The latest version of BBC iPlayer Desktop has just been released with both Mac and Linux compatability thanks to Adobe Air.
When the iPlayer first launched the BBC was criticised for producing versions that only worked with Microsoft’s Windows XP, thankfully this is now not the case however my impressions are not good and overall I can’t see myself switching over from the website version of the player.
Firstly, with the experiences I have had with Adobe Air, I am disappointed they decided to use the platform to release the app.
Secondly, after launching the app I clicked the large link to start “Downloading from BBC iPlayer” and was taken to the BBC website only to discover I wasn’t able to download yet. Am I missing something?
Thanks to James Mitchell on Twitter and Phazer in comments I discovered you need to sign up as a registered labs tester which then enables the extra functionality. However, not all the current “stock” of videos is available for download, you will need to have a dig around for videos with the ‘Download to Computer’ link.
Upon clicking the download link, you will notice the download begin in your desktop player with the average 30 minute show taking approx 12-20 minutes to download (see image below).
The iPlayer lets viewers stream programmes for up to seven days after broadcast or download and watch them for up to 30 days.Infuratingly however, after waiting 20 minutes to download, I was greeted with this message:
So I will definitely be sticking to the iPlayer website from now on. Bah Humbug!
Thanks to Dave Lee for the heads up.