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BBC iPlayer Welcomes Linux (and Macs)

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the audi-vox-populi dept.

Television 259

h4rm0ny writes "After previously limiting their iPlayer to only the Windows platform (as we discussed earlier here and here), the BBC's content is now available to UK-based users of Linux and Mac OS X. From their site: 'From today we are pleased to announce that streaming is now available on BBC iPlayer. This means that Windows, Mac and Linux users can stream programs on iPlayer as long as their computer has the latest version of Flash. Another change is that you do not have to register or sign in any more to download programs ...' It seems that the BBC have listened to people who petitioned them for broader support and an open format. Well, Flash isn't exactly open, but its a lot more ubiquitous than Windows Media and Real Player formats."

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259 comments

yay (0, Offtopic)

Sgt.Modulus (1198753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724188)

First post? No I did not RTFA yet. I am in such a rush to make first post which I doubt I will get it. Glas BBC iplayer welcomes Linux though.

Re:yay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724234)

how old are you? 12? go back to digg, fucking idiot.

Re:yay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724258)

how old are you? 12? go back to digg, fucking idiot.

+1 ROFLOLZORZ

Re:yay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724312)

GTFO Retard.

An Improvement (4, Insightful)

benbean (8595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724194)

For the purposes of just quickly catching up with a programme you've missed, in my (admittedly brief) testing since it went live, it's much more convenient to use the live streaming than have to go through all the fuss and bother of the proper Windows-based download client.

Even if there were a Mac/Linux version available, I think I'd still lean more towards the Flash service for the odd times I need it since the downloadable version will get torpedoed after seven days anyway.

Re:An Improvement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724370)



I've watched a couple of programs on their new streaming service so far and the quality is very good. It's not full HD content of course, but it's waaaaaay better than sites like YouTube currently are and very easy to use. It was great to watch the QI compilation that's on there. I think this is pitched exactly right. It's not as if this is going to stop anyone paying their licence fee and it provides a really convenient service.

They've not quite dug themselves out of the hole they got into with the Hutton enquiry, imo, but they're definitely heading in the right direction at speed. Nice one Beeb!

All Hail the Lowest common denominator (0)

Deviate_X (578495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724502)

So now instead of being able to download and watch programs later or offline, you now can only use flash streaming. Thanks.

The Late Edition: Series 4 Episode 9 Duration: 30 minutes Satirical comedy show, with host Marcus Brigstocke and guests. Contains some strong language.

Re:All Hail the Lowest common denominator (2, Informative)

benbean (8595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724544)

Given that they only let you watch downloaded programmes on your computer anyway it doesn't make much difference to me whether they're stored locally or streamed. As for watching them later, they self-destruct in a few days anyway, so it's still a moot point as far as I'm concerned.

Obviously the ideal is to have a downloadable version that can be watched anywhere for any length of time, but that's not happening any time soon.

Re:All Hail the Lowest common denominator (3, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724754)

Now that they are using flash, wouldn't it be possible to use one of the many flash movie downloaders so that you could store the video and watch it whenever you want. Mind you, flash doesn't provide the best video quality, but it would be good enough for watching on an iPod.

Re:All Hail the Lowest common denominator (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725090)

Given that they only let you watch downloaded programmes on your computer anyway it doesn't make much difference to me whether they're stored locally or streamed.

Streamed requires that you have sufficent bandwidth thoughout the whole time you are watching. As there often being problems with web based "players" being somewhat primative in terms of features.

good job bbc (2)

clark0r (925569) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724196)

i use iplayer on windows, and while there are programmes i want to see that aren't in the catelog, i think they've done an awesome job of tv on demand given the current infrastructure of the internet.

Well, that's great... (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724208)

... I guess. So then, I'd just need Flash, my absolute favorite proprietary piece of software. And I need Linux or OS X; not FreeBSD, Plan9 or bOS.

I don't know -- I probably won't be using the service anyway, and I'm not a British citizen anyway, so I don't really feel that I have the right to complain, but it still bothers me when public services don't actually make their service free for real. I know I'd be bothered for real if my own government did something like it, at least.

Re:Well, that's great... (4, Insightful)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724346)

instead of moaning about it

can you suggest an open source solution that the BBC can use instead of iPlayer that is not proprietary and works on Windows/Mac and Linux???

Re:Well, that's great... (4, Insightful)

AusIV (950840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724426)

can you suggest an open source solution that the BBC can use instead of iPlayer that is not proprietary and works on Windows/Mac and Linux???

Exactly. Flash is probably on at least 95% of PC's, and probably 99% of the people who don't have flash can install it with a few clicks. The BBC could have used something like Ogg Theora, but then 95% of users would have had to download and install something to play it.

