General Discussionpermalink

No ifs, no buts

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  • Message 1. Posted by dgbutland (U9193086) on Tuesday, 31st July 2007permalink

    The solution uses a peer to peer networking solution that whilst might not be to everyones taste is an industry accepted way of distributing large files efficiently. However, as a IT professional of 20 years experience, I would like to highlight the following issues with the solution as provided:

    1) The bandwidth used by the solution cannot be controlled by the end user. This is not an acceptable solution in anyones eyes and this should never have even made it into a beta test programme. No professional would consider releasing software into a public environment that cannot be controlled.

    2) The core P2P software components appear not to uninstall with the application. I appreciate that it is a common component to all UK TV download services but the install process should always uninstall everything that it installs. Not only can I not limit the bandwidth, I can't turn it off. Again, wouldn't have passed testing into beta if I was managing the delivery.

    3) The preferences don't appear to work. I don't want iPlayer always starting up. I don't want to be downloading or uploading content all of the time. I need to be in control of my machine.

    4) Multiuser logon appears to provide the software with a number of issues. Has this not been tested either? My family all log onto the main house server using their own userid and password. It appears that iPlayer can't cope with this concept.

    5) I've changed the prefered download location of content but it's left old content in the old location. Whilst this might not be a problem, a process to move the content would be nice.

    6) Not directly software related but you should consider different license approaches. If a programme is constantly repeated, do I have to keep downloading it to watch it several times? Seems a little wasteful of bandwidth. Surely you could make license decisions based on when it was last and next shown? e.g. Number Jack episodes that my daughter enjoys watching. Why must I download it again and again every 7 days? If it is available for download why delete it from my machine?

    7) On a wider note, I can record the content on an HD recorder. Why would I use this solution with it's limited licensing? I suggest you focus efforts on catching the people that distribute and sell content rather than those that just want to watch it.

    As stated a couple of times about, I would not have allowed this software into a public beta programme and I would welcome a direct conversation with the release manager and programme lead. I think you need to revisit your software choices given the mix of complete IT experts who will want to use this solution and who know what they are talking about and general public who will create a wealth of support calls if not given more information and an easy way to control this software.

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  • Message 2. Posted by mm3gss (U1280183) on Wednesday, 1st August 2007permalink

    I do agree to a certain extent with dgbutland. When using torrent software the end user can easily limit and conrtol the amount of bandwith it hoggs.

    I appreciate that this is a BETA. I know this must be a hard piece of software to design from scratch but i do hope you increase its efficiency.

    Only for use with IE! Why? Only XP, I understand no Vista cause its rubbish but what about Apple and *nix etc?

    It looks like a good idea though. I hope the information you get from us all BETA testing it will be handy. Good luck with it!

    I wont hold it against you that the first time i used iPlayer it crashed :p

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  • Message 3. Posted by Bill Taylor (U2227952) on Sunday, 5th August 2007permalink

    I agree! BBC needs to make it clearer that this will use your bandwidth to provide file transfer to the wider BBCiPlayer community. This will be a problem for those who use a metered ISP service or may trigger unfair use clauses!

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  • Message 4. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Monday, 6th August 2007permalink

    Some comments on dgbutland's post:

    You're correct, the client isn't easily controllable, and this is a flaw. However, once the Kontiki client had been chosen for iPlayer, this criticism was an inevitable consequence. Insinuations of unprofessional behaviour are not called for, unless you'd like to make the same insinuations against all the other organisations that use Kontiki.

    In common with many Windows uninstallations, the Kontiki removal process errs on the side of caution. You would not welcome a ruthless approach if you had oodles of paid-for content downloaded from another provider using Kontiki. The fact remains that many users will have Kontiki on their PC looking after content acquired from other providers, and therefore the removal is rather conservative.
    You CAN turn it off. Again, it's not installed with that ability explicitly provided (read the Ts & Cs carefully), but it is easily achievable.

    Use a start-up monitoring facility. Anyone who doesn't use one on a Windows box is asking for trouble. I recommend Mike Lin's little applet.

    Multi user logon works fine. Kontiki keeps a database on your PC for this amongst other purposes. Search for zdata.db to find it. You can browse it with any SQL client.

    The file location information is also kept in the Kontiki database. Content downloaded to one location still shows up in the Library listing after you've changed the download target. If it didn't you'd think it had gone walkabout. The Kontiki database obviously won't get updated if you start cut'n'pasting files around via Windows Explorer. I think you can see why it is engineered as it is.

    Not being familiar with Number Jack, I'm at a loss here - are you saying that the same episode is broadcast week after week? If the content is different each week, it's hardly a repeat, it's a series, and I would expect you to have to download each time!

