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Early Expiry of BBC iPlayer Desktop Programmes

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  • Message 1. Posted by number774 (U13842358) on Tuesday, 7th September 2010 permalink

    It says on the service updates page that the new version has cured the early expiry problem.

    Well, no, it ***** well hasn't. Last night I downloaded the new version, and pulled down the latest Only Connect. It told me the expiry on it was 6th October; when I started it up it got nearly all the way through the theme music before it expired the programme.

    Where do I send the diagnostics now?

    complain

  • Message 2. Posted by Dittonblue (U8718287) on Wednesday, 8th September 2010 permalink

    I'm having the same problems on my Mac with programmes deleting themselves before the use by date.
    Not only is frustrating, but its adding to the bandwidth logjam by having to download the same programme time after time.

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  • Message 3. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Wednesday, 8th September 2010 permalink

    They are aware of the problems and are working on it.

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  • Message 4. Posted by NickHay69 (U14611342) on Sunday, 12th September 2010 permalink

    I am still experiencing the early expiry of programmes on a regular basis despite having 'upgraded' to the supposedly new improved iplayer! We are told that the bbc are aware of the problem and are working on it but when can we expect this hugely frustrating problem to be solved?!

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  • Message 5. Posted by Clare OBrien (U14611358) on Sunday, 12th September 2010 permalink

    I am having the exact same problem. I live in a rural area with slow broadband speeds and downloading programmes overnight is the best way for me to watch content without experiencing buffering.
    It used to work fine, but the last 5 or 6 programmes I downloaded have all been deleted within a few days of download before I had a chance to watch them and long before their stated expiry date. Upgrading to the new iplayer made not a jot of difference - in fact my latest download promptly expired as soon as I clicked "play", just 2 days after download!!! Have reported it but this seems to have been going on for ages and is very frustrating.

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  • Message 6. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Sunday, 12th September 2010 permalink

    Apparently this is going to be fixed early next week.

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  • Message 7. Posted by Mark Jones (U14255390) on Thursday, 4th November 2010 permalink

    Is this issue meant to be fixed, or still being worked on? I've just had four programmes with expiry dates towards the end of November be removed from my iplayer. It happens a lot, very frustrating.

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  • Message 8. Posted by Karin (U3621145) on Thursday, 4th November 2010 permalink

    Matt,

    I love your optimism, but unless they have had a thorough re-design, NO, the problem will not be solved next week. It has been going on for months now across both v2 and all v3 releases.

    Unfortunately, the team is wedded to the Flash Timer function, which cannot handle days greater than 24.5 (2^^31-1 milliseconds). Thus our 30-day expiries fail to set a proper value.

    I, myself, have pointed this out in copious detail, based on many many hours of research and testing (which is on-going):
    smiley - space smiley - space-- Blog Comment - BBC iPlayer Desktop 3.0.8 - www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...
    smiley - space smiley - space-- MB Thread - Premature Programme Expiry - V3 and the Flash Timer Class - TECHIE smiley - geek - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    This is not an Adobe bug, no matter what spin they try to put on it.

    Add to that, the iPD cannot detect when you are truly online (e.g. wire plugged in, but not logged onto ISP)--to which iPD responds with a "delete that programme now, you DRM thief".

    Judging by the changing iPlayer.log file contents for both v3.07 and v3.08 over the past week, I do not have confidence that the iP Dev Team even understands the problem, let alone finally has a miracle solution.

    But, I remain to be happily proven wrong.

    Fortunately, I use Windows Media Player for most programmes, stream most of the rest online, and keep backups of all iPD downloads, so I can restore the programmes and play them using v3.08 (less dramatic handling of phoney expiration dates).

    Cheers,
    Karin.

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  • Message 9. Posted by Will (U13064993) on Friday, 5th November 2010 permalink

    Karin
    Sorry to sound ignorant, but how can you take a backup that ensures that the files aren't deleted early? I'm having this time after time after time. It's just happened to the entire Michael Wood Story of England series, and I'm fed up to the back teeth with this.

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  • Message 10. Posted by Karin (U3621145) on Monday, 8th November 2010 permalink

    Will,

    You simply create a directory for your backup repository elsewhere, e.g.:

    smiley - space smiley - spaced:\ipd_backup

    The first time, I was so paranoid, I actually put the first one on a separate drive and called it something other than "repository," lest the DRM-hunters invent a seek and destroy routine smiley - lurk. Not (yet) necessary. smiley - winkeye

    Anyway, as soon as a download has finished, I copy the sub-directory b00***** for the programme into the backup directory. Now, (if and) when iPD wipes it out--if it is a 30-day programme, it will--I simply copy it back.

    Note: The developers steadfastly refuse to fix the problem! So, you will want to copy your desired sub-directories back to the official "BBC iPlayer\repository" folder, about 6 days after broadcast (about 24 days left before expiry), but you can keep copying files back to the "repository" during the expected 30 (or 7 for sports) day period.

    The problem is that the Adobe function they use to expire programmes was designed to control events during continuous play, not after an application has finished. So, the Timer will take numbers up to 2^^31-1 milliseconds (about 24.85 days). Whenever they try and set Timer to expire at 30 days, it overflows and a flase number is set.

    I have pointed out their error, so they have no excuse (www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/... and www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb....

    I actually maintain a manual log of all downloads, with the vpids (b00***** codes), date, and time (which is not displayed in v3 until the final day smiley - doh).

    I shall be posting on Mr. Danker's blog this time, following extensive testing smiley - scientist I conducted this weekend with v3.07. I predicted to the split-second when 2 of my programmes would prematurely expire, so I know I've cracked that particular problem. smiley - erm

    Actually, from examining the iPlayer.log files, what the iPlayer developers have done to the code is beyond any comprehension! They have actually made things much much worse!! smiley - steam Maybe, the new GM can order them to take notice and finally fix this problem... or sack them. Frankly, IMHO, it's time.

    Good luck, smiley - goodluck
    Karin.

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  • Message 11. Posted by WorldCupMadness (U14319566) on Sunday, 1st May 2011 permalink

    Hi Karen,

    It is still a mess, I my case I find things that will not even download if you do not download straight away since they get expired and so can not be downloaded if they are not immediately grabbed.

    I am using Linux so I get access to the underlying MP4 files, and am just trying to find a decoder at which point the problem will disappear.

    Since I will be able to play the files without using iPlayer.

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  • Message 12. Posted by WorldCupMadness (U14319566) on Sunday, 1st May 2011 permalink

    On ubuntu there is a package get-iplayer, it downloads the iplayer content and seems to work perfectly.

    I have uninstalled iplayer and will not be going back.

    Typically the BBC has complained to the author about their being a better version out there in the open source community.

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