back to article BBC iPlayer for iPhone and iPod Touch is iGo

The BBC's streaming iPlayer for Apple's iPod Touch and iPhone has today gone live in beta. As promised last month, the release marks the resurgent iPlayer's first foray onto mobile devices. Some programmes that are available on the desktop haven't made the leap to your pocket yet, but we're promised it's just a matter of time …


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  1. Martin

    Next devices for iPlayer

    1. Mac

    2. PS3

    3. WM6

    4. BB (if you can bear to watch it in postage stamp format)

  2. CrackedButter
    Jobs Halo

    RE: Next devices

    Why not aim for the 3G iPhone :-)

  3. Simon Westerby
    Paris Hilton

    Where the rest of the mobile support then?

    Nice to see the BBC supporting the majority markets ...

    Oh hang on, this is so they can jump on the iPhone spin-wagon again!

    I want to see the version that runs on my N73 (s60) over 3g ... surely thats a bigger target market then the bloody iPhone...

    Paris, because she's jus as sexeh as the iPhone... and about as clever too...

  4. Jack Moxley



  5. Simon
    Thumb Down

    Why the iPhone iPod?

    Ive just bought a swanky new Archos player, when are they going to build an iPlayer for that?

    Maybe they should call it the iArchos, favourtism pft!

  6. Tom

    What's the point?

    I don't understand the point of this if you can only stream programmes. It would actually be useful if you could download stuff while in range of a wireless network and then watch them when you like.

    3G wouldn't help much on the Tube.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Next devices

    CBM 64... After all there have been sold more than 20 millions of those breadbox brownies...


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re RE: Next devices

    Well they've just added Exchange to it, so all they need now is 3G and GPS and I'll be a killer business phone (nice and locked down, so the (l)users can't screw things up very easily).

    I'm actually looking forward to the next gen Jesus Phone now...

  9. Matt



    but id push the PS3/XBOX360 into the number one spot... and OSX into number 2 :)

    the PS3 is always connected to the TV, and a TV is a much better place for watching TV!!! TV on a laptop, just doesnt have the same impact or watchability as TV on a TV!!!

    seems odd that the BBC are using my licence fee to target such a nice product like the Iphone, especally seeing as though you need to be connected to wi-fi to use it!

  10. Geoff Spick

    Next devices

    1. PSP, at max screen resolution please

  11. b1tchell


    Tried it on the iPhone, hats off the the beeb. Quality is amazing.

    Thanks Auntie :-)

  12. Nev
    Jobs Horns

    Looks like the Beeb...

    ... got stung by the rabid attack of the Linux moaners and is now catering to users of a small minority device instead of the mainstream ones.

  13. Neil Hoskins

    attn fanboys:

    Does the streaming version not already work on a Mac, then? That's all this is: a streaming version that works on iPhone and iPod Touch. Without Flash.

    The fanboys are starting to look more and more like a religion. Before they've even read about what this does, they're going to start burning stuff in protest that it's not available on the Mac. Even though it is.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Please, please, please iPlayer for the Wii. That way I don't need to tit about with scan converters and having a PC on in order to watch streaming telly.

  15. Paul

    Wii too

    Though i suspect that's more of the case of getting nintendo/opera to support the latest version of flash than a new platform per say.

  16. Simon
    Thumb Down

    iPlayer on a console with a telly?

    Eww, I have my computer connected up to a HD telly and looked at the iPlayer on that, it looked crap!

    Grainy and stuttering, thats why they have the iPlayer on items with small screens (And a window on a PC machine, you can run it full screen, but yup, crap again).

  17. fraser smith
    Thumb Down

    Not in UK

    Sadly the BBC have decided that Central London is no longer in the UK and refuse to stream to my office. So I can't try this (mind you I don't have an iPhone anyway).

    I'd like to see Wii support too but I doubt that is a BBC problem. If the Wii supported Flash 9, then the BBC Flash iPlayer would work. Flash 9 support won't happen until the relevant developers kits are made available by Adobe.

    I'd much prefer to see them drop the Digital Restrictions Management on iPlayer downloads so that we licence payers can get what we pay for instead of being tied to proprietary hardware and software.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Does this make sense?

    We've had a quick look on our iPod Touch via the office thumbs up from us [...] iPhone users are in the same position as iPod Touch owners: the EDGE data network is too slow for iPlayer to work.

    Does that mean it works on the iPhone or not, if it works on the iPod Touch? The second part implies it doesn't work on the Touch.

    Also I guess the UK-only limit is still in place?

    Paris because she proof-read the article ;-)

  19. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Does this make sense?

    "iPhone users are in the same position as iPod Touch owners: the EDGE data network is too slow for iPlayer to work."

    As in, as an iPhone owner you have to use Wi-fi, not mobile data.

    Have you been drinking at lunchtime?

  20. Lyndon Hills

    @Chris Williams

    <quote>Have you been drinking at lunchtime?</quote>

    Gotta love that El reg style...

  21. Mark Lawson

    Wonder if it'll ever work on an old Netgem?

