As I never tire from saying, I am huge fan of the BBC. Therefore I was pleased to note last week that they were trialling access to their archive, and unlike previous trials, I was quick enough off the mark to get accepted as part of the trial. This morning my password arrived.
Currently the archive provides streaming access to 781 programmes, 488 television programmes and 293 radio programmes, with the promise of more being added all the time. Whilst the streaming quality is not as good as the iPlayer video, it will no doubt placate the ISPs and Apple users who have been complaining about the iPlayer.
Whilst 781 programmes is a drop in the ocean that is the BBC archive, it is nonetheless a very broad selection of programmes, and is likely to appeal to vast swathes of the public. From those who wish to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane, to researchers who are interested in the changing attitudes of the British public.
The only annoying aspect is that there are generally one or two episodes of any particular programme, whilst this is likely to change in the future as more programmes are added, that’s not much solace for someone who has just watched the first episode of The History Man, and is waiting for part two! But who couldn’t be forgiving with a 1970 episode of the Basil Brush show to look forward to?