BBC Debuts Cross-Platform iPlayer, Mac Concern Dissipates

The BBC lanced the platform-neutrality boil somewhat when it developed a web-based version of iPlayer last year. Today it’s gone back to the desktop, quietly switching on the new cross-platform download manager we knew Anthony Rose’s team was working on and which may soothe angry Mac and Linux users’ concerns. Users must have Adobe’s AIR desktop web framework installed, be signed up as an iPlayer Labs tester and, via the web frontend to the service, find a show which can be downloaded (iPlayer developer Dan Sumption pointed me to Nevermind The Buzzcocks). Clicking the download link on the programme page fires up the “BBC iPlayer Desktop” AIR app, a simple download manager through which shows are played. It looks virtually identical to the web version – the main benefit being the ability to watch shows when an internet connection isn’t available.