The thing that always gets me about open source zealots who complain "Flash is proprietary" is that they offer no solution. There's Gnash, which is a re-implementation of Flash, but people complain about disseminating documents in MS Office formats even though they can read them with open source suites, so I can't imagine Gnash being full featured would stop the complaints about Flash. If people in the open source community want to complain about websites using flash for various reasons, they need to offer up an alternative that would be acceptable to them.

For what it's worth, I'm a Linux user and avoid proprietary software wherever possible, but I've been taught not to look a gift horse in the mouth, and not to complain when you can't offer an alternative.

Not a gift horse (4, Informative)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724496)

For what it's worth, I'm a Linux user and avoid proprietary software wherever possible, but I've been taught not to look a gift horse in the mouth, and not to complain when you can't offer an alternative.

It's not a gift horse. Access is restricted (at least in theory) to UK citizens, who have already paid for this service through their TV licence fees.

Actually, there ARE better solutions ! (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725150)

For example, German ZDF [1] uses flash only for its front page (due to ill-advised web design) and utilizes windows media player, quicktime or vlc browser plugins for video content. so much for actual solution (one guy of the streaming company even said they would probably also offer theora the moment software patents are legal in europe).

[1] http://mediathek.zdf.de/ [mediathek.zdf.de]

The problematic part is not "proprietary" (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725226)

The problematic part is that flash won't run on anything but an Intel-compatible processor, and the "proprietary" nature of flash makes sure that no-one else can adapt flash for another kind of machine. Not everybody have or wish to use an intel PC, as ubiquitous as it may be.

Re:Well, that's great... (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724536)

instead of moaning about it

can you suggest an open source solution that the BBC can use instead of iPlayer that is not proprietary and works on Windows/Mac and Linux???
Just don't suggest any TV professional to use Ogg Theora format. They have given up VP3 (the actual format) some years ago. :)

There are 3 issues here:

1) Allergy to Real Networks who produces a media player down to AIX. Even after they opened entire source excluding codecs.l
2) Apple's Allergy to Linux/BSD and not producing Quicktime for those platforms.
3) Open Source Linux users allergy to closed source since Apple will want to keep Quicktime closed source binary.

So it is Flash. Flash container became standard and now people want Plan 9 support :)

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724882)

And just how does Flash support BSD, Haiku and other BeOS derivatives and a bunch of other operating systems? No, Linux emulation still leaves a lot to be desired with Flash playback...

Re:Well, that's great... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724554)

Okay, wwmedia, I take your challenge.

I suggest that the BBC use VLC media player [videolan.org] :
  • It is a free cross-platform media player
  • It supports a large number of multimedia formats, without the need for additional codecs
  • It can also be used as a streaming server, with extended features (video on demand, on the fly transcoding, ...)
It is so good, I do not even need to bold half of my post.

Re:Well, that's great... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724618)

Nice solution. The challenge was to provide a media format/container, you provide a player.

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724632)

MPEG-4 + H.264

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724700)

You need a fairly beefy PC to decode that and a lot of non-geeks just don't have that kind of power - and the BBC want the format to be readable on as many (UK based) PC's as they can.

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724842)

My iPod Nano can decode MPEG-4 + H.264. Granted, it probably has some special chip, specifically designed to decode it, but I'm sure even a 5-6 year old computer could decode it. Now it might have problems with 1080p MPEG4 files, but for some reason I don't think that's the quality level we're talking about in this case. Flash video is extremely CPU hungry, even with it's terrible encoding quality. I can't imagine that MPEG4 would be any harder on a computer than flash video at the same bit rate.

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724924)

I'd be surprised if Flash had significantly lower processing requirements than H.264 (bear in mind that a lot of flash video on the web tends to be very resolution). I'd be willing to be referred to some comparisons (a quick google doesnt show anything useful), but till then I call bullshit on your claim.

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724956)

E.g. here's one flash-v-h264 cpu-usage comparison [blogspot.com] which contradicts the claim that H.264 uses more CPU - not exactly lab conditions though, so pinches of salt are still needed.

Re:Well, that's great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21725108)

Hmmm. I just quickly skimmed through the blog and there are so many things wrong with how he performed the tests that nobody should even bother reading it. For instance, his transcoding an FLV file to a higher bitrate MP4 file is nearly useless. I can create a ridiculously high bitrate/resolution MP4 file that uses barely any processor power to decode, so long as I don't put much of anything into it. This won't "prove" that MP4 doesn't need much processing power, yet this is exactly the sort of results he's trying to draw from his tests.

Re:Well, that's great... (2, Informative)

karmatic (776420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724970)

That's not entirely accurate - a lot of it depends on the codecs you use.

