It has been somewhat of a busy news week, what with the final release of Microsoft Silverlight 2, the announcement of Apple’s updated MacBook/Pro hardware and of course today’s news that Adobe has shipped Creative Suite 4, as well as releasing an amazing set of new capabilities with Flash Player 10.
In the midst of all this, Erik Huggers (Director of BBC Future Media & Technology) announced that the BBC will be launching a platform-neutral download client for the BBC’s iPlayer service built using Adobe AIR. This of course follows on from the success the BBC have had from using Adobe Flash Player to deliver content for the iPlayer streaming service.
The current version of the desktop client, which enables BBC content to be downloaded and played back later, is Windows only and has meant that people using Mac or Linux-based computers have had to access content using the streaming service. With the launch of BBC iPlayer using Adobe AIR, you’ll be able to download and watch BBC programmes wherever you like, on Windows, Mac or Linux – this is really great news and something that I’ve been waiting for!
This announcement is a great validation of Adobe’s platform and the work we’ve put in to deliver consistent experiences across browsers (with Flash Player) and operating systems (with AIR). There is still some work to do on supporting Flash Player 10 and AIR on mobiles and devices, but we’re working on that as part of the Open Screen project.
The BBC have an obligation to rights-holders and the BBC Trust to protect content with DRM, and so the recently launched Flash Media Rights Management Server (FMRMS) will be employed to protect downloaded content within iPlayer; this is already working well with Adobe Media Player and so I’d expect a pretty seamless implementation within iPlayer also.
There’s no exact date for the launch of the download version of iPlayer, but “later this year” is referenced in the announcement.