BBC iPlayer has only been available for users of Windows to date, and currently that is still the case. However, with a number of movements since the launch of iPlayer beta, we may soon see a change. There is no promise of delivering iPlayer to non-Windows users, but according to the BBC Trust, there is a need for iPlayer “platform neutrality”.
There is are moves to offer streaming video services to mulitpul platforms. The adoption & usage of these streaming services by users running non-Windows operating systems, may well decide the future of iPlayer. Streaming serivces being available on Linux and Mac would be great, but you would have to be online and streaming at the time. For a number of people this is a great addition but not a replacement for being able to download the content and watch when ready.
All this talk from the BBC and others is great, but it all comes down to content protection. If there is no DRM system available that meets the needs of the ‘rights holders’, then the BBC will not be able to implement iPlayer on any other platforms. The need to manage what happens to content is the main priority, not access to it.
2000 – VHS Tape, record, keep, watch, Lockin? The fact its on a tape
2007 – iPlayer, download, keep for a restricted amount of time, watch then deleted within a week, Lockin? Format, OS, DRM, Player, and so on…
Lets not get started on DRM now, Just read: DefectiveByDesign: What is DRM?
Who’s rights? Do content authors have the right to protect their content to this degree? Who paid for what? (License fees go to the BBC, the BBC make or buy content, who owns what? If your paying the bill shouldn’t you have a say?) Do you still have the right to watch the content?
If viewers lose rights at this rate, who will be allowed to see content in another 7 years? Just the company that made it??? Or maybe we will have a Set Top Box for each content author, that allows us to watch each program once, and then deletes it. Then when their ‘box’ breaks we can pay them to come and look at it, and then buy a new one from them because its beyond repair. With a nice monthly fee and the box self destructing when you cancel your contract….