I have a demo I like to do where I decode and play back 1080p HD using CoreAVC [coreavc.com] , on a 1GHz laptop (downclocked - it's hard to find a PC with a native resolution of 1920x1200 and a clock speed of 1GHz). Yes, it drops some frames, but it's quite watchable.

I also do 320x[240-320] H.264 (full screen) playback on a Treo 650. It's got a 312MHz ARM processor, and 32MB of RAM (~24 available).

None of this is hardware accelerated.

BenchMarks here. [behardware.com] This is an older benchmark; CoreAVC is better now.

Re:Well, that's great... (2, Interesting)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724730)

For video:

theora (not recommended. not ready yet)
x.263
x.264
whatever realplayer uses.

For audio:

vorbis (recommended. free, open, patent license is free for all)
mp3 (almost everybody has it on their computers already. I prefer vorbis over mp3, but mp3 over flash)
flac (much too big for downloads. just saying it is there)
aac

The real problem is DRM. The BBC does not want you to be able to keep the file on your computer. If they would forgo that requirement, then they could just use AV files, rather than using an intentionally limiting solution.

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724960)

He asks for some recommendations and the first thing you list says "not recommended, not ready yet". I fully agree with the rest of your post, but I just thought that first line (in this context) was pretty funny.

Re:Well, that's great... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724448)

OMG! I can't watch it on my C64 or Apple II GE! WWRMSD? (What Would RMS Do?)

Re:Well, that's great... (2, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724450)

I think it comes down to pragmatism vs. idealism here. A Windows only client blocks a significant minority of users (Mac, Linux, BSD as well as various embedded devices such as phones or dedicated web terminals). A flash client is not ideal - it is still non-free and non-open as well as blocking a very small number of users - but is still probably the simplest and most widely usable streaming system using currently established technology.

Re:Well, that's great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724464)

I'd be bothered for real if my government wasted taxpayer money pandering to absolute 0.001% minorities such as people who can't access a machine running either Linux, OS X or Windows.

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724652)

One of the first truly insightful comments I've seen this morning.

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725162)

My Cray is allergic to Linux, you insensitive clod!

Re:Well, that's great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724486)

Welp, I guess it's time to convert the TV shows into animated GIF's so everyone can watch them in their web browser of choice... What's that? the video is choppy? It's a huge file? Well hey, you can atleast watch it right!

Re:Well, that's great... (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724516)

O boy did the BBC do it wrong! Now there is still 0.1 % of the people left without iPlayer! Terrible! Let's all raid their headquarters and demand better service for our tax money.

Re:Well, that's great... (4, Funny)

gsslay (807818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724590)

It's like the whole PAL [wikipedia.org] outrage all over again! You should have heard me complain back then when I discovered that the supposedly free BBC service required that I buy a television equipped with the proprietary format PAL.


So that meant I was denied access from my 8 track [wikipedia.org] simply because they refused to supply the broadcasts on it! Boy, was I mad! How was this TV service supposed to be free if they make you buy certain equipment first?!


And now they're demanding that I go out of my way to download a free software package! Their thoughtless arrogance knows no bounds!

Just to clarify (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724998)

the BBC isn't free. I (as an owner of a piece of equipment capable of receiving the BBC), have to pay a license fee each year (whether I actually decide to watch it or not).
Now personally I'm more than happy to pay, but it does mean it can't just be broadcast free to anybody on the planet with an internet connection.

Re:Just to clarify (1)

robably (1044462) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725184)

I (as an owner of a piece of equipment capable of receiving the BBC), have to pay a license fee each year (whether I actually decide to watch it or not)

Wrong. [tvlicensing.co.uk]

"You need a TV Licence to use any television receiving equipment such as a TV set, set-top boxes, video or DVD recorders, computers or mobile phones to watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on TV." (my emphasis)

Just to reiterate, you don't need a license to just own a television.

Defacto DRM (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724210)

For someone who is on a Linux platform without Flash (x86_64), this is no better than a Windows-only iPlayer. Yes, I know there are (kludgy) wrappers that allow you to set up the Flash plugin in Firefox, or you can run a 32-bit Firefox, but what about platforms with no supported Flash player, such as PPC Linux or ARM Linux? Does this work with libswf or Gnash? What about Solaris users or BeOS users? Is their TV license money not good enough to be able to access this programming?

Until they're using open technology, this is a hollow gesture to remove the political and social pressure on them. I just hope that the people who really care don't give up their campaign to make the BBC be open.

hear, hear! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724298)

I have a BBC Master 512k - that is a _BBC_ Master 512k. And -I- cannot watch these _BBC_ shows on my _BBC_ computer... I can download the file just fine using the 2400 modem, but then I can't play it back! They should support open content such as MPEG1 so that everybody should be able to view the content!

