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Download and licensing issues.

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  • Message 1. Posted by Dave-iPlayerOps (U8437698) on Friday, 21st May 2010permalink

    The last couple of days have seen two distinct issues with the iPlayer service. The first being the lack of download button - caused by one of our systems failing to process the metadata associated with download content,

    The second issue - license delivery - was caused by the unexpected increase in load on the download and licensing servers due to the sharp increase in iPlayer desktop and WMP downloads being requested.

    We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused. Some items may still give a license error. Please be assured that we are doing our utmost to fully restore the service.

    Dave

  • Message 2. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Friday, 21st May 2010permalink

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for letting us know what's going on.

    At the moment, contact forms are taking around about 10 days to be replied to. Most of the time this means that the reply we get back usually just says something like "we are unable to look into this issue further as the programme has expired"

    What is the best way to contact the team to report a problem and have a chance of the message being passed on for investigation and repair before the programme expires?

    complain

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  • Message 3. Posted by Guv-nor (U7476305) on Friday, 21st May 2010permalink

    license delivery - was caused by the unexpected increase in load on the download and licensing servers due to the sharp increase in iPlayer desktop and WMP downloads being requested.

    If I might venture to give a reason for the increase in requests, if only in part, I would suggest that it has been due to the number of people "trying again later."

    I did observe last Saturday when the Doctor Who standard definition stream was late in delivery that it was quickly top of the BBC1 favourites list, which I can only imagine was as a result of people loading and reloading the page "later" in today's internet age that is about 15 seconds.

    complain

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  • Message 4. Posted by Dave-iPlayerOps (U8437698) on Friday, 21st May 2010permalink

    Hi matt,

    Reporting issues on the messageboard is probably the best way to do this. As Jon-iPlayerHost has previously stated - we can't always respond/reply to messages but we do read through the board regularly and always action content delivery issues that are reported on here.

    Over use of complaints forms, especially for content delivery issues, can prove more detrimental to the complaints system and what its designed to achieve, than correcting the complaint itself.
    I'd suggest using the contact us forms over the complaints system in this regard.

    Dave

    This is a reply to this message.

  • Message 5. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Friday, 21st May 2010permalink

    Thanks Dave,
    I have made a few comments: www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    I am hoping the BBC may now be a bit more forthcoming with information. The BBC seem to have been near on silent for the last week or so. Many users reported problems getting no response whatsoever from the BBC, even when using your recommended and apparently seriously compromised contact forms.

    first being the lack of download button - caused by one of our systems failing to process the metadata associated with download content,

    Was that the cause of the Holby City and subsequent problems, if so it seems to have taken a long while to sort out and resolve. Posters have commented for several days on lack of download button.

    PS
    You mention problems over 2 days
    "The last couple of days have seen two distinct issues "
    Clearly problems have been going on for a lot longer, even if any current problem is one that has existed for only a few days.
    But such comment is veering off topic for your thread, I hope someone will post answers in my; above mentioned; thread.

    complain

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  • Message 6. Posted by Dave-iPlayerOps (U8437698) on Friday, 21st May 2010permalink

    Gov-nor,

    Actually its the internal transfer of the media to the download servers rather than any change due to user generated actions. The iPlayer Desktop file is the same 1500Kbps file as the streaming file. At any given moment there is only a few files that need to transfer to the download severs so it doesn't need a great deal of capacity. But give it 24-36 hrs worth of files to catch up on and it gets bogged down.

    Our download and streaming servers would not have been effected.

    Dave



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  • Message 7. Posted by Guv-nor (U7476305) on Friday, 21st May 2010permalink

    Thanks for that, best part of a week late but that is another matter.

    complain

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  • Message 8. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Friday, 21st May 2010permalink

    @Dave_iPlayerOps


    Over use of complaints forms, especially for content delivery issues, can prove more detrimental to the complaints system and what its designed to achieve, than correcting the complaint itself.
    I'd suggest using the contact us forms over the complaints system in this regard.


    In regard to your above comments to Matt.
    I think you will find Matt often mentions users should use the comment section of the contact form rather than use the complaints section.

    The BBC itself on the message board, (above where I am typing now ! ) suggests users should use contact forms are you trying to say that advice needs to be changed ?

    If the BBC would re-instate a user visible issues log MB users are then able to see what is being actioned/investigated, For reasons we are not aware of that usefull facility was removed recently by the BBC.

