By Ian Urie
After pressure from many Linux users, the BBC has finally released a version of IPlayer that can be used by everyone.
This means that the Beeb now have two distinct versions.
The new version is flash based and allows folk to stream programs, although not save them.
The older version (which requires Internet Explorer) can save programs.
DRM is incorporated in the old version and only allows the program to be played while the license is valid (1 month, if memory serves me right).
This is a bit of a conumdrum, since the flash version won't be able to do that.
The flash based version does not allow saving at present although the BBC states that they are working on a version that will (subject to the DRM).
I've used the new version with no problems on 3 different browsers on Mandriva.
The browsers being Konqueror, Firefox and Opera.
Basically all you need is a browser with a valid flash plugin.
Since they're all using the flash 9 plugin, it's no problem.
Similarly, I've also tried it out in Windows XP with Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer.
No major differences detected in any of them.
I have seen reports of problems with the other IPlayer on Windows , but using it, haven't encountered any of them.
It's worth remembering that the IPlayer only allows you to watch TV programs from the last 7 days!
Previously, if I wanted to watch the program, I had to use Windows to download it.
Of course, I still couldn't play it under Linux because of the DRM.
This can be bypassed, but I can't give a URL for anything to do with that.
I suspect that a search on Google or the like for FairUse will suffice for most.
The BBC does try to help everyone understand their software and you can find answers to questions about the usage of the player
and its limitations on a custom page for queries.
If you don't watch a lot of television and don't use a PVR (like Sky+), here's an easy way to catch up with the programs you've missed.
Clicking on the image of the help page will take you to it.
It's surprisingly addictive to watch programs you wouldn't probably have went out of your way to record, but will watch because you can.
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