IPlayer Desktop: The BBC leads the way with AIR

I remember the first time I was assigned the role of Interactive tech lead on a BBC project. I was gripped with fear - I had heard all the things no developer likes to hear - they were stuck in 19th century development practices - the project would have to be done in Actionscript 2 (I had 3 years of AS3 development at that time) and so on. What a load of rubbish!!! Perhaps I've been lucky to be on projects that are cutting edge but so far I have found the BBC very eager to embrace and deploy new technology, some times when even I as the developer have had my misgivings. They are simply amazing. My jaw dropped with the introduction of the IPlayer - which has left all the competition drowning in their wake. Then they blew me away when one day I went to BBC.co.uk and discovered that the news was on 24 hours live via Flash Media Server (no more use for a teevee in the house). I could listen to the radio and teevee online, simply fabulous. Now they have done it again.
The BBC have now implemented an Adobe Runtime desktop player through which you can now download the videos you wish to watch on thte IPlayer and watch them at your own convenience offline. I'm never offline so I guess in my case I watch them as local videos. It will save them a huge load of cheddar to be sure as they will have no need to pay for the streaming bandwidth used up when episodes are watched repeatedly. Its a masterstroke. Best of all they did make sure there was support for Linux Ubuntu 8.10 being the officialy supported distro. How cool is that. I sincerely hope they continue to go down this route. Long live the BBC!!!


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