    Surely of course it take only seconds for anyone at the BBC to post a message on the Services Update Section about an isssue such as unavailable content.
    In fact your own information says you will post information on this section, you rarely do.


    How are the BBC trying to keep users informed ?
    - faqs
    - announcements
    - service updates posts
    - RSS feed
    - or at present NONE OF THE ABOVE

    Just look at recent events and lack of BBC comments.

    John

    complain

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  • Message 9. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Friday, 21st May 2010permalink

    When using the contact forms, which is the better standard option to use? Enquiry or comment?

    In the past, we've been told that contact forms are the best way to report problems as you don't always see messages that are on the boards.

    iPlayer used to have a phone number associated with it for support which allowed users to speak to someone whthin a few minutes who would then check the programmes for the reported problems on their systems and pass that straight onto the team to look at if they found the same problem as the user reported.

    Any plans to bring that sort of system back?

    complain

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  • Message 10. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Saturday, 22nd May 2010permalink

    smiley - ok ooh look an announcement at last

    BBC says There are problems resulting in and an error message
    - what error message ?
    - what programmes are affected & windows or Desktop ?

    Unfortunately it is not visible from this section, and it does not seem to contain any useful information yet www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    But at least take a look it might even get updated before it is deleted.

    complain

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  • Message 11. Posted by Kali (U14478490) on Sunday, 23rd May 2010permalink

    Hi Dave,

    Could this be the reason I can't access iPlayer at all. This just happened today. It's been fine up until now.

    I only listen to the radio and never watch television so I recently arranged to be exempt from paying the tv license. Could that be related?

    Advice very much appreciated!

    Kali

    complain

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  • Message 12. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Sunday, 23rd May 2010permalink

    @Kali
    I suggest you start your own new thread about your own problems.
    Are you trying to use iPlayer for Radio or TV. If using iPlayer for TV note the BBC seems to have had many problems over the last few days including download problems (look at some of the other threads and the recent announcement: iplayerhelp.external... )

    The TV licence is not required for use of iPlayer other than the live 'simulcasts'. (and even then the BBC may not block your illegal use of iPlayer)

    You will be able to use iPlayer TV as a catchup service even if you are not a Licence Fee Payer as long as you are in the UK and recognised by the BBC as being in the uk (eg you use a standard UK ISP).

    If you do post a new message in a more appropriate TV or Radio section, please read the information above where you post and provide more information. More information helps. if you do not understand what is required ask, someone will answer.

    John

    complain

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  • Message 13. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Sunday, 23rd May 2010permalink

    Hi Kali,
    These licenseing problems only affect iPlayer downloads. Streaming is unaffected.

    The TV license in not in any way linked to iPlayer so cancelling your TV license will have made no difference.

    As John said, you can continue using iPlayer for TV and Radio as long as you don't use iPlayer to watch TV at the same time as it's broadcast (the live streams). You can use iPlayer catch up without a license.

    complain

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  • Message 14. Posted by key001g (U14479351) on Monday, 24th May 2010permalink

    I've tried several programmes over the last few days and none of them come up with the arrow/play button just a blank screen, is it my PC or a general problem ?

    complain

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  • Message 15. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Monday, 24th May 2010permalink

    Hi key001g,

    Probasbly a problem at your end.

    Try clearing the browser cache: iplayerhelp.external...

    The BBC announcement has disappeared again, and there is no RSS reports of problems so hopefully things are back to normal.

    If you still have problems I suggest you post again in the TV section, and please give full details as requested in the box above where you type, you should try to include URLs of a couple of programmes or streams that do not work, as it helps others check what any problem is.

    John

    complain

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  • Message 16. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Monday, 24th May 2010permalink

    Dave,

    licence delivery problems

    It appears Guv thought a plausible cause was users trying again in short succession. From your reply it seems that was not a cause of the problem.

    From your op

    The second issue - license delivery - was caused by the unexpected increase in load on the download and licensing servers due to the sharp increase in iPlayer desktop and WMP downloads being requested.


    What besides repeat requests after failed downloads was the reason for:
    "the sharp increase in ... downloads"

    any guesses ?
    was it just unable to cope with the increase caused because of a previous lack of service ?
    or did some other factor cause a sharp increase ?

