BBC teams up with Adobe (not Microsoft!) to create Flash-based cross-platform iPlayer

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We’ve already criticised the BBC’s iPlayer software for being too restrictive, but now it seems that the BBC Trust’s commitment to opening it up might be more than just boardroom talk.

The BBC has announced that it’s partnered with Adobe to create a streaming version of its iPlayer download service using the ubiquitous Flash player (already found on sites like YouTube), thereby making it available to all major desktop operating systems — that’s Windows flavours, OS X, and Linux — by the end of the year.

Note that this is still not the “real deal”. You’ll have to watch the programmes as they happen, streamed from the BBC web site, rather than being able to download them, if you’re on anything less than a Windows XP / Internet Explorer combo. At least, that’s how it seems for now.

At least the BBC seems to have remembered how to form strategic partnerships with technology companies other than Microsoft. Long may that continue.

The BBC is planning a consumer marketing launch at Christmas, when it will offer downloading and streaming services, as well as radio.

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Andy Merrett