BBC iPlayer Desktop on Linux - crashes when downloading

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  • Message 1. Posted by Mr P (U14546152) on Wednesday, 7th July 2010permalink

    I've just installed BBC iPlayer Desktop on Linux (Ubuntu 9.10 32bit). It successfully starts when I click on the desktop icon, however, when I started to download a file tit crashes within a couple of seconds.

    A quick scan around my home directory and I found .appdata/BBCiPlayerDesktop.61DB7A798358575D6A969CCD73DDBBD723A6DA9D.1/Local\ Store/iPlayer.log

    This contains a number of INFO and DEBUG lines (I can post them here if that would help) and 1 line with ERROR listed:

    7/7/2010 20:12:56.246 [INFO] BidirectionalCommunicationManager BBC iPlayer Desktop domain is app#BBCiPlayerDesktop.61DB7A798358575D6A969CCD73DDBBD723A6DA9D.1
    7/7/2010 20:12:56.278 [ERROR] BidirectionalCommunicationManager Error #2082

    I don't know if this is relevant to my error but that's the only error message I could find.

    However, when I look in the Videos/BBC iPlayer/repository directory it has started to download a file but has crashed very early on. The interesting thing in that the timestamp of the downloaded file is 1 minute later than the error message which makes me think the error is a red herring.

    Any advice on how to debug this problem would be appreciated.


  • Message 2. Posted by PrivateWiddle (U2814137) on Monday, 24th January 2011permalink

    I've reported this several times to the BBC, but the reality is that they are simply not interestedin making the desktop application stable on Linux.

    As of January 2011 its still crashing within a minute of starting a download in most versions of Ubuntu and Mint. I assume that that goes for all Debian based distros. This problem has existed for over 18 months and has been reported to them on countless occasions but nothing has been done.

    Indeed they do not even acknowledge communications from Linux users.

    Its very apparent the the developers are only interested in Windows 7 users and iPhone users.


    This is a reply to this message.

  • Message 3. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Monday, 24th January 2011permalink

    The BBC does say linux is supported so you should be able to get replies from the BBC. If the problem is widespread and discussed on other boards it may be useful to post links to the other forums / fora.

    Note many users have problems with iPlayer at the moment, and many platforms are having problems, whilst the BBC is apparently near enough ignoring this messageboard, which appears to have been host-less for a few weeks/months.

    Of course with Linux, the problem is not necessarily all due to the BBC, as I imagine there are many more variables to consider compared with a relatively standardised Windows setup.


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  • Message 4. Posted by PrivateWiddle (U2814137) on Thursday, 24th March 2011permalink


    It does say its supported, but it isn't. I remind you that this board is moderated so they are well aware of these posts. The crashing issue we are discussing is universal among Debian based distributions like Ubuntu & Mint. Its not a couple of users with weird set-ups, its most people. The idea that they wrote the application and are no completely unaware that it does not work is not credible.

    Its typical of a windows user to blame Linux for the problem. BBC iplayer desktop was written to utilise the adobe air platform precisely because it enables software to run on all platforms.

    They wrote the application, tested it windows and then released it, they didn't bother testing it on Linux, and now they are aware it does not work they are ignoring it because they don't want to spend time isolating the problem.

    The problem may be with Air, or with the app itself. Linux is a mature operating system, most of the web sites you visit every day are hosted on Linux servers precisely because it is so stable and standards compliant.

    Think of the windows users mindset like this. I come up with a slightly new form of petrol. I convince ford to compel all their customers to only use my fuel. I then release my new fuel through all outlets. 2 out of three customers who buy my petrol are incinerated in their cars half an hour after filling up. Ford focus users blame the deaths on people having the temerity to drive something that is not a ford focus.

    If the BBC release software on Linux then it should work, or they should not bother and admit that they can't be arsed.


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  • Message 5. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Friday, 25th March 2011permalink

    Hello Private Widdle;

    Sorry, not intending to blame Linux, just to point out that there are more variables to consider, especially in relation to the Libraries available, compared to the relatively standard setups on a Windows OS.

    I am no great fan of Windows and have previously used other OS.

    I agree the BBC does not seem to have a good track record of testing or managing its software releases, all I can suggest is that you try to follow that up with the BBC. The BBC does very little to monitor this soon to be closed messageboard, and insists users use the contact forms. (Tip you are allowed to circumvent the ludicrous 350 character limit on some technical posts)

    See also:
    - "Our days are numbered..." -
    - and regarding the car analogy you used do you remember the
    " Ford Pinto memo" -

    I wish you success in contacting the BBC & or publicising the problems.


    This is a reply to this message.

  • Message 6. Posted by WorldCupMadness (U14319566) on Sunday, 1st May 2011permalink


    iPlayer seems very poorly written and flaky.

    I did manage to get a couple of programs downloaded, and iPlayer crashed a number of times.

    It has now decided that the programs have expired, whilst they are still available via the bbc website. The only way to find out its decision that they had expired was by going through the log.

    It would have been nice if they put the location of the logs for linux in the log faq that there is for both mac's and windows.

    The files are still on my hard drive for the programs that have been expired. The plug in required to play the files is x-gst-fourcc-encv decoder, if anyone knows how to get the plugin.

    This might be a better way to play the files given the problems with iPlayer


    This is a reply to this message.

  • Message 7. Posted by WorldCupMadness (U14319566) on Sunday, 1st May 2011permalink

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.


    This is a reply to this message.

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