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  • Message 5. Posted by Tiel73 (U9201518) on Monday, 6th August 2007permalink

    I was very concerened about the kservice.exe process using my bandwidth so I uninstalled the whole i-player.
    But many people suggest this will not remove kontiki.
    It does appear to have gone and when I ctrl-alt-del and go to processes kservice is no longer in that list.
    How else can I be sure that simply uninstalling i-plyare has removed this leech?

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  • Message 6. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Wednesday, 8th August 2007permalink

    Hi Tiel73.

    Kservice is a Windows service, and doesn't show up in the Task Manager. Instead, you can check to see if it's running using another Windows system tool:

    Go to Start:Run and type in services.msc

    Recover from the shock of seeing exactly how much smoke and mirrors is really going on in your PC's guts, scroll down and look for KService.

    If it's there, highlight it and do either right-click:Properties or Action:Properties.

    Set it to "Disabled" and it won't be allowed so start now. You'll also be able to see the path to the executable, so you can have the satisfaction of nuking that too, if you like.

    If it isn't listed in the first place, it's already been successfully removed. smiley - smiley

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  • Message 7. Posted by mattwetherill (U9228259) on Wednesday, 8th August 2007permalink

    The process will be reported under the processes tab in task manager.

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  • Message 8. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Wednesday, 8th August 2007permalink

    You're right of course, Matt. Using the Services tool gives you more info and better control, though.

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  • Message 9. Posted by cdnldcmrn (U9291733) on Wednesday, 8th August 2007permalink

    What an excellent appraisal of the BBC iPlayer project. I would only add that to find out how a proper peer to peer network should opperate try downloading SKY Anytime.

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  • Message 10. Posted by cdnldcmrn (U9291733) on Wednesday, 8th August 2007permalink

    Thank You. Excellent Information. All Downloaders Of BBc iPlayer Should Be Aware Of.

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  • Message 11. Posted by maxping_ (U9193848) on Wednesday, 8th August 2007permalink

    ###########1) The bandwidth used by the solution cannot be controlled by the end user. This is not an acceptable solution in anyones eyes and this should never have even made it into a beta test programme. No professional would consider releasing software into a public environment that cannot be controlled.###########

    The upload per programme is 8.8 KB/s i for one am not worried , if you download netmeter free here - readerror.gmxhome.de... you can keep a eye on it.

    Screen shot netmeter with one programme downloading.
    aycu23.webshots.com/...

    ######2) The core P2P software components appear not to uninstall with the application. I appreciate that it is a common component to all UK TV download services but the install process should always uninstall everything that it installs. Not only can I not limit the bandwidth, I can't turn it off. Again, wouldn't have passed testing into beta if I was managing the delivery.#######

    I chose not to let it run at boot and i see no activity unless i start iplayer from the desktop.

    ########3) The preferences don't appear to work. I don't want iPlayer always starting up. I don't want to be downloading or uploading content all of the time. I need to be in control of my machine.##########

    See above.


    #####As stated a couple of times about, I would not have allowed this software into a public beta programme and I would welcome a direct conversation with the release manager and programme lead.####

    You make sure the plank is firmly attached to your feet as you are in danger of disappearing up your own A**E. smiley - winkeye








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  • Message 12. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    RE: post from cdnldcmrn

    Here are the installation notes from the website of your recommended "proper peer to peer network":

    <<
    If you have a firewall or network security software, you will be prompted to allow the following services to connect. You must allow all of these for Sky Anytime on PC to work:
    * Sky Anytime on PC
    * Delivery Manager (Kontiki components which are part of the secure peer-to-peer download system) - including Kservice and KHost
    >>

    Notice anything?

    SKY Anytime uses EXACTLY THE SAME technology as iPlayer.

    Doh.

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  • Message 13. Posted by cdnldcmrn (U9291733) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    Yes. My point was that Sky Anytime WORKS and BBC iPlayer does not.

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  • Message 14. Posted by cdnldcmrn (U9291733) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    You have completely missed the point. Good programs should not have WORK AROUNDS. And your last comment was completely UNCALLED FOR.

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  • Message 15. Posted by glenury (U1021377) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    Sounds like you are fishing for a job to me

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  • Message 16. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    <<<
    Yes. My point was that Sky Anytime WORKS and BBC iPlayer does not.
    >>>

    How many more times must it be pointed out that the iPlayer is in BETA!!! FFS

    As for the initial posts on this thread I figure all the points have been proven to be erroneous.

    I also think the option to share or not “will” probably be included in the release. Although as has been pointed out you can choose not to run the iPlayer at system start-up and this also disables file-sharing.

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  • Message 17. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    Yo cdnldcmrn.

    It's a BETA.

    Get that?

    B

    E

    T

    A

    Doh.

    Get that?

