Desktop BBC iPlayer: Flash Player upgrade

Friday 17 August 2012, 11:51

Dave Price Dave Price Head of BBC iPlayer

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I'm Dave Price and the head of BBC iPlayer.

I wanted to update you on a minor upgrade my team are making to the media player on BBC iPlayer and what this change will mean for some of you.

We're upgrading our media player for two principle reasons. Firstly, so that the BBC can continue to offer the highest quality media playback and new experiences like those used by millions of people during the Olympics on the BBC Sport site.

Secondly, Flash Player 10.1 was released in June 2010, and since then there have been five further major releases (which most people have upgraded to). By focusing the Engineering and Test teams on the most commonly used versions of Flash Player we can maintain confidence in the high quality of BBC iPlayer for the widest audience.

So, from 22 August 2012, you'll need Adobe Flash Player 10.2 or above to continue using BBC iPlayer on your desktop.

We've tried to ensure this change affects the fewest people possible, but appreciate making any changes can be a bit of a pain. As 98.5% of people who use the desktop version of BBC iPlayer already have a version of Flash Player in excess of 10.2, we're confident only a small proportion of you are affected.

For those using Flash Player 10.1 and below, the upgrade is really simple. You can upgrade at the Adobe website in advance (or see the BBC Webwise Guide), or wait for update prompts on BBC iPlayer next Wednesday.

As always happy to receive your feedback.

Dave Price is the Head of BBC iPlayer, Programmes and On Demand, BBC Future Media

Update 20/08/12 14:58: Adobe link changed at user Squirrel's suggestion

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    Comment number 121.

    I can well understand the bitter frustration of Mac users, but I am a humble PC user who already had Flash and now iPlayer doesn't work at all. I know beyond any reasonable doubt that BBC staff don't give a damn. I doubt they understand how much - today - people resent, and even hate the BBC.

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    Comment number 122.

    @121 So you expect the BBC to try and fix your PC? I suggest to take it somewhere to get fixed or fix it yourself.

    Its amazing how so many people expect the BBC to support a platform that neither Adobe or Apple have supported since 2009/10. It may be frustrating but why should we expect the BBC to support systems no longer supported by the manufacturers of the software and hardware/OS?

    Its worth noting that the 1.5% quoted in the blog presumably includes a number of users that can upgrade but hadn't. Flash is notoriously insecure with regular security patches so running a version 2 years old is dangerous and should be discouraged.

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    Comment number 123.

    I cannot believe that the BBC is clinging to Flash, when everyone else has moved on. I have 2 Macs in my house that act as digital radios, actually I should now say 'acted' because as they are PPC machines, they no longer work on the BBCi Flash system. This is really pisses me off! It cuts out quite a few licence payers that for financial or Green reasons still use PPC based Macs. Come on BBC - get your fingers out and get with the rest of the web & upgrade away from Flash!

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    Comment number 124.

    Having read the majority of comments here including Dave Prices response I am amazed at the bickering between what is the best OS. Lets get down to basics, Android is here to stay as is Windows, Apple and Linux and I use three of the four listed, Android, Linux and Windows and I like each for different reasons. The BBC is failing in its duty to keep up to date and be aware of market trends, I now have a Nexus 7, it is wonderful in my opinion, but the lack of support by the BBC is amazing. I have tried every work around to get iplayer to work with failed results everytime, once I got a great picture, but no sound!!!!

    The BBC have a duty of care to ensure that their customers are able to access their content on mobile devices, this is not new, but has been around for a very long time, they are just slow, short sighted and top heavy. It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to get things to stream properly on almost any OS if you have the will and desire to get your programmes out to the public, the BBC unfortunately do not have this fire and desire to meet the current needs and stay ahead of the game.

    I also notice that Dave Price managed to avoid posting a possible date for release of a working iplayer for Android Jelly Bean, he should be a politician!

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    Comment number 125.

    For those using the Nexus finally got iplayer to work, with sound and vision!!!!

    I downloaded the ordinary firefox then went to the xda forums http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=31164587 and got the link for a download of flash which seems to work. Firefox may crash, but just restart it. You also have to set flash settings and go into Firefox settings and tick the box use as desktop a quick test whilst at work and Horizon burst out loud and clear.

    I hope this helps some frustrated users of Nexus, I do recommend that you root your device though, it is very simple with the rootkit tool for windows just google rootkit for nexus and follow instructions, there are some great articles that will guide you through this process, but then you have far more control and can mount usb sticks and use Avast virus killer.

