The BBC and Adobe Systems have launched a public beta of the new BBC iPlayer Desktop download manager. It has been built using the Adobe AIR platform and will allow users of Windows, Mac and Linux to download BBC content to their desktops. It is the first time that Mac and Linux users have been able to download content directly. The two platforms have previously been restricted to streaming.
Initially iPlayer Desktop is being restricted to those who have enrolled as BBC iPlayer Labs users, though the application will be rolled out to all iPlayer users during 2009.
“Since it launched at the end of last year, BBC iPlayer programmes have been available for streaming on Windows, Mac and Linux computers. 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,” said Erik Huggers, director, BBC Future Media & Technology.
Jim Guerard, vice president and general manager of Dynamic Media at Adobe, added that the BBC was trusted worldwide as a broadcast innovator. “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.”
The BBC already uses Adobe Flash for streaming content within the iPlayer.
Separately, the BBC has introduced a children’s version of the iPlayer, aimed at children aged 6-12 and accesible through the CBBC website.