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BBC iPlayer 2.0: Links Roundup

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 11:34 UK time, Friday, 1 August 2008

iplayer.gifThe more astute among you will have noticed that for the past few weeks, as well as being the editor of the Internet Blog, I've also been one of the people hosting the BBC iPlayer messageboard.

Jonathan Richardson - who is the dedicated message board host and one of the iPlayer operations team that maintains the boards - asked me to keep an eye out while iPlayer version 2.0 was being introduced.

Every morning at 1030, a group of people from across all the different links in the iPlayer chain (including the iPlayer team, BBC Audio & Music, Capita, Red Bee and Editorial Operations) crowd together in an office called "The Two Ronnies" in the BBC's Broadcast Centre. They update each other on what bugs and glitches have been reported and how they're being resolved.

No complex project of this type is going to be absolutely perfect as it moves to a new phase. So here's a reminder of some links you may find helpful if you're having the odd problem.

For an overview of what the BBC is trying to achieve look at these posts from Anthony Rose and Ben Hanley. For Radio see Mark Friend and James Cridland.

iPlayer_homepage_large430ff.jpg

For more specific queries, there's the iPlayer Help and FAQs. Here's one to tell you what you need to listen live to iPlayer radio. If you use a dial-up internet connection and want to use that to listen to iPlayer radio, there's information here.

Read all our posts about the BBC iPlayerIf you're having trouble with your BT Home Hub, you could look at this FAQ and this BT forum (I think it would be fair to say that both BT and people here are scratching their heads a bit).

If you're part of the Reciva community, you may find this forum helpful. And James Cridland has posted a comment on Six Penguins blog about radio on the iPhone.

I can assure you that the message board is watched and we do follow up your questions (every weekday at 1030!).

Nick Reynolds is editor, BBC Internet Blog

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Please provide more information about what is causing certain radio programs to be unavailable in replay.

    Specifically, why is Alex Lester's Radio 2 program unavailable in replay when Janice Long's program, which precedes it on Radio 2 and appears to come out of the same studio, is available?

    Lots of listeners are posting this complaint, but there has been no specific BBC response explaining why there is a problem, what is being done, and promising to announce the existence of a fix.

    The notice should be posted on the Radio 2 site page for Alex Lester, explaining that the Listen Again function is not working.

  • Comment number 2.

    Maybe it was fixed after you posted, but recent Alex Lester programmes do seem to be available to listen to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wr19

    What was the problem before? Were the listen again links on the Radio 2 page not going to the right place? Was the programme missing from iPlayer? Was the audio silent or corrupted?

  • Comment number 3.

    Wednesday, Anna, the host of Radio 4's 'Choice Is Yours' Message Board, recommended to posters on the 'Are You Happy With The New iPlayer?' thread that they cross-post to the iPlayer blog and other related blogs.

    On Tuesday, I posted this to the Radio 4 'Choice Is Yours' Message Board.

    It's Tuesday and here in Canada most Radio 4 programming from last Friday onwards is still unavailable. The same is true of many Radio 3 and BBC 7 programs on the flashy iPlayer. Although, to be fair, BBC 7's Listen Again links which use Real Player are working fine.

    Like the majority of other posters on various Radio 4 messageboards, I'm not happy with the new iPlayer. It represents a triumph of empty style and glitter over workmanlike functionality. The old RadioPlayer is not glitzy, but it works easily and smoothly and is accessible from the International Version of the BBC Radio home page - to access iPlayer, however, you have to switch to the UK Version. You can compare the two since Radio Player is still attached to the International Version home page offering World Service and a few other international stations.

    The iPlayer was apparently designed for UK users who like to stream TV via the internet with internet radio users thrown in as an afterthought. It does demonstrate that there was a sound reason for having separate players for Radio and TV - even if you want to use iPhone like graphics and Flash coding. I'm a subscriber to BBC World (BBC Canada's schedule is too packed with 'lowest common denominator' programing to be worth the fee) But BBC Radio has content worth listening to - except that the new iPlayer is making it as difficult as possible.

    In BBC surveys I've answered over the years, I've always said I'm willing to pay a reasonable monthly fee for BBC Radio, but I think I'd need to rethink that sentiment if it meant being stuck with iPlayer, which is slow to load, cumbersome, unstable when it does decide to play a program, unreliable when it comes to having audio streams available, cluttered with visual junk (see Book At Bedtime - a photo of a young woman in bed is a total waste) that adds nothing to the functionality of the iPlayer, and a bandwidth hog that prevents you from doing any other work on your computer.

    A notice - even if pure spin - on the station home pages to the effect that you're experiencing difficulties with iPlayer and some programs are not available as a result would be much more courteous than having to hunt through various messageboards in hopes of finding an explanation.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    The new messageboard skin shouldn't have gone live in the state it's in frankly guys.

    And to be honest you're wasting time trying to patch up dna when it's patently unsuitable to the task. Losing single sign on would be a small price to pay to get the iPlayer messageboard on a better platform like Invision.

    Phazer

  • Comment number 6.

    Lots of listeners are posting this complaint, but there has been no specific BBC response explaining why there is a problem, what is being done, and promising to announce the existence of a fix. http://www.birsesver.com

 

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