BBC iPlayer - it might reach your iPhone but not my PDA (...yet)

Posted on Sun 09 March 2008 in Internet

I've just come across an interesting article on boingboing (a web site with blog like posts related to computer things), it appears the BBC are trialling the iPlayer service to work to iPhones. BoingBoing noticed (or at least someone noticed and boingboing re-reported it) that they identify an iPhone by accepting the browsers name. They then send an MP4 video stream for your viewing pleasure.

There's a couple of interesting things there:
1) There's no "DRM" - the software technology that prevents you copying and sharing the file with others. I guess the thoughts are you'll not be copying it because you'll be 'streaming' the file and wont get to save it. You can download the file though, the article on boingboing explains how. I also imagine they've changed the screen size to suit an iPhone which is quite low quality for TV so it may not be too pleasant to watch on other screens anyway.
2) MP4's can be played by my windows mobile 6 PDA/Phone. I'm not sure I can persuade my windows mobile browser to tell the BBC it's an iPhone but the effort the BBC have gone to in trying this on an iPhone means that they may extend that to other platforms later.