    The old Flash 4 limitation probably doesn't help - but what's wrong with wanting to see iPlayer via an iPlayer?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    Actually, jackass, I'm a Brit in the US and it isn't even lunchtime yet. My point was that the statement isn't clear. Is that ok with you?

  23. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Chris

    "Actually, jackass, I'm a Brit in the US and it isn't even lunchtime yet. My point was that the statement isn't clear. Is that ok with you?"

    Absolutely. Lovely to see you've adopted that easy going American sense of humour, too.

  24. Rob Beard

    As a Linux user....

    As a Linux user I'd say the next device should be....

    The Wii!

    I want some more stuff to fill up the channels on my Wii with. Yes I do watch TV on my Linux box attached to the TV but I generally use the TV tuner in there.

    Now only if the Beeb could sort out some sort of free bandwidth to broadband users...


  25. Anonymous Coward

    Just looked at it ...... WOW

    I'm impressed, streaming media is normally very blocky and stuttering, this is superb and ideally suited to the smaller screen of the iPod Touch.

    I bought the Touch clearly understanding that the bandwidth characteristics of the EDGE networks and O2's supporting network would lead to an awful rich media experience.

    Been very impressed, can't wait for a HSDPA capable iPhone and on a network that isn't under threat of a fine for failing to rollout it's 3G network in time!

  26. Simon

    Flame wars!

    *Giggle* do we have the start of the flamewar between the article author and a commenter?

    Ooh, where did I put my pop-corn?...

  27. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Chris

    "You really should be a bit more open to criticism."

    Blimey. I thought was being when I accepted it wasn't clear, explained it better and made a *joke*. Let's all put the handbags down - I'm far too drunk to argue.

  28. Tim Bergel


    Look Chris, that statement <isn't> clear. I have an iPod touch so I was interested in this, but I got stuck on the same sentence. If you don't know that EDGE is what the iPhone uses for mobile data, it is very easy to read it as meaning that the iPod touch doesn't work properly because, like the iPhone, it's EDGE data networking is too slow.

    You really should be a bit more open to criticism - have <you> been boozing at Friday lunchtime?

  29. Ty
    Jobs Halo


    It's quite fun to see the fear of Apple by people here.

    Shame to see so much ignorance but that comes with IT being now accessible to Joe Public. *sigh*

    The iPhone a niche market? hehe let's see how long you think THAT for shall we?

    The BBC are for once on the ball. iPlayer won't be available on your cruddy little devices for a good reason.

    The iPhone is a huge platform in the making. It's the NEXT BIG THING. Deal with it.

    The release of the iPhone SDK will open your grey dull eyes to what Apple people have known for a year or more.

    Those of us with not such rabid blindness to what is happening in front of us will enjoy your slow awakening and enjoy even more watchingyou squirm when these pathetic posts are rubbed in your faces :)

  30. Adrian Jackson

    PS3, without a doubt...

    I wish to abuse technology by streaming old TV programs from the BBC to my PS3, and viewing them on my PSP using Remote Play. Beeb, make it so!

  31. Tim

    Next device

    Since the majority of mobile devices which will be able to use this will be phone designed for business men, ie, WiFi equiped with a platform you can modify surely a bigger target audience would be Symbian and Windows mobile, as these have phones (ie the N95 etc and a whole range of Windows mobile ones) have WiFi or can be upgraded via SD-Card expansions. I know many people with N95s but nobody I know directly has an iPhone, thats a 6:0 ratio making the N95 maket alone infinity times larger.

    As for running it through a console which is already hooked upto a tv...thats just silly, you're probably within about 4 feet of a computer while on the console anyway.

  32. Neil Hoskins

    @Chris re 'unclear'

    He seems to have lost his command of English, too, since that sentence made perfect sense to the rest of us.

    Oh, and yes... the wii... the BBC blog doesn't seem to be taking comments so I'll place my vote here and hope that somebody from the BBC visits.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm Mac has been working for 3 months for iplayer

    You realise right that since the flash version of iplayer was released (i.e. 3 months ago) you can use it on any browser that works with flash, so Macs work just fine.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    phone support?

    BBC appears to be another microsoft sort of organisation, they produce bad software - ie only compatible on windows and before fixing their issue ie making it cross platform compatible they move to the next project ie bbci for the phone ??

    Doesnt it remind u of the failing windows OS and a move to games console arena?

    ahh yess lets give up and move to something easier..

    where is all my tv license money going - certainly not invested in brains

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Re: @Chris

    I think you missed the point... what's someone on the wrong side of the pond doing trying to access our license-fee-paid-for content? I say let him/her run up a big mobe bill, only to be hit with "Bzzzt - access denied". Oooh, nearly home-time... another benefit of being in Blighty!

    PH cos I bet she knows how to use a handbag.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    TV on a phone?

    OK, maybe I am becoming a bit of a luddite in my old age but WTF does anyone want to watch TV on a phone for? if you really want a tiny screen with poor picture quality you used to be able to buy a "Portable" radio / TV from Amstrad didn't you?

  37. jai


    Is it not O2 that has the contract with the Cloud? not bbc?