Yes, this is sarcasm. There's going to be some place where they have to draw the line, and currently that line lays with whatever support Flash (sorry to hear the FLOSS coders haven't gotten to 64bit yet for Flash - maybe if somebody paid them to do the work, I wonder) and without any registration needs (which is funny, because now every British license payer is paying for Ngomo over there in Nigeria watching that show. Awesome!)... which is a line drawn quite a bit further than I would have expected, myself.

Re:hear, hear! (1)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724336)

(sorry to hear the FLOSS coders haven't gotten to 64bit yet for Flash - maybe if somebody paid them to do the work, I wonder)
That'd be Adobe. Flash is closed source.

Re:Defacto DRM (1)

dmitri3 (1101095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724424)

nspluginwrapper is pretty straightforward in Ubuntu 7.10. All you need to do is install it in synaptic/adept manager or just type "sudo apt-get install nspluginwrapper" And you're set!

Re:Defacto DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724816)

Yes, but nspluginwrapper is a steaming pile of shit, and Flash crashes 9 times out of 10 when using it.

Re:Defacto DRM (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724940)

Somehow the phrase "simple as sudo apt-get install nspluginwrapper" doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "simple as pie".

rippage (4, Interesting)

Cally (10873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724212)

...and does

mplayer -dumpstream -dumpfile $outfile.ra $thestream

rip the stream like what the Real stream can be ripped? (Yes I'm talking radio, it's Radio Four Boy here and without being able to rip I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue [wikipedia.org] , as I've been doing for the last few years, having migrated from the Mark II Compact Cassette Tape that worked so well throughout the 80s and 90s, life ain't gonna be worth living.) Samantha agrees - the wow and flutter of older technology is a real turn-off, although she does enjoy flicking through some favourite flash videos.

Re:rippage (2, Informative)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724582)

Or, if you have a DVB card [calum.org] : mplayer dvb://BBC\ ONE -dumpstream, and you get the pure MP2 that your TV sees. You can them encode it down to whatever you like.
I've set up an email address that calls a script which takes the start time, duration, and channel name from the subject of the email, and schedules a cron job for that. Voila. I'm on the other side of the world, and I forgot that I wanted to record Peep Show [calum.org] ? (Not from the Beeb, but..) A simple email from anywhere does it.

Re:rippage (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724684)

Wow, that is damncool... thanks for the tip, I think I might have to go get meself a DVB card now. Hmmm, anyone know if there's similar raw-data access to DAB?

Re:rippage (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725066)

No, but there are lots of Radio stations on DVB, so chances are that your radio station is broadcast on there too. BBC1-4, Five Live, 7, and lots of others are.

Re:rippage (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725136)

Just read your GP post. Yep, you can easily dump Radio 4 straight from DVB. mplayer -dvb://BBC\ Radio\ 4 -dumpstream. Get in touch if you'd like some help.
Here are all the TV and Radio channels I have access to from Linux (with Mplayer, VLC, etc):
tvtv DIGITAL Sky Text Virgin Radio Clyde 1 Premier Radio talkSPORT smileTV E4+1 Dave SKY THREE Sky Spts News Sky News BBC ONE BBC THREE BBC NEWS 24 BBCi CBBC Channel BBC TWO ITV1 ITV2 CITV Teletext Teletext Cars Teletext on 4 Channel 4 E4 More 4 Channel 4+1 ITV4 [2243] Heart ITV3 Five Five Life Five US QVC bid tv Smash Hits! MOJO Ttext Holidays UKTV Style TVX / RED HOT UKTV Gold price-drop tv Teachers TV Nuts TV Eurosport UK SETANTA SPORTS Teletext Games TopUp Anytime1 TopUp Anytime2 TopUp Anytime3 302 301 BBC Radio 4 BBC Radio 3 BBC Radio 2 BBC Radio 1 BBC Asian Net. 1Xtra BBC BBC 7 BBC 6 Music BBC 5L SportsX BBC R5 Live BBC Parliament CBeebies BBC FOUR 305 Community 303 ITV2 +1 4TVinteractive Q Magic The Hits Radio BBC World Sv. oneword SMOOTH RADIO Kerrang! heat Kiss Ideal World Virgin1 UKTV History TMF The HITS Film4

Probably more, as I haven't done a scan recently.

Re:rippage (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725152)

Hmmm, anyone know if there's similar raw-data access to DAB?

A lot of radio stations are carried on DVB-S, and presumably DVB-T too (there is no DVB-T where I come from, and no coverage planned. Thanks guys.) including "out of area" channels.

Re:rippage (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725216)

Very cool. What's the email address? : D

kudos to the BBC. (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724228)

kudos to the BBC.