    John

    complain

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  • Message 17. Posted by MoiMoi (U14479624) on Monday, 24th May 2010permalink

    I have had the same problem as the other user in the last couple of days. I'm not able to see the play arrow on any program and therefore can't play it. I have managed to download them successfully and then play them, but don't always want to do that. It was working fine before the weekend, but ever since Sunday 23rd it's not been working.

    I've tried clearing the cache and have re-booted my machine.

    Seems strange that two of us are getting the same issue. Any help please?

    Thanks

    complain

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  • Message 18. Posted by Billbo92 (U14479681) on Monday, 24th May 2010permalink

    Hello MoiMoi

    I last used iplayer on Thursday the 20th with no problems, but last night (Sunday 23rd), I could not play any programme I chose to watch - the screen did not display the play button. I have also tried the 'fix' suggested and still no joy!

    I have no problems with 4oD, fiveondemand or the itvplayer. I just want to see the final episode of Ashes to Ashes before it expires.

    complain

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  • Message 19. Posted by EggOnAStilt (U7111730) on Monday, 24th May 2010permalink

    If you do post here about a technical or programme issue, it helps if you provide as much information about the issue, including the programme details, your browser, your computer operating system, how you're trying to play it (Desktop, Real etc), your ISP and what the problem is.


    But anyway.smiley - smiley
    I'm going to guess ISP traffic shaping for Billbo's problem.
    peak time Sunday sounds right.

    smiley - friedegg

    complain

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  • Message 20. Posted by Billbo92 (U14479681) on Monday, 24th May 2010permalink

    I am susing windows vista on my pc - Internet explorer 8 - I tried iplayer this morning and this evening and still can't play any programme I click on - can't even download - the screen does not display 'play' button or download button.

    complain

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  • Message 21. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Monday, 24th May 2010permalink

    And when you say you've tried the suggested "fix", do you mean clearing your cache?

    complain

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  • Message 22. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 25th May 2010permalink

    Hi Billbo,

    As I remarked to someone else in my message#15 If clearing the cache did not work it may be worth you starting your own thread in the TV section, giving more information including some sample URLs ?

    You could also mention whether you are able to stream Live BBC TV and live BBC Radio, and if not what seems to be the problem with those ?
    And you may wish to try the Windows downloads on your Vista. ps, do they work ?

    John

    complain

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  • Message 23. Posted by Billbo92 (U14479681) on Tuesday, 25th May 2010permalink

    Hi John

    I am able to watch the bbc news live from the bbc website - I did follow the instructions to delete my browsing history. All I have ever done is stream programmes to watch and never had a problem before. I haven't changed anything on my pc - I am trying to watch Ashes to Ashes episode 8 - and keep getting a blank screen - url shows - www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye... - there seems to be other people with the same problem. I will have to get help from my nephew - he is a wiz with things like this. Thanks for trying to help me.

    complain

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  • Message 24. Posted by Billbo92 (U14479681) on Tuesday, 25th May 2010permalink

    the url on my last message did not appear correctly - it should be - www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye... -

    Billbo92

    complain

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  • Message 25. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 25th May 2010permalink

    I have just tried the link you posted, it works ok for me.
    I did notice though it did offer the parental guidance caution before playing.

    You haven't got the parental guidance feature turned on have you ? (see iplayerhelp.external...
    Try something without adult content to see if that works.

    Do you have problems with other streams also.
    For instance can you use the BBC1 Live stream : www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye... ?

    What about the Windows download will that download and play?
    www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye...
    see iplayerhelp.external...

    The Windows download should play on your computer even if you have problems with Desktop downloads or iPlayer/FlashPlayer streams.

    What are the iPlayer diagnostic www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye... results ?
    (Althought that may not show up an ISP treottling problem)

    What about IPlayer Radio does that stream ok ? eg try : www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye... ?

    John

    complain

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  • Message 26. Posted by Billbo92 (U14479681) on Tuesday, 25th May 2010permalink

    Hi John,
    I have just downloaded Google Chrome browser - I have always used explorer . Went back into iplayer and this time the screen appeared - all I needed to do was uninstall flashplayer and download again. I can now watch my programme - sorted - I hope I don't have any more problems. Thanks for all your suggestions.
    Billbo

    complain

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  • Message 27. Posted by BBC auto-messages (U8526101) on Wednesday, 26th May 2010permalink

    Editorial Note: This conversation has been moved from 'Service updates' to 'Archived threads'.

    This is a reply to this message.

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