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    Comment number 126.

    We are fast approaching a month since the original post, please are timescale for the fix?

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    Comment number 127.

    As a Boxee Box user this has meant I have now lost the ability to watch Live tv through iplayer and also the new (and great) restart function which aren't available through the app or the Bigscreen version through the browser.

    I know this is more a failing of the Boxee and its developers than the BBC but it is a shame to lose the ability to take advantage of the new functions.

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    Comment number 128.

    I am unable to upgrade my Adobe Flash Player on my Macbook Pro. Is there anyone out there who can help me. Any why the hell did the BBC mess about with the IPlayer. Very similar to the way they mess about with the BBC Home Page. Why? Do you feel this continuous need to employ web designers every few months or so?

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    Comment number 129.

    I have a mac 10.5.8.when I try to download 0KB available appears.Can you assist me?

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    Comment number 130.

    Would someone like to volunteer an ETA for the Jelly Bean version of iPlayer for all us Nexus 7 users out there?

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    Comment number 131.

    You're really dragging your heels on a Flash free version of iPlayer.

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    Comment number 132.

    Upgrading Flash Player is 'really simple'? No, it is 'really' impossible on an Apple Mac Power Pc which I and many thousands of others use. The highest version of Flash Player that can be installed is 10.1.102.64. The golden rule of any IT engineering software development is backwards compatibility. In this case the BBC have utterly a failed a cohort of their loyal consumers. This is a managerial failure.

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    Comment number 133.

    To be honest I only have 2 words to say and thats HTML 5, I consider the BBC to be at the forefront with a lot of technologies but still relying upon flash is a thing of the past. HTML5 has all the capabilities and is more compatible with todays hardware.

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    Comment number 134.

    @133 Where is the DRM layer definition in the HTML5 video standards? On platforms where built-in security is deemed insufficient, such as Android, PCs etc many right providers require DRM to be part of the video stream.

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    Comment number 135.

    Sorry. It is not acceptable to Specify plug-ins that will not run on a PPC. A G4 Mac may seem old but it is more than capable of being usable, and is perfectly suited to being a media player.

    We cant all afford to throw away older equipment every 3 years, and in this time of austerity I believe more thought should have gone into the service you provide. Not to mention the environmental impact of replacing older hardware.

    At least give us access to HTTP Live Streaming, as is used on IOS devices.

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    Comment number 136.

    This is rubbish, I used to be able to watch iPlayer on my android phone and tablet then it was telling me I cant watch unless I upgrade to a version of flash my phone doesn't support. I managed to download a lower version than the latest (because adobe stopped supporting andeoid) iplayerwas fine for a couple of days but now I cant watch it until I download an app that isn't compatible with my phone and so it wont let me do. I thought the bbc was a public and unbiased broadcaster and not just there for those with apple produce ts

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    Comment number 137.

    I must be one the "unfortunate" 1.5% who cannot use a version of Flash Player suitable for iPlayer. I use a Macintosh PPC laptop running OS X.4.11 to listen to BBC Radio. I use a newer Mac for my work. No Flash Player above 10.1.102.64 will run on a PPC Mac. So my system is obsolete?

    Any suggestions welcome.

    P.S.
    Does anyone here find the new iPlayer to be a significant improvement over the old one?

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    Comment number 138.

    This is rubbish, I used to be able to watch iPlayer on my android phone and tablet then it was telling me I cant watch unless I upgrade to a version of flash my phone doesn't support. I managed to download a lower version than the latest (because adobe stopped supporting android) iplayer was fine for a couple of days but now I cant watch it until I download an app that isn't compatible with my phone and which it wont let me do. I thought the bbc was a public and unbiased broadcaster and not just there for those with apple products.

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    Comment number 139.

    Would like to thank "K****D" and "D** *** H***y". I can watch the iPlayer once again.

    Have been looking out for any response from the BeeB about this issue, but not heard a peep. This problem is being resolved by blogsters themselves in a spirit of co-operation - not by the Corporation. Thanks again.

    There are platforms that have evidently been “constructively dismissed” from the iPlayer experience. Might we apply for discounts on the Licence Fee if the BBC no longer support our respective operating systems?

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    Comment number 140.

    Why on earth does the BBC still support Flash Player? An incredible decision to force users (those who can) to upgrade to 10.2 or higher and to simply choose to discard other users who are unable to upgrade, or elect not to use such poor software. For heaven's sake, Beeb, catch up with the times and drop Flash in favour of a more modern, more versatile, safer alternative.

 

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