used the computer at the library to (attempt to) play it; at the time I owned a Trash-80.

As I'm stuck on the wrong side of the pond, I'll have to search the US version of Amazon as I have no idea what the exchange rate is or if they even tale dollars (I wouldn't these days).

Re:Only music? (1)

Evil Pete (73279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865653)

I used to have cassette tapes of the first series. Well it was before teh Intarweb, couldn't download it so I just taped the suckers. Lost now. But I thought the TV series was lame and the movie even more so but the radio series was inspired. The book just doesn't capture it either. I will eagerly grab them if they are available. Even, ahem, pay for them.

Re:Only music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24868039)

Sacrilege! The original radio play is superior to the TV series and the movie in every way.

Re:Only music? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24872369)

I'm stuck in this third world backwater called the "USA" so I was never given the opportunity to hear them.

Re:Only music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24868633)

If you look around enough, you'll be able to find the original broadcasts online - a while back, probably a few years, I downloaded them all, and I've had them sitting on my hard drive since. I don't remember the URL, and I've changed OSes / Computers enough times since that I don't think I'd be able to find it again, but it's out there, somewhere.

How about a way for for non UK people to watch (2, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864419)

I'd be happy to just watch their damn videos. Hell I'd even pay a small subscription fee to do so. Providing it worked properly on mac and linux.

Re:How about a way for for non UK people to watch (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24865407)

We should set up some sort of exchange [thepiratebay.org] . Then you could watch the Beeb and I could watch The Daily Show [thedailyshow.com] without being redirected to Channel 4's DRMed rubbish. [channel4.com] At least they're honest [channel4.com] about how they feel about DRM [drm.info] .

Re:How about a way for for non UK people to watch (2, Insightful)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#24869107)

I shouldn't have to go though questionable means to get to content I'm quite willing to pay for.

Re:How about a way for for non UK people to watch (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 5 years ago | (#24870629)

I shouldn't have to go through questionable means to get content I have already paid for (through the TV license).

sex wiTh a 6naa (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864489)

I hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864503)

I hope it's not pants!

If Barack Hussein Obama Wins (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864547)

We'll have to paint the White House black. It will be a national tragedy. Jermiah Wright will be Secretary of the Treasury and Louis Farrakhan Secretary of State. P-Diddy will be U.N. Ambassador. And the common Nigra will feel like he owns the country. A pure disaster.

Re:If Barack Hussein Obama Wins (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24866685)

Also, he proposes eliminating all income taxes on the bottom 50% and making up for it by taxing the "rich". What he doesn't mention is that the bottom 50% are blacks and mexicans. The "rich" are white people. And not only will blacks and mexicans not be paying income taxes, but they'll also benefit from an increased government largesse, courtesy of those Americans who go to work every day. And you better believe slavery "reparations" will be on the table.

Re:If Barack Hussein Obama Wins (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24866939)

nice maths there hes actually taxing everybody its just that most people (read anybody poor enough to be reading slashdot instead of having thier butler do it) will be taxed less than they are under bush.

Only one question (3, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864751)

Will the music you buy be DRM free? I only buy from Amazon now because I'm not up to buy my music five or six times in my life. I just want to buy it once and use it however I damn well please.

Re:Only one question (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867531)

Will the music you buy be DRM free? I only buy from Amazon now because I'm not up to buy my music five or six times in my life. I just want to buy it once and use it however I damn well please.

I buy only music that comes on discs because I'm not up to buy music that's of poorer quality for more money.

Re:Only one question (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24872853)

Actually it costs less to buy an album on Amazon then to buy a CD. If you were an audiophile you would be talking about SACD or DVD-Audio anyways so obviously you are not. You really should give high bitrate MP3 a chance.

Questions: (0)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864901)

1) What about the BBC radio shows that are older than any conceivable copyright (is it 1926 in the UK as well)? I doubt they'll distribute any, but public domain is public domain.

2) Who on this planet is going to pay for the dubious pleasure of hearing such eardrum-torturing melodies as the intro music to, oh, "Absolutely Fabulous" (Red Dwarf, okay... Dr. Who's original intro score, definitely. But let's face it, there's likely to be an ocean of crap surrounding the rare gems, y'know?)

3) Any hope of the more historical stuff (e.g. Churchill's broadcast speeches) ever just being distributed for, you know, free?

/P

Re:Questions: (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865385)

You know the BBC operates several orchestras, right? And they have, over the years, recorded an enormous volume of classical music. Not everything the BBC records is a theme tune...

Re:Questions: (1)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867003)

2) Who on this planet is going to pay for the dubious pleasure of hearing such eardrum-torturing melodies as the intro music to, oh, "Absolutely Fabulous"

Dylan's "Wheels on fire" in a version sung by the fabulous Julie Driscoll - I would.

And then there are all the live sessions from the John Peel show - They are priceless. I still have some low quality mono real audio files of Elastica produced by John and downloaded a good few years ago when the Beeb still mounted them on line. I would live to have them in a good quality lossless format.

