@40. Rayna - Yes, we are phasing out the partial series catch-up offer in favour of a more consistent 30 Day availability period. As mentioned in my original post, series catch-up was only available for a limited number of series which resulted in an inconsistent offer and meant all episodes of series which were available for series catch-up would disappear 7 days after the final episode of the series (which meant taking a week’s holiday could result in you missing out on the final episode of a series you’d been enjoying). Under the new model, you have 30 days in which to start watching a series and 30 days to catch up with each and every episode. I’m sorry that you don’t feel this will be an improvement for you personally but our analysis suggests the 30 day availability window will be of greater benefit to most users. I can assure you there are lots of programmes that are now available for 30 days which were previously only available for 7.
@30. David - I’m sorry to hear that everything seems cloaked in mystery. Hopefully I can dispel some of the mystery with answers to your specific questions:
1. As per my earlier response to Colin (@25), programmes which were mid-series when we switched to 30 Day availability on the 4th October may show different availability for episodes before and after the switch. We’ve tried to keep series with mixed availability to a minimum but there are a few exceptions. 30 Day availability will soon roll out for downloads which will result in a more consistent - and hopefully less confusing! - standard availability period.
3. All programmes in iPlayer include a ‘First shown’ date which doesn’t refer to a particular channel. Please let us know if you spot a programme which you think has an incorrect first shown date (NB. the 'First shown' date for films is their year of release).
@31. Oriole - As per my earlier response to Chris Keith (@4), unfortunately the BBC doesn’t have the rights make all the programmes it’s ever broadcast available on demand indefinitely. You can read more about iPlayer programme availability here: http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/tv/progs_avail
@25. Colin - Programmes which were mid-series when we switched to 30 Day availability on the 4th October may show different availability for episodes before and after the switch. Gardeners’ World is an example of this. If you install the latest version of ‘BBC iPlayer Downloads’ - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/install - then you will see that we have reinstated the option to sort by Date Added or Title. More improvements to BBC iPlayer Downloads in the pipeline!
@14. Paul Hudson - Thanks for raising. We should have some news to share on this topic shortly.
@15. Wozza - Happily, we’re planning to do just that. Watch this space!
@16. Leon - We have no immediate plans to bring BBC iPlayer to Apple TV, however if you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch you can already watch BBC iPlayer on your Apple TV using the BBC iPlayer iOS app and AirPlay.
@17. StephenD & @19. DBOne - This was showing 7 days but has now been updated to 30 (so 29 days left to watch yesterday’s episode).
We made the decision not to continue to maintain a broadband speed checker as there are lots of free alternatives available.
Thanks for the feedback re. persisting ‘Recent’ sort across Categories - this feature is on our backlog to implement.
@53. DACAtHome - Making it easier to switch between channel schedules is something we’re currently looking at. If you haven’t discovered it yet, the TV Guide is a good way of seeing what’s on across channels on a single screen.
@55. breuddwyd - No, we’re not able to give people the option of reverting. The previous version of iPlayer made use of various technical components which are no longer supportable.
As mentioned previously, we’re currently looking at how best to enable the filtering of some of the larger, more diverse categories. The new category list was informed by detailed stats analysis of the previous categories and several rounds of user research.
@60. sputnik - Thanks for your feedback. The ability to add Favourites from navigation pages is a feature some other users are missing and is something we’ll be exploring.
@64.Karin - I’m sorry to hear you dislike the new iPlayer so much and that you’re struggling to find the programmes you used to watch. Thanks for your detailed feedback on Favourites and your suggestions of making the Lower Bandwidth option sticky and further lowering the bitrate.
I’m also sorry to hear that you weren’t able to participate in an iPlayer survey. The majority of participants in the independent research were users of iPlayer on computer and the agency conducted dedicated forums for the new iPlayer experience on computers.
@70. Ellie - Thanks for your feedback. Sorry to hear you’re finding the grey background distracting when watching programmes. The background should dim down after a few seconds of playback. Alternatively, have you tried watching full screen? (click the ‘Enter full screen’ icon in the bottom right hand corner of the player). Thanks for your suggestion re. showing how much of the programme has been buffered ready for playback - I will feed this back to the team who develop the BBC’s Standard Media Player.
@73. Keith - Thanks for flagging. This is a known bug as we don’t currently have live streams for all the national and regional variants of BBC One and BBC Two so can’t provide a ‘Watch Live’ option for those channels. The good news is that our Video Factory team http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/posts/Video-Factory are busy working on creating these feeds and once they’re ready, we’ll be updating the channel pages accordingly.
@74. makker - Thanks for your feedback on Favourites. This is an area we’re looking to improve.
@1. Stuart Ian Burns - Thanks for your detailed feedback. Some responses:
(1) The category recency sort is by the order in which programmes were added to iPlayer, so recent additions to iPlayer appear at the top of the list regardless of when they were first shown on broadcast television. This is to help people easily see which programmes are new to iPlayer in any given category.
