Hot on the heels of Auntie releasing a selection of videos for sale via the iTunes Store, we somehow missed yesterday’s sneaky revelation that the BBC is intending to release some form of the BBC iPlayer for iPod touch and iPhone ‘in the coming weeks.’
iPlayer is a mixed bag. For Windows users you can stream Flash versions or download DRM-laden episodes of your favourite BBC content for offline viewing. For Mac users, there’s just the streaming option.
So what does this mean for iPhone/iPod touch users?
I reckon it means that they’ll do a Youtube and re-encode their iPlayer content into H.264 so that we can watch it over WiFi. I do not believe for a second that the BBC will re-encode and allow us to download content to our iPods. I’d certainly be more impressed with an iPlayer application for iPhone and would actually use it. In comparison, the Youtube player in my iPhone is seldom used because, frankly, Youtube is crap for anything other than showing people the “This is Karate” or “The Baron” sketches from Blunt.
Of course I don’t expect the BBC to do more than that but consider sitting anywhere there’s WiFi and catching up with last nights Eastenders or watching the so-far extremely compelling “Ashes to Ashes” (episode 2 expires today). This is why we pay our license fees, so we can have content on demand, over the t’internet, delivered to our desktops and handhelds.