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New video and audio player

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Chris Russell | 11:36 UK time, Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Video and audio use on the website continues to grow strongly - and no wonder as broadband grows rapidly and we offer an increasing range of content.

Just yesterday viewers in the UK could watch live coverage of Andy Murray's easy win in Melbourne and highlights of the England cricketers being rather less convincing in victory. Alternatively they could listen to audio commentaries of both these events as well as every FA Cup replay.

And all of that was eclipsed by the numbers clicking on our most popular audio or video item that day - live coverage of Ronnie O'Sullivan's reapparance at Wembley.

As part of the ongoing development of the service, today we have made some changes, as you may have discovered or read about on the BBC News editors blog.

This means:

- A simpler approach to the way such content is displayed and accessed.

- The video player no longer has its own menu structure with indexes of content for each sport. We have found that most people browse for such content via the website’s pages and usually hit play while reading a story, following live text action or browsing a web index rather than inside the player.

- There is now a single improved page pulling the best and latest sport content together.

- If you can’t find what you want on that Video and Audio page or in the relevant sport’s pages, you can also use the audio/video search feature – just do a normal search via the box at the top of a page and then look at the list down the right-hand side, or click the audio and video tab.

- There are no changes to the way we deliver our video and audio content - it will continue to be offered in Real Media or Windows Media formats while items are available in either broadband (225k) or narrowband (34k). Some live sport and highlights is also restricted to UK viewers only.

This is just the latest in a series of planned improvements to such services and, as ever we’ll be delighted to read and respond to your feedback on the blog. Please let us know by leaving a comment or sending an email via the send a comment page.

Later this year the BBC is hoping to make wider changes to audio/video provision right across the www.bbc.co.uk website. Subject to approval by the BBC Trust, the plan is to introduce a new, unified ‘iPlayer’ service which will involve a consistent design for all audio/video players, more content on offer and the ability to download some of it.

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