(2) The ‘first shown’ date is a new addition to iPlayer so programmes which aren’t available on iPlayer might not have had the correct first shown date added yet. Do let us know if you spot any programmes on iPlayer which have the wrong first shown date.
(3) Yes, we are looking to migrate more of the content from the BBC Archive website now we have a version of iPlayer which is designed to enable the discovery of content older than 7 days.
(4), (5), (6) & (7) Thanks for the suggestions
Good to hear you feel it’s a vast improvement.
@2. & 3. Russ - Thanks for the feedback Russ. Schedules is one of the areas we’ll be at finessing next in response to user feedback so this input in really useful.
@4. sjg - I’m sorry to hear you’re hating the new layout. The schedules do include programme information on all but the lowest browser size which is designed for mobile devices. If you’re on a computer then increasing the size of the browser window should cause the programme information to appear.
@5. Russ - As @DBOne mentions, the 3-bar menu icon is a convention that many mobile and tablet websites and applications use to deal with multiple navigation options which won’t fit in the space available. If you’re seeing this icon when accessing iPlayer on a computer, then increasing the size of the browser window should give the navigation enough space to unpack.
@6. Russ - I’ve passed this on to the iPlayer Radio team.
@9. Stuart - I’m sorry to hear you dislike the new iPlayer. Are you able to give examples of where you’re finding it slow?
@12. Al - Yes, I can confirm that we will be updating the BBC iPlayer Windows Phone 8 app in the near future.
@15. rachelb92 - I’m sorry to hear you’re finding the new homepage very messy. We’ll be looking at ways to make it more obvious which programmes are expiring in Favourites.
@16. DACAtHome - Thanks for taking the time to feedback and I’m sorry to hear you don’t feel your feedback is being listened to. Easier navigation between the channel ‘page view’ schedules - e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/schedules/bbcone - is something we’re exploring now in response to user feedback.
@19. willjennings - It sounds like you’re referring to the Favourites area. This is an area we’re looking to improve over the coming months, including making it more obvious which programmes are about to expire.
@29. sjw92 - This is from the independent research. Apologies if that wasn’t clear in my original phrasing. I’ll get in touch with the research agency to confirm the exact phrasing of the question.
@33. sjw62 - Larger tablets (e.g. iPad, Galaxy Note 10.1), which are more commonly used held/used in landscape orientation, receive the horizontal layout. Smaller tablets (e.g. Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, iPad mini), which are more commonly held/used in portrait orientation, receive the vertical layout.
@34. Josh - The largest size was designed for desktop browsers and optimised for a width of 1024 pixels in line with the BBC's Global Experience Language guidelines http://www.bbc.co.uk/gel/web/foundations/universal-grid/the-grid. I know the BBC User Experience and Design team are currently exploring how to best optimise BBC websites for higher resolution displays.
@38. & 39. Albee - Here’s a quick explainer of the changes to categories: http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/help/announcements/categories. These changes were based on extensive user research and data analysis but rest assured we’ll be continuing to analyse usage of and feedback on the new categories and may update them in the future. As mentioned in my post, we’re currently looking at how best to support users to filter some of the larger, more diverse categories (e.g. just show crime dramas within the Drama & Soaps category). Update to follow on this one.
@157. raytw - Yes, the BBC Trust recently approved proposals from the BBC Executive to launch a new online commercial service for audiences to buy and keep BBC programmes http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/2014/bbc_store.html. This would be on a non-exclusive basis (i.e. you’ll still be able to obtain BBC programmes via other third-party commercial providers).
@161. TheTomBecker - Thanks for the positive feedback Tom and the suggestion of personalised recommendations on the homepage - this is something we’re actively exploring.
@162. Barin - It sounds like you might be clicking on the ‘Explore the BBC’ links in the footer. iPlayer categories (including Music) can be accessed from the Categories drop down in the iPlayer navigation bar. Sorry to hear you’ve experienced issues with playback - please can you log these issues with iPlayer Support team so we have more information to help try and diagnose the problem? https://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/templates/bbciplayer/emailForms/emailPage Thanks.
@84. PJ - I’m sorry to hear your finding if harder to access drama programmes in the new iPlayer. Navigating to all drama programmes in the previous version of iPlayer on a computer involved navigating to the iPlayer homepage (whereas the Categories dropdown is accessible from every page in new iPlayer), scrolling down the page, clicking ‘Drama & Soaps’ then moving your mouse across the screen and clicking ‘Show All Drama & Soaps’ so I'm not sure it takes any more clicking/scrolling to get to the Drama & Soaps category in new iPlayer, although I appreciate you were used to the previous route. The Category Highlights view in new iPlayer is designed to help users quickly get to some of the most popular programmes from that category (as well as some hidden gems) without them having to scroll / paginate through a long list (whilst still providing this option for users who do want to browse the full inventory). Can I ask if there are particular sub-categories that you’re missing?
