For those of us who love the BBC, there’s probably no one better tool than the iPlayer. Live and recorded content, streamed on demand is one of my favorite things in the world, and the iPlayer does this in spades.
The latest version of the iPlayer site kicks things into mobile high gear with the release of a streaming client for Android devices running Android 2.2 (FroYo). The only problem? You have do download the Flash Player client, and nobody can seem to do so. More on that in a bit.
The new iPlayer mobile function, according to the BBC, was done in Flash amid much complaining. Many questioned the BBC’s choice of Flash, but the company explains its choice in the blog:
…using Adobe Flash 10.1 streaming on mobile delivers significant infrastructure efficiencies for the BBC as we use our existing video and audio encoding plant to create the streams. We don’t need to install any new kit or set up any new servers. We just use what we already have to bring a higher quality BBC iPlayer on mobile experience to mobile devices.
Now, for the problem. It appears to me, at the moment, that Flash Player 10.1 for Android is not available via the Andoid Market or through Adobe’s site. The Adobe site gives me a “Not Found” error, while the Android Market simply doesn’t return any results for the Flash Player.
Once we’re able to download the player again, you’ll find a wealth of functionality in the new BBC iPlayer for Android. Favourites lists will subscribe you to new episodes of programmes, and the entire site has been given a facelift to better support mobile browsing.
I’m looking forward to providing a full review of the iPlayer experience, once I can manage to get my hands onto Flash.
[Update: According to some digging around, and a few comments both here and on Twitter, the issue with not finding Flash has to do with what version of FroYo that you’re presently running. For those who have a native FroYo device, or an official OTA version, you should see Flash in the Market.]