Flash may not be open or perfect - but there are enough cross platform implementations to make it nearly ubiquitous. Given the choice between windows DRMware or Flash I would of made the same choice any day of the week. I am linux only at home, so I'm happy about this.

BBC is full of fail: German ZDF does better. (2, Interesting)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725118)

German ZDF [1] uses flash only for its front page due to ill-advised web design and utilizes windows media player, quicktime or vlc browser plugins for video content. so much for actual consumer friendly solutions.

[1] http://mediathek.zdf.de/ [mediathek.zdf.de]

Better than iPlayer, by all accounts (1)

naich (781425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724254)

I think that this will be a lot more popular with everyone, not just Linux/Mac users. I haven't tried it myself (being a Linux geek), but by all accounts the iPlayer is a PITA. I suspect that in a couple of years time the iPlayer will be quietly dropped due to lack of interest leaving just the Flash player.

BBC changes tack (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724266)

hmmm very different to their previous attitude as evidenced here [myminicity.com]

Misleading summary (5, Informative)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724292)

This is *not* the BBC making iPlayer available for non-Windows platforms. They are only providing a *streaming* service, instead of the ability to download programs, which is what they are using DRM for.

Re:Misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724324)

From their site: 'From today we are pleased to announce that streaming is now available on BBC iPlayer. This means that Windows, Mac and Linux users can stream programs on iPlayer as long as their computer has the latest version of Flash

Re:Misleading summary (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724458)

If it's Flash, there's a number of programs on Linux that will capture the stream and rip it to file.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

0123456789 (467085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724622)

Safari (obviously, on windows or a Mac) has this built in; open the activity window, navigate to a site using Flash, and double-click on the multi-MB file shown in the activity window. It saves to the desktop (on Mac) with the filename get_video.flv. I'm fairly certain that there's Firefox extensions to do this too; which would cover any platform that can play Flash.

Shhh. No there aren't (4, Funny)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724906)

There is no way possible to download Flash Internet videos.

And there are especially no Firefox plugins to download them with one easy click.

creators welcoming gnu members (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724300)

in the end game, the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in.

some 'races' we'll wish we lost;

for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it?

we're intending for the nazis to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather'.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continues on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US;

gov. bush denies health care for the little ones

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

whilst (yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

still making his views known worldwide, whilst many of US keep yOUR heads firmly lodged up yOUR infactdead.asp(s) hoping (against overwhelming information to the contrary) that the party LIEn scriptdead pr ?firm? fairytail hypenosys scenario will never end.

for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

Countdown to mplayer support starts now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724382)

mplayer already supports dirac which makes the choice of flv a little strange. None the less, cheers.

Re:Countdown to mplayer support starts now... (2, Interesting)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724398)

From wikipedia:

The codec is still not finalised, and thus regarded as still being under development. The immediate aim is to be able to decode standard digital PAL TV definition (720 x 576i pixels per frame at 25 frames per second) in real time; the reference implementation can decode around 17 frames per second on a 3 GHz PC but extensive optimisation is planned.

Re:Countdown to mplayer support starts now... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724566)

Yes. That counts as "supported" in the Linux world. If you need faster playback just optimize the code :p

Grammar geek says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724408)

...you can't have "more ubiquitous" or "less ubiquitous" because ubiquitous means "present everywhere" -- it actually derives from the Latin for "everywhere":

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ubiquitous [wiktionary.org]

Hence something is either ubiquitous or not -- there are no gradations of ubiquity.

Try "more widespread" instead of "more ubiquitous"...

Re:Grammar geek says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21724470)

oh, wow

adobe flash licks my balls by the way

Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724446)

Quit with the bullshit formats and half assed attempts. If you are really that desperate to protect your precious from the Evil consumers then get it on iTunes and be done with it. I am sick of having to go to random websites and having to use the half-assed players you guys think are acceptable.

If you must have DRM in it, then have your crap in iTunes. if you are one of the few smart companies and dont care about DRM, then a podcast with a format that plays on an iPod will do nicely.

This will get the largest possible market for your video. and 320X240 is acceptable on a ipod and not desired o be traded by pirates (yarr! It's low res, off to greener lands me matyes! yarr!)

As a consumer that is interested in actually watching TV the way it should be here in 2007/2008 I dont want your website, I want it in a way I can download it and play it on my ipod or phone, not your crappy website.

Re:Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724504)

> As a consumer that is interested in actually watching TV the way it should be here in 2007/2008 I dont want your website, I want it in a way I can
> download it and play it on my ipod or phone, not your crappy website.

Dude, it's 2007 - why can't your phone stream video?