@85. Peter Page - Thanks for the feedback Peter, which I’ll also share with the iPlayer Radio team.
@86. LissaJous - Sorry to hear you’re seeing an issue with full screen playback of the live streams Lissa. We’ll see if we can reproduce and then address this issue. Are you able to let us know what model of laptop you are using?
@90. joshuawggray - Thanks for the feedback Joshua - we’ll look into this. Can I ask what model of touchscreen laptop you're using to aid diagnosis?
3.) We've prioritised fixing the issues which were affecting some users' ability to download and playback programmes. In parallel, we're working through how best to implement automatic downloads of all episodes in a series (aka Series Record) in the new software, mindful of a likely move to 30 day programme availability (see my last comment), which would change how Series Record functionality would operate. I'm afraid I'm not yet able to give an ETA for this yet although I can confirm that it won't be before the end of this year so users will need to continue to download episodes manually for the time being, with the option of using Favourites to keep track of series: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/features/favourites
As @DBOne mentions, those of you who have asked about the discontinuation of WMV downloads may be interested in this blog post by Marina Kalkanis, Head of Core Services, which explains the recent changes to the BBC's online video transcoding services which precipitated the removal of WMV downloads: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/posts/Video-Factory.
@Chippy - I am very sorry to hear that you are still having problems downloading programmes. I am following up with the iPlayer Support Team on the information you’ve supplied re. this ‘zero download’ issue. We’ve only had a handful of contacts describing this issue so I’m very keen to use the information you’ve supplied to identify a cause.
@symbiotic - At present the BBC only has the rights to offer most programmes in iPlayer for 7 days after broadcast although as mentioned above, we are hoping to extend this to 30 days.
@dankirkd - When an update to BBC iPlayer Downloads becomes available then a button will appear in the top right hand corner of the application with a link to install the update and another link detailing what the update contains.
@Tony - Subtitles should be available for downloads. I have asked the team to investigate why some users aren't seeing subtitles with a view to providing a fix in the next update.
@Dave, @TooTeeON, @_Ewan_ - I have had numerous conversations this week with the product manager, project manager and development team re. the feedback and requested features. The team have been sizing the various pieces of work and are now prioritising features against the other items on the iPlayer backlog. I can confirm that in our next update we are planning to introduce the ability to specify a different download folder location, display the download speed / estimated time remaining, enable resume of playback from where you left off and improve auto-hide behaviours on playback. The ability to automatically download all episodes in a series (aka Series Record) is a larger piece of work but I have asked the team to explore how we might recreate this functionality in the new codebase.
@TooTeeON, @timorto, @dankirkd - A change to our video transcoding system means we are no longer able to provide WMV downloads, so there are no plans to reintroduce them. I therefore abstracted the underlying requirements of the feedback on WMV downloads as a desire for 'smaller file-sizes / lower-quality downloads' and the 'ability to transfer downloads to other devices'.
@Dennis - You can return to the Downloads list from the Settings page by clicking on the Downloads link in the top bar. We are planning to make this more obvious in the next update.
@Simon, @Halloween_Jack, @Blazde - Resuming playback when you left off is planned for our next update.
@John, @LissaJous - Improving the auto-hide behaviours on playback is planned for our next update.
@Paul G - I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing problems with subtitles. I consider subtitles to be a fundamental part of the BBC iPlayer promise and I'm determined to improved our level of service in this area. Can I ask you to contact the BBC iPlayer Support team to help them diagnose the problems you are seeing?
@Simon, @Lionwillow70, @pardo, @David - The mechanism to detect whether users have the download application installed on their machine was an element of the old system that got periodically broken by browser updates, meaning some Chrome and Firefox users were unable to download any programmes. We have therefore replaced it with a confirmation box so users who do have the software installed don't get told they do not and bounced to the install page. I appreciate this means more clicks but our top priority was to ensure it worked it all browsers. We will be looking to refine this mechanism in the future.
@dorisisaway - Correct. I've asked the BBC iPlayer Support team to make this clearer on the Help pages and will ask the relevant BBC team to get in touch with Sony. Our mobile download offer is available on a range of iOS and Android devices (including some made by Sony).
@dankirkd - As per my previous response, WMV downloads accounted for less than 0.1% of requests. I can assure you that the decision not to continue producing these downloads was based on economics rather than a desire to control who could download these files and how they could be played.
@GeeTee - I'm really sorry to hear that. We've tried hard to ensure iPlayer Downloads can be installed on the majority of computers, although that's obviously no help if you're blocked from accessing the iPlayer website. I'm afraid we can't allow unrestricted copying of iPlayer downloads between devices as we need to respect content rights restrictions.
@shaungjones - Sorry to hear that. There are some other cheap ways of getting BBC iPlayer on most TV sets. Does your TV have a VGA or HDMI port?