If you had to create a list of the best things about Britain only a fool would ignore the BBC, and despite being in existence for over 75 years, in various forms, it continues to be at the forefront of the latest technologies. Last night its news site (probably the best news in the world) announced that the BBC site would be accessible at The Cloud wi-fi hotspots throughout the UK for free, but even more interestingly it provided some further details of the future of BBC TV on the internet.
- A streaming Flash version of the iPlayer
- Downloading to portable devices (such as N95 and PSP)
- Not commited to offering download version of iPlayer to Linux and Mac
Whilst the streaming version will be a more inclusive version for the whinging Linux and Mac users, I am sure there will still be complaints that they can’t have a download version, but as the BBC says “It comes down to cost per user”. Of course I personally welcome the proposed addition of the N95 version (especially as I have numerous trouble connecting to my Sky Sports package), and hope that the Flash version will be compatible with the Wii, but I also realise the need for the BBC to be cost effective.
The biggest probably I have at the moment with the BBC is finding time to watch and listen to all their programmes. The iPlayer is slowly filling with programmes I will probably never have time to watch, my N95 is filling with podcasts faster than I can listen to them, and I am constantly battling with the wi-fi radio to utilise the 7-day catch-up before we reach day eight! The change in the media landscape is best expressed through a comparison of launch of the Channel 4 twenty-five years ago, and the launch of Dave on Freeview yesterday. Where one was launched with a blaze of publicity that everyone was talking about, Dave was launched with little more than a whimper. As yet I haven’t even bothered to re-tune my digi-box.