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Android client radio streams

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  • Message 1. Posted by Gizzit (U14411560) on , permalink


    All in all, a decent first stab at an Android app - but for radio streaming, it should be possible to switch the screen off while listening. The current setup is an unreasonable battery drain.

    Even better would be the ability to check email or perform other tasks without shutting down the audio stream - these devices are designed to do more than one thing at a time.

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  • Message 2. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on , permalink

    Ironic that the BeebPlayer application that the BBC killed off (by sending in the lawyers against its developer) would quite happily play radio streams in the background.

    So much for progress.......

    BBC: Android has been around for 3 years now, and the best you can come up with is the mess that is the current iPlayer app. Meanwhile, two independent developers produced two far superior products (BeebPlayer and MyPlayer), both of which were taken down by the BBC,

    Admit your mistake. Remove the mess that is the Android iPlayer client from the Market and rescind the takedown orders against BeebPlayer and MyPlayer.

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  • Message 3. Posted by StephenCWLL (U2107606) on , permalink

    This raises the point I made in my posting ... I really feel that the BBC are making things sound much more complicated than it is. People outside the BBC have made decent methods to access Iplayer/BBC programmes (then withdrew by the lawyers), so it really isn't that hard for the BBC's tech guys/girls to do. Surely?

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  • Message 4. Posted by drhowells (U8852041) on , permalink

    Yes other people can do it, but they didn't do it right... The BBC have to consider lots of things before they can release software, including the rights of program producers, other legal implications as well as what the customer wants. MyPlayer etc did not. It just did what we all wanted...streamed well and offered downloads. Whilst this was great for us, it wasn't great for the business practices of the BBC and at the end of the day, they are a business and need to protect themselves.

    I am an Android user and would love to have downloads available (again), but I can see the issues that the BBC have... I just hope they can sort out downloads soon, so that we can all be happy (happier) again :)

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  • Message 5. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on , permalink

    drhowells:

    BeebPlayer didn't offer downloads. It merely allowed access to the 3GP streams used by Nokia devices. Accessing these streams using BeebPlayer on Android offered no more risk to the content (the programmes) than the "official" Nokia client.

    Why BeebPlayer was actually killed off by the BBC is a mystery. It certainly wasn't anything to do with protecting the programmes from piracy. The trumped-up technicality cited by the BBC (infringement of the BBC's syndication policy) and /or maintaining "quality" may have been true, but, if so, it was a massive own goal by the BBC. BeebPlayer did no harm to the BBC and even showed the corporation in a good light.

    Killing off the "unofficial" Android iPlayer clients, using legal technicalities, replacing them with an "official" product that is inferior in terms of coverage (it works on far fewer devices) and functionality (only works on Wi-Fi and won't play radio in the background) and capping it all with an ingratiating "let them eat cake" attitude regarding the whole fiasco shows the BBC in an exceedingly bad light.

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  • Message 6. Posted by StephenCWLL (U2107606) on , permalink

    I'm more with Eponymous, although I also agree with drhowells when it comes to legality etc.

    If the BBC would actually explain a bit more about the reasons and whys then we might not feel as miffed when they get something removed that was very useful and served all Android devices well, and replace it with something that doesn't.

    Ok, so the other BeebPlayer did have privacy issues, but seeing as the BBC themselves say they cannot track if people watching via mobile devices have a license, it hardly seems the end of the world. Ok, so some programmes cannot be streamed etc due to the programmes rights etc. but surely a simple on/off button for the stream would fix that. Even freeware devices cannot stream if there is no stream to pick up.

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  • Message 7. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on , permalink

    The BBC claim that BeebPlayer breached its syndication policy by "redistributing" the iplayer content.

    The thing is, BeebPlayer was merely a client, accessing the same 3GP streams that Nokia phones do. The only "redistributing" it did was from the screen to your eyeballs.

    In essence, BeebPlayer was a specialised browser, allowing you to select the programme you wished to see, and then directing the phone's inbuilt media player (which is capable of playing 3GP streams) to open the appropriate stream.

    By banning BeebPlayer, the BBC are, in essence, saying they have the right to decide which internet client apps they will permit you to use in order to view their content. The charge they levelled at BeebPlayer would be as valid against Firefox, Chorme, Opera, or any other web browser that the BBC hasn't explicitly "licensed" to access its content.

    Some other things worth considering:

    There are many 3rd part news applications for Android. These access the BBCs News RSS feeds and "redistribute" them in exactly the same way that BeebPlayer "redistributed" iPlayer content. Why did the BBC attack two iPlayer clients, but ignores a multitude of new apps that are guilty of the same "crime"?

    The description of the SkyFire browser states that it has been tweaked to support iPlayer. This makes it guilty of the same "crime" as BeebPlayer, so expect it to be C&D'd by the BBC.

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  • Message 8. Posted by StephenCWLL (U2107606) on , permalink

    Excellent point Epon on the other BBC wannabe apps out there, such as the news ones. I don't see much of a fuss about them. Why? Because it's not their sexy, funky, iplayer that is being cast in a 'bad' light. Or maybe they didn't want to alienate the iphone users who just shelved out hundreds of pounds for their iphone so they can access iplayer only to find out that Android phones also can do the same thing. Umm, BBC, Android phones do cost a fair bit as well you know!

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  • Message 9. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on , permalink

    The ironic thing is that the <b>expensive</b> Android phones are the Flash capable ones. The cheaper phones (HTC Wildfire, Orange San Francisco, etc), though current models, have ARMv6 processors and will never run Flash or iPlayer.

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  • Message 10. Posted by StephenCWLL (U2107606) on , permalink

    And yet they could run some form of iplayer if the BBC would support them!

    Shall we start a campaign? Facebook? There won't be much point complaining on this forum after the end of the year :(

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  • Message 11. Posted by Gizzit (U14411560) on , permalink

    All of which is fair comment, but diverges from my original point: why is it such a battery hog, and why can't I do anything else with my phone while it is in use?

    Time to get it right BBC, the competitors are nigh.

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  • Message 12. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on , permalink

    Android iPlayer is a battery hog because it relies on Adobe Flash which is, itself, a massive resource hog.

    The use of Flash is also the reason you cannot do anything else while listening to iPlayer radio, Flash applications can only run in the foreground, therefore iPlayer can only run in the foreground. Unless Adobe change this (unlikely) or the BBC drop their use of Flash (unlikely, given the current BBC mindset), or they rescind the takedown orders against the excellent 3rd party iPlayer clients that DID allow radio streams to play in the background (also unlikely given the current BBC mindset), then I'm afraid we are stuck with the severely sub-standard Flash based iPlayer.

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