Re:Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724576)

> As a consumer that is interested in actually watching TV the way it should be here in 2007/2008 I dont want your website, I want it in a way I can
> download it and play it on my ipod or phone, not your crappy website.

Dude, it's 2007 - why can't your phone stream video?
My smart phones since 2002 can stream video thanks to Symbian and Realplayer. Phones can stream video, "i"Phones can't :) In fact, phones supporting DVB-H can actually be called portable TVs too.

Hopefully that SDK announced will mean Helix/Real Player for iPhone. They already have significant expertise on ARM.

Re:Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724724)

It wouldn't surprise me at all if adobe didn't do a binary for iphone like they did for symbian - it's in their interest for it to be available for as many platforms as possible (they make the money on the encoding.. the flash developer stuff costs many many $$$).

Re:Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724782)

It wouldn't surprise me at all if adobe didn't do a binary for iphone like they did for symbian - it's in their interest for it to be available for as many platforms as possible (they make the money on the encoding.. the flash developer stuff costs many many $$$).
I bet Adobe started coding Flash 9 for iPhone using the "unofficial" stuff on market or their good relations with Apple. Adobe wants Flash to be further accounted with being de-facto standard video container on web.

The last thing they would want would be Real beating them and people using those mobile-optimized codecs on their iPhones. Real has no "image" problem on Mac land as you probably know.

It is same deal with Real Networks, they are currently the most popular and respected media server company for 3G/EDGE networks. They don't want to lose it for sure.

Re:Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724538)

I dont want your website, I want it in a way I can download it and play it on my ipod or phone, not your crappy website.
Maybe you do, but the success of YouTube has shown that many people find a web accessible service easier to use than a download service. I just watched this debate [bbc.co.uk] and found it acceptable - the video quality seems better than YouTube. I think the BBC just killed their iPlayer download software; most people aren't going to bother messing about with p2p download software when the have a high quality streaming alternative.

Now we just need an open source flash... gnash, anyone?

Re:Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724574)

How would having it in iTunes help Linux users? BBC would still lose. Flash is the only cross-platform solution to streaming video that has some kind of DRM in it.

Re:Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724788)

This is entirely correct. iTunes is NOT cross platform. Besides, the DRM on iTunes is pretty weak (Not that I'm making a case FOR DRM).

Re:Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (4, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725006)

If you are really that desperate to protect your precious from the Evil consumers then get it on iTunes and be done with it.

Or even accept that trying to use "DRM" is rather daft after you have broadcast it.

I am sick of having to go to random websites and having to use the half-assed players you guys think are acceptable.

It really disn't make any sense if these are harder to use than the "pirate option".

Re:Dear BBC and other Tv netowrks or entities. (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725064)

Quit with the bullshit formats and half assed attempts.

With you here.

If you are really that desperate to protect your precious from the Evil consumers then get it on iTunes and be done with it. I am sick of having to go to random websites and having to use the half-assed players you guys think are acceptable.

What? There is nothing more evil than that POS iTunes on Windows. They must have used the million monkey method to develop that thing, then cheaped out on the monkeys. It's even worse than the Quicktime Player on Windows, and that's saying a lot.

And does Apple even allow other video formats than Quicktime to be on iTunes? The last thing we need is to embrace Apple lock-in. I want straight .mpg files.

...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (-1, Troll)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724478)

Lets say I want to watch the World famous "Panorama" documentary from Istanbul.

"Sorry, this programme is only available to play in the UK (Why?)"

(yes, Why!?! indeed)

Explanation

"The BBC uses Geo-IP technology to identify where your are based on the location of your internet service provider (ISP). This ensures that only internet users in the UK can enjoy programmes on BBC iPlayer."

(Yes, make sure the people who can watch them with regular UHF TV set can pay for them!)

Further explanation:
"Rights agreements mean that BBC iPlayer is only available to users in the UK. However, BBC Worldwide is working on an international version, which we will make available as soon as possible."

This is the usual MPAA/RIAA bullshit which you see all the time as a foreigner. The issue is: Content BELONGS to BBC, not a MPAA Hollywood movie company.

Are they (same gang pushed MS WMV) looking for a proof that BBC iPlayer Multiplatform is not needed and is a failure? Did Panorama producer call BBC in panic saying "Disable it to entire planet, I want them to download free torrents from pirate sites instead!" ?

It seems BBC is so mad about the feedback they got from their actual potential customers when they tried to pull a Windows Media Trick. Or... They -as many companies- see foreigners as potential thieves who will post torrent of their PAID CONTENT to Pirate sites.