  38. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: bbc/cloud

  39. Garry Mills
    Thumb Up

    Not working for me

    Well, I've just tried it on my (Jailbroken) Touch and I get audio but no video.

    Just wish Apple would change their mind about Flash.

    And I'm a Brit, in the UK, about to go to the pub FWIW

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Apple TV Please

    I'm not sure what additional magic the Beeb are using above and beyond regular H.264, so I'm guessing there's not much they'd have to do to make this available for pretty much any other media capable device.

    Also, if this works for an iPod Touch, will it work on my newly (dodgily imported) Apple TV? That would be really handy for catching up on missed programmes.

    Paris 'cos she's an expert in Internet video...

  41. Tom Chiverton

    free ?!?

    "here'll be free access across thousands of public locations too"

    And, of course, they can't check if those are TV license payers.

    So they'll have to get the government to levy a tax on all iPods 'just in case'...

  42. Simon Westerby

    RE:TV on a phone?

    Its not just TV that is streamed via iplayer... its auntie beebs radio programs too.

    I could try to listen to them atm using Realplayer (on my n73 on 3) but 3 are being really nice and dropping live steams connections after 1m 45s ....

    So much foir my unlimted streaming on X-Series.

    Now if the BBC iPlayer offically supported the N73 i would have something to crack 3 over the head with, As they do not the ycurrently just claim all sorts to avoid fixing the issue....

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually works quite well

    Not many programmes on it yet, but I was pretty impressed by it. The picture is surprisingly genuinely watchable.

    Just to answer the question no-one else cares about the answer to, it does work with a TV out cable (which potentially could have been quite cool if holed up in a hotel room with wi-fi) but on a 26" screen, looks even worse that I thought it would. I know 400kbps isn't ever going to be great, but it looks absolutely awful-far worse than Apple store downloads.

  44. jai

    Re: Re: bbc/cloud

    Ah! you are right - sorry, hadn't read about that before

    i'd assumed you refered to the iPhone having free Cloud access - so now it means I can watch Armstrong & Miller on my iPhone and Hotel Babylon on my iPod Touch at the same time! woohoo!!


  45. Neil Hoskins

    @AC re 'Erm Mac...'

    Hence my earlier post. There was a bloke commenting on the BBC blog who was apoplectic with rage that this had been done 'before support for the Mac'.


    That's really not a very convincing trolling attempt, nobody's that stupid. Oh, hang on....

  46. Rowley
    Thumb Up


    Going to test this with n810 - next cloud connection I make

  47. Chad H.

    @ chris

    that's why we all come back to the reg, come for the wit, stay for the articles... Take a bow young man (if you can without falling over in your state *bfeg*)

  48. Daniel B.

    If you don't know what EDGE is...

    "If you don't know that EDGE is what the iPhone uses for mobile data"

    ... then you're reading the wrong sites. I expect Joe Public expecting his iTouch to have EDGE "'coz it's bleeding-EDGE tech, get it??", but someone who's into mobile data surely knows, at least, what EDGE/GPRS means.

    Oops, I just remember a colleague asking me "what is PPP?" ...

  49. Eman Tsal
    Paris Hilton

    Pretty good actually

    Just watched Adam Hart-Davis telling me why the ancients were so good. On ma phone.

    Paris cos even she would have understood the reference to Edge. Anonymous Cowards are so fekkin dumb.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: TV on a phone?

    Well, I find that when you've got no option but to wait for whatever reason, on a bus, train, in a queue for the post office, WHY, then access to live BBC news 24, or NASA tv, or ebaums world, tends to make the experience less of a waste of time. Of course, these are not iplayer based, but neither are they region restricted and drm loaded.

    Mind you, I don't have an iphone, nor do I need one. My 3G capable HTC Trinity does me just fine thanks. And you would probably be surprised how many locations you can get HDSPA at. Remote areas of wales and cornwall are the most recent I've experienced. Plus with a 1 gig / month soft limit from T-Mobile, the data required doesn't hurt either.

  51. Martin

    @AC re 'Erm Mac...'

    In my mail I was simply making the statement that I'd like to see the iPlayer able to function as completely on my mac as on my xp machine.....let's see it able to download rather than just stream. Have been using streaming since iPlayer introduced but would rather use native on mac than have to boot VM Ware when on the train. A valid point surely?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the other devices worth using?

    As my title suggests - it would be better if the less moronic, cash-happy folks of the UK using proper phones (i.e. anything but the iPhake) would have similar functionality. Quite happy to use it via WiFi on my W960.

  53. This post has been deleted by its author

  54. Tom


    Not to criticise your use of time, but isn't the point of mythtv that it records what you want to see from TV - thus rendering a plugin to access iplayer kind of moot - i f you wanted to watch it, myth would have scheduled it to record, no? Thats how my myth handles everything.

    And then you'd get it in lovely high(ish) bitrate MPEG-2.

    Still, I suppose if you forgot to schedule something...

    Doesn't it look utter crap on a decent sized TV? It must look utter pap scaled up to 1920x1200..

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