New version of BBC Media Player in Google Play Store and Amazon Store

Senior Product Manager

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My name is Cathy Bartlett and I work jointly with Chris Yanda to produce and manage the BBC Media Player

This week will see the a new version of the BBC Media Player in the Google Play Store and Amazon Store. We've been focusing on 2 key areas for this new version:

1) Improving video playback quality
2) Achieving feature parity between desktop/laptop computers and mobile devices

Better video quality and enhanced playback performance

The new BBC Media Player uses Standard Media Player as its core playback engine. SMP uses adaptive bitrate streaming to dynamically adjust the video quality based on the available bandwidth. Until now this has been unavailable for our Android viewers, the new version introduces this for those watching live sporting events this summer such as the World Cup and Commonwealth Games.

Feature parity

We want to offer our mobile audiences the same capabilities that we offer on desktop and laptop computers. This summer, for those of you watching the World Cup and Commonwealth Games, we will be offering the ability to 'rewind' all the way back to the beginning of a live event in case you missed the start. In addition, there will be an option to jump to the beginning of defined segments within an event (eg 'beginning of second half') or editorially chosen key highlights so that you can easily navigate to where you want to watch from.

We'll be continuing work on rolling out both these features to other services, such as BBC iPlayer, over the next few months.

Other improvements

We've also made some other significant improvements:

  • You will now be able to access the Android status bar during playback enabling you to check how much battery you have left, check your notifications and other tasks.
  • The user interface has been upgraded and scales responsively across different screen sizes and resolutions.

What's coming up

We continue to work on improving video playback. Our next focus in this area is to introduce ABR for all our catch-up programmes.

In the longer term, being able to playback video without having to launch a separate application is of key importance. We're currently looking at how we might achieve this technically.

Please do have a play with the new BBC Media Player. Chris and I look forward to reading your feedback.

Cathy Bartlett is Senior Product Manager, Media Playout Product, BBC Future Media

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