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (2, Informative)

IRGlover (1096317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724572)

This isn't really comparable to MPAA-type restrictions. In the UK there is a TV licence fee that goes to fund the BBC, this means that if you pay the fee then you have already payed to view the content. In this case the BBC is making the content available to its 'subscribers' via a different route - that's all. People overseas haven't paid the fee, so therefore the BBC doesn't feel obliged to provide access to the content (not to mention the money eventually made through global licensing agreements). The BBC also persecutes people in the UK who it feels may be 'stealing' their content (even though they may not have a TV).

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (1)

SirMeliot (864836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724678)

The BBC also persecutes people in the UK who it feels may be 'stealing' their content (even though they may not have a TV).

You get a fine for watching TV without a licence but calling it persecution is a bit strong. :P

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724884)

Here is a thought... I think its fair enough people outside the UK cant see the stream (netflix etc do it to us all the time) since we do pay the license... but what is to stop people in the uk that dont?

Remember, its illegal in the UK to use a TV without a BBC license, regardless of what channels you watch or purpose you have for using it

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (1)

IRGlover (1096317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725168)

Remember, its illegal in the UK to use a TV without a BBC license, regardless of what channels you watch or purpose you have for using it


Exactly! I know several people who have received numerous letters accusing them of not having a TV licence and essentially breaking the law when they don't even have any TV-receiving equipment. The vans come round to check periodically, and still the letters keep coming. That sort of sounds like persecution to me - even if it is just 'freaks' who don't watch telly.

I also remember the poster campaign that showed local postcodes and how many houses there didn't have a licence as if they were automatically breaking the law!

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725220)

Remember, its illegal in the UK to use a TV without a BBC license, regardless of what channels you watch or purpose you have for using it

Uhm, no. You can use a TV in the UK without a TV licence just fine. If you're not watching broadcast TV, you don't need a licence. Very simple.

You do *not*, under any circumstances, need a TV if it's connected to (for example) a games console or a computer (unless you've got a TV capture card hooked up to an aerial in the computer). There's nothing to stop you downloading TV programmes off the Internet and watching them on your TV through your computer, and you would not need a licence for that.

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (1)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724688)

In addition the programs are a source of income for BBC Worldwide. The BBC sells rights to programs to foreign channels and DVDs, etc... Downloading bittorrents of BBC programs from pirate sites is still a fairly high barrier for many people whereas going to the BBC's website is a much lower barrier. The BBC are not going to jeopardise that income, at least not in the short term.

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724696)

The issue is: Content BELONGS to BBC
And the BBC BELONGS to their licence payers in the UK in an arrangement enforced by law through the UK elected parliament. This means the service is being paid for by residents of the UK.

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724748)

The issue is: Content BELONGS to BBC
And the BBC BELONGS to their licence payers in the UK in an arrangement enforced by law through the UK elected parliament. This means the service is being paid for by residents of the UK.
and we would pay 2x price if it was offered to foreigners with "geo IP" technology rather than watching someone's sub optimized divx ripped from TV broadcast.

They are lagging the real thing on purpose just to claim the multi platform changes were not needed. How hard is it to setup "World" site same time with added price?

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725098)

How hard is it to setup "World" site same time with added price?
Probably very hard indeed. It isn't just a matter of sticking the files onto a big server with a paypal link.

If you are attempting to do this legally and collect money for it legally, there is no end of licensing and bargaining that has to be sorted. You only have to look at the current writers' strike in the US to see that it isn't a straightforward issue. Everyone wants their cut of the action and the laws you need to comply with are different in different countries. Plus you'd want to ensure that a sudden foreign demand doesn't swamp your site and degrade the service within the UK.

They're just starting out on this, and they do say they're working on providing access outside the UK. Give them a chance.

They are lagging the real thing on purpose just to claim the multi platform changes were not needed.
I don't understand your logic here. You don't think we have multi platforms in the UK?

Re:...But it is closed to entire Planet except UK (3, Funny)

Epsillon (608775) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724878)

I read your comment. What the devil are you drivelling about? MPAA? Clue: That last "A" stands for "America," which, last I looked, was several thousand miles West of here and getting further away all the time thanks to the mid-Atlantic ridge. Torrents? Honestly, do you even know what the iPlayer (with its associated Kontiki P2P back-end) and the associated Flash site are for? It's a catch-up service with a hidden agenda. Missed Eastenders? I've never missed it in my life. They could cancel it and I'd be blissfully ignorant of the loss of my ability to peer into the lives of fictional characters whose vocabulary seems to consist of the words "bloody," "fancy a shag?" "pint" and "caaa!" (cockney for cow, I'm led to believe) but should you be of that bent, you can watch it online.

The BBC have done this for one reason and ONLY one reason: To back up their ridiculous stance that anyone with a 'net connection in the UK needs a TV licence. Wouldn't want the OSS hippies to find a loophole in that, now, would we? That's it. Nothing to see here besides another money grab on the back of new media and shared resources. The reason you're not getting iPlayer if you're a "Johnny Foreigner" is because you don't pay the Beeb tax. Congratulations. I wish I didn't either.

