BBC iPlayer application on Nokia N95, N85 8GB and E71
I can hardly believe it's been over a year since we first launched BBC iPlayer on mobile on the iPhone and iPod Touch. My team has worked very hard since then to bring iPlayer to more mobile phones and today we are launching BBC iPlayer on mobile on the Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8GB and the Nokia E71.
We've developed a downloadable app which you can install by going to http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer on your Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8GB or your Nokia E71.
Catch Up TV
The mobile app combines the BBC's iPlayer catch-up TV service and live TV and live radio. As on desktop iPlayer, you can browse through Highlighted or Most Popular shows or view the last 7 days of BBC programmes by channel or category. We have also included a handy search function and channel listings for the last 7 days.
You will notice that catch-up radio is missing from BBC iPlayer on mobile on the Nokia N95, N95 8GB and E71. The reason for this is we need to do a little more work testing the catch-up radio encodes. I didn't want to delay the launch of BBC iPlayer on mobile on the Nokia N95, N95 8GB and Nokia E71 while we waited for the catch-up radio encodes and we will be adding this feature imminently.
Live TV and Live Radio
The Live TV tab includes the BBC TV channels, each accompanied by a simple Now and Next listing. All you need to do is click on the channel logo to watch TV on your phone. Similarly, the live radio tab lists all of the BBC's national radio networks, which you can now listen to where ever you are.
You may notice that some Live TV or radio programmes are marked 'programme unavailable'. This is because the BBC does not have mobile rights to all of our programmes so we have to remove those shows from the live streams.
At the moment, the BBC only has the technical capacity to encode the national radio networks and the BBC London version of our TV channels on mobile. This means BBC iPlayer on mobile doesn't yet offer live streams of BBC local radio stations or the BBC television channels for the regional nations like, for example, BBC One Scotland or BBC Two Wales. These will be coming in due course.
You will also notice that Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra are not included on the Live Radio section of BBC iPlayer on mobile. This is because the BBC does not have the mobile rights to some of the sport coverage provided by those radio networks. We therefore would have to remove those programmes from the live streams and we don't yet have the systems in place for doing this on radio. This is coming soon.
You can download full TV programmes on the Nokia E71 and watch them any time you want for up to 7 days, after which they will expire. This is really great if you commute on the train or the tube, like I do. Each week I've downloaded The Apprentice on my Nokia N96 to watch on the tube on my way home from work. We've optimised the picture quality on downloads and it's so convenient to download your favourite programmes to your phone and watch them any time you want for the next 7 days.
The BBC only has the rights to make TV programmes available in iPlayer for a limited number of days after the original broadcast. We therefore have to use Digital Rights Management (DRM) software to ensure downloaded programmes expire after 7 days. BBC iPlayer on mobile uses OMA 2.0 DRM for its download service. For the OMA 2.0 DRM software to work, special authentication certificates need to be installed on the phone when it is manufactured. Nokia pre-installed these certificates on the E71, but not on the N95 or N95 8GB. So, unfortunately, we can't offer programme downloads to the N95s.
Streaming over Wi-Fi and 3G Networks
The BBC has a committed to giving our audiences convenient access to our programmes wherever you are, and, from the outset, we designed BBC iPlayer on mobile as both a streaming and download service. We also decided to only offer BBC iPlayer on mobile to phones that include a wireless broadband, or Wi-Fi, connection. This is because the BBC can deliver higher quality streams and provide a much richer playback experience over Wi-Fi.
If you have a phone that is compatible with BBC iPlayer on mobile, and are connected to Wi-Fi, then you will be able to access BBC iPlayer on mobile regardless of which mobile network operator your phone contract is with.
So, if you are a 3 customer, or a Vodafone contract customer, then you can play full BBC programmes over either your Wi-Fi or 3G connections. If you are a customer of any other UK mobile network operator you can still use BBC iPlayer, but only when your phone is connected via Wi-Fi.
Here's how that works on your phone. If the BBC detects a phone accessing BBC iPlayer on mobile over 3G on a network other than 3 or Vodafone, we will display a 'switch to Wi-Fi' message when you come to play a programme. This will prompt the user to connect via their wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) connection before being able to play the programme.
The BBC are working to get BBC iPlayer on mobile accessible across more 3G networks in the UK and will let you know when we have more news on this.
If you have a Nokia N95, N95 8GB or a Nokia E71 I hope you try out the BBC iPlayer on mobile application and enjoy watching BBC programmes whenever and wherever you want on your phone.
Try watching a downloaded programme on the train or listening to the radio when you are in the park or out for a walk. Or have a go connecting your phone to your home Wi-Fi and catching up on your favourite BBC programmes.
Interestingly, our initial research suggests that many people enjoying using BBC iPlayer on mobile in bed at night. It's always nice to catch a bit of your favourite programme before you turn the light out.
You can install the BBC iPlayer on mobile app by going to http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer on your Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8GB or your Nokia E71. BBC iPlayer on mobile is also available on a range of other devices.
David Madden is the Executive Producer for Mobile Media in the BBC's Future Media and Technology, Audio and Music and Mobile team.