The BBC has announced an iPlayer download version for Mac and Linux users more than a year after it opted to favour Microsoft’s DRM regime. The widely criticised move limited the service to Windows users although a streaming version for users of Windows, Mac and Linux computers has been available since last year.
In January Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh wrote to BBC Director General Mark Thompson suggesting the decision to favour Microsoft’s operating system was “effectively illegal state aid”.
The new download version uses Adobe AIR, a key component of the Adobe Flash Platform and will allow users to view their favourite BBC shows, online or offline, with a high quality solution across operating systems.
The BBC iPlayer Desktop application on Adobe AIR will initially be available to BBC iPlayer Labs users, who can sign up at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/labs. The BBC expects to roll out the application during 2009.
Erik Huggers, Director, BBC Future Media & Technology, said: “Today, we’re pleased to display our commitment to providing a cross-platform download solution for BBC iPlayer users, as Mac and Linux users are now able to download BBC iPlayer programmes to play offline.”
Adobe’s Jim Guerard said “The BBC iPlayer Desktop beta on Adobe AIR will help extend their popular browser-based Web video broadcasts to more viewers with a high-quality, instant-on Internet TV experience outside the browser and across all major operating systems.”