Good news (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724518)

I wasn't about to install kontiki based software on any of my machines, even the ones with Windows on them.

Flash will suit me fine. Almost every device I have can play it in some form (except the iphone, but hopefully that's coming one day).

Not good enough. (5, Interesting)

Mortice (467747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724524)

Many people in the UK are subject to transfer limits, and certain periods of the day when they can transfer as much as they like without this contributing to their quota. Example: I am limited to 20GB of transfers each month, but can download without restriction between midnight and 8am. With the Windows client, it is (relatively) easy to set up a schedule to start and stop the program at the appropriate times. With the streaming content, it is much more of a pain.

Just one reason amongst many why I hope this is not the end of the BBC's plan to open up the iPlayer content to other platforms, although I expect that it probably is.

Protest!!! (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724608)

Don't download it - that'll stick it to them for suggesting that there's no demand for Linux.

Of course, it will also prove their point.

Ok, what about we download the Windows version instead. Wait, no that won't work either.

I've got, go to ITV and download old episodes of Corrie. Yea! I'm off to the Rover's for a pint.

Uk only (2, Interesting)

Mr Europe (657225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724670)

Why on earth BBC makes a system to be used from UK only ?!
"Can I download programmes from outside the UK?

The BBC uses Geo-IP technology to identify where your are based on the location of your internet service provider (ISP). This ensures that only internet users in the UK can enjoy programmes on BBC iPlayer.

If you download a programme to your laptop or a portable hard drive, you can watch this wherever you are in the world. However, you will only be able to download new programmes once you return to the UK.

Why do I need to be in the UK to use BBC iPlayer?

Rights agreements mean that BBC iPlayer is only available to users in the UK. However, BBC Worldwide is working on an international version, which we will make available as soon as possible."

Re:Uk only (4, Informative)

Cally (10873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724716)

Because Johnny Foreigner doesn't pay the TV license fee [tvlicensing.co.uk] . Yes, my stunned American friends, we UK-ers have to have a government license to legally watch TV or listen to the radio! We tend to think it's fair exchange for the fantastic programmes they've given us over the years, though, not least Blake's 7 of course ;)

Re:Uk only (3, Interesting)

Sosigenes (950988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725028)

Actually, it is more likely the reason is what BBC state themselves. It's not to do with the license fee, but more to do with the fact that the BBC only have rights agreements to show things in the UK. The same reason us in the UK can't watch programs from American television networks and websites. If the BBC can't get the right to show it outside of the UK, then they can't legally allow people to watch it outside of the UK on its web based service. This is an entirely different issue to that of the license fee.

Volume Control (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21724672)

Anyone notice that the volume control goes up to 11?

That's for watching TV really loud :p

Flash available On Linux? Or is that Linux/x86-32? (1)

Karellen (104380) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725074)

"This means that Windows, Mac and Linux users can stream programs on iPlayer as long as their computer has the latest version of Flash."

So, we're just waiting on Adobe to release Flash for Linux/x86-64, Linux/PPC, Linux/Alpha, Linux/Sparc, Linux/ARM, etc...

*tumbleweed rolls by...*

Yeah, right. Thought so.

After all, it's not like there aren't truly cross-platform streaming formats out there. Oh no, wait, there are!

Aaaaaarrrghhhhh!!!!

AND STOP SAYING "LINUX" WHEN YOU MEAN LINUX/X86-32 . Linux is *so* much more than Linux/x86-32.

I'll stick with BitTorrent, thanks. (1)

sbutton (165609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21725102)

Which allows me to watch what I want, when I want using xbmc on my TV thank-you-very-much.

I really don't get why the BBC think I would want to stream to my Mac, when I can already download whatever I want and watch it on the Mac, the TV, the iPod or wherever. OK, most people probably don't realise this yet but this is the technology they are competing with in my world.

And if I want to keep the episode of Space Pirates or some film which has been aired on terrestrial TV for the kids to watch at some point in the future, I don't want the BBC deciding that I've kept hold of it for more than 7 days and therefore they have the right to delete it from my hard drive. This is a step back from what I was able to do (and almost everyone did) using a VCR.

Not exactly open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21725106)

Please enlighten me if I'm wrong but I thought the case with flash was the same as with PDF. Adobe's viewer is closed source but the file format specification is open and can thus be implemented by open source projects, such as this: http://f4l.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

So what exactly prevents those who insist on an open source app from writing one? I can understand it when people complain about specs being closed and thus making it hard to write a compatible implementation but if the specs are open, it is reasonable to say that if you want it, you write it.
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