Re:Questions: (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867019)

the bbc do a lot of live sessions, and quite a few of them produce original content (hell bbc leeds & reading site has a clip of biffy clyro doing an acoustic cover of killing in the name of atm) im hoping this sort is the stuff that will be for sale, and its not just another music store.

Paid for and ad-supported (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24864947)

I don't like this.
Either decide on one, people pay for the content or it is advertisement-supported. But not both!

GOON SHOW!!!! (4, Informative)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24864991)

Absurdist humor fans should really check this out, if they have it.

Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe.

If it plays on my Linux box, I want the set.

Re:GOON SHOW!!!! (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866005)

BBC7 will play on your Linux box.

Re:GOON SHOW!!!! (1)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24870837)

Yeah, but that's one episode a week, and there's no saying if it's one I like or not. This way I could buy exactly the episodes I want, maybe - dare I dream it? - put it on my iPod to carry around, play it at work, and so on.

Also, while the Goons are popular enough to be on BBC 7 all the time, other excellent programmes, "The News Quiz", "I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue", "Dead Ringers" and "Whose Line Is It Anyway" being on the top of my list, come and go. It'd be awesome to be able to quickly and quietly satiate a ISIHAC craving.

Prices (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865015)

So the BBC tax takes off of people BY THREAT OF PRISON £135-ish a year*, and now that the British public has paid for all the content the BBC are hoarding, they are expected to pay yet again.

I thought the RIAA is an American cartel not a UK one.

* You have to pay this tax even if you never watch the BBC on your tv, instead watching foreign satellite tv etc.

Re:Prices (1)

DevonBorn (975502) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865493)

You don't have to have a TV. No one is forcing you to. You only need a licence if you have a equipment that can receive broadcast TV. You could just watch videos and DVDs like my family does. Also you get their advertisement-free radio channels. The BBC is worth it for Radio 4.

Re:Prices (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 5 years ago | (#24870613)

I think you missed the OP's point entirely.

I myself am happy to pay the TV license because I get ad-free broadcasting, Dr Who, excellent radio programming and a web site crammed full of language-learning materials (as a student of Spanish).

But I don't see why, as a British license payer, I should have to pay to download archived material that has already been paid for by me and other license payers - if the BBC wants to charge the rest of the world (non-license payers) and leave it free for me as UK citizen, then so be it.

I will admit to being a big fan of classic rock music (anything from the Beatles to Motorhead) and if it means the BBC has to pay the record labels a fee to re-broadcast some of the live or session music they have archived, then I don't mind paying a small fee for that, provided I can download and save it in a non-DRMed format.

The BBC is a public-funded broadcast company. It is *not supposed* to make money, only to cover its operating costs that are at least partly funded by the TV license - any additional money it makes should be thrown straight back into financing the creation of more and better programming.

Re:Prices (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866529)

I'd pay twice the current cost gladly, as long as they don't dumb down BBC 1 any more, they fire Jonathon Woss, and they put some decent stuff on Radio 4 in the late evenings. Today in Parliament, WTF.

Re:Prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24870927)

"So the BBC tax takes off of people BY THREAT OF PRISON £135-ish a year"

It's not a tax, it's a licence fee. Only people with televisions are compelled to pay.

Re:Prices (1)

ltrm (845045) | more than 5 years ago | (#24871313)

Yeah, right. You never watch or listen to the BBC? Bollocks I say. Unless all you're watching is reality TV and tabloid approved sports you're a Rupert Murdoch paid shill just like Ian Wright.

if they do video too... (1)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865043)

I will totally buy all of doctor who both radio and all video and fill a 1TB drive with it. Just to say I have all of doctor who.

Re:if they do video too... (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867921)

I need *everything* from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Better way? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#24865191)

They should probably go with a Vuze-like income model to reduce their costs. Just a tracker and a dedicated seed shouldn't be that hard on bandwidth.

Aren't BBC Worldwide big fans of Windows Media? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24865965)

I would expect the format that was used to be Windows Media as I read that that part of the BBC has always tried to push it.

It's about time! (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867509)

Finally! I can have a legal copy of the Postman Pat theme song! For too long I've lived with a guilty conscience from downloading it illegally off the internet!

wow another music store failure (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 5 years ago | (#24869337)

When will they learn that if you're going to try to sell bits, you need to have ALL (or pretty much all) the available bits for sale.  No one wants to sit around trying to figure out where to buy some particular bits, because they can always get them for free on TPB.

DRM'd to death like iPlayer (1)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | more than 5 years ago | (#24870635)

Nothing to see here move along....

It will be DRM'ed to death like iPlayer - which actually *is* BBC content and not some record company's. The the monopolies commission will bitch at them and they will create a rubbish version for Mac/Linux with a quarter of the quality and half the features.

Save yourself the hassle and just buy MP3's from Amazon.

Re:DRM'd to death like iPlayer (3, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#24871289)

Actually the BBC does not own most of its content - its produced by third parties and sold to the BBC.

Forget the Beatles sessions.... (1)

halll7 (1009535) | more than 5 years ago | (#24871805)

....the Peel Session Archive is the real treasure chest:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/sessions/ [bbc.co.uk]

You can already stream some sessions from this site. Being able to sift through them all is likely to take up years of my life.
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