    D

    O

    H

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  • Message 18. Posted by cdnldcmrn (U9291733) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    If you beleive that this release is a true BETA, which implies that it is on it's way to a full release soon. Your faith in it is more than the thousands of people who have taken the trouble to download it and bother to post their oppinions on this web site.

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  • Message 19. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    Well we haven't got thousands of people complaining that it's doesn't work so that's a good sigh isn't it?

    Or am I just talking to a 911 Truther!! smiley - whistle

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  • Message 20. Posted by cdnldcmrn (U9291733) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    You obviously have not read the thousands of postings on this site.

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  • Message 21. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    Posted by relatively few people. smiley - cool

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  • Message 22. Posted by lumina9 (U9314464) on Thursday, 9th August 2007permalink

    I found that I could not uninstall the library without turning off Kservice, I also turned off Khost for good measure.

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  • Message 23. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Friday, 10th August 2007permalink

    To cdnldcmrn

    And you Sir, have no idea how many people have actually used the beta without any problems at all, and are therefore not qualified to comment on the suitability of the software for classification as a beta release.

    There are around 3 thousand postings in here, with many people posting multiple messages, and with many people posting observations or helpful comments dspite not having had problems themselves.

    The hundreds of people with actual installation or usage problems represent a minority percentage of the overall active beta testers, who are numbered in tens of thousands.

    The idea of a beta is to drive out as many as possible of the remining flaws, on the 80/20 principle: 80% of end users have no problems, so let's concentrate on the other 20%.

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  • Message 24. Posted by maxping_ (U9193848) on Friday, 10th August 2007permalink

    ########The hundreds of people with actual installation or usage problems represent a minority percentage of the overall active beta testers, who are numbered in tens of thousands.#######

    I'm sure i read its 100,000 new users,there were already 15,000 original testers if i remember right.

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  • Message 25. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Friday, 10th August 2007permalink

    Nope, that big scary number is the number of people who've signed up for beta access. It's not the number who have actually had credentials sent out. Yet.

    And the less scary number is the number (within the first lot) who were initially asked if they'd like to take part. Take up, as in any beta, was a small proportion of that, I am reliably informed.

    Not that many people have spare machines lying around. Sensibly, only those with non-essential machines tend to take part in betas. Unless they are reckless, mad, wild individuals with a gung-ho, anything goes, devil-may-care attitude to life. And lots of time on their hands.

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  • Message 26. Posted by xthenapster (U9279997) on Friday, 10th August 2007permalink

    are these message boards looked at by the bbc
    if we post a problem on here will they (bbc) have a look and try to fix the prob
    regards
    Oli

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  • Message 27. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Friday, 10th August 2007permalink

    The Beeb folks read these every day, but prob not so much at weekends.
    Jonathan from the iPlayer team will point you at a thread with an answer if he spots a question getting asked that's been sorted out elsewhere.

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  • Message 28. Posted by jordan24e (U9279755) on Friday, 10th August 2007permalink

    Yes the BBC looks at them, in fact posts responses on occasions when it has a solution to a problem.
    However, I have no doubt that they are becoming increasingly tired of the amount of flaming topics which pose no use and, to be perfectly honest, are unacceptable in a BETA environment.

    Seems some people are signing up to this service and ignoring the fact that it is a BETA, and then come to this forum complaining how the beeb has ripped them off and how the service is not suitable to be on their computer.

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  • Message 29. Posted by condoghost (U9249065) on Saturday, 11th August 2007permalink

    I simply m-u-s-t have my tuppence worth here ...

    A beta is definitely NOT an excuse to just put out an application with such obvious flaws on a wing-and-a-prayer.

    This is THE most unprofessional beta release I have ever come across.

    It is absolutely definitely without a doubt that releasing this application as a beta in the real world, you'd be collecting your cards same day lunchtime.

    So p-l-e-a-s-e no more of this 'it's a beta' rubbish.

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  • Message 30. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Saturday, 11th August 2007permalink

    <<<<
    Seems some people are signing up to this service and ignoring the fact that it is a BETA, and then come to this forum complaining how the beeb has ripped them off and how the service is not suitable to be on their computer.
    >>>>

    Those people are the C4 and Sky shills trying to convince people that the BBC iPlayers is dangerous. On such a board as this I think “sh*t stirrers” should be banned without hesitation.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one to have noticed the large number of specious threads seemingly trying dis the the iPlayer. Who would want to do such a thing? It's the buSINess people as always because the whole nature of buSINess is to lie to gain profits!

    C4 and Sky? Oh yes they have great integrity, NOT!!!!!

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  • Message 31. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Saturday, 11th August 2007permalink

    <<<<
    I simply m-u-s-t have my tuppence worth here ...

    A beta is definitely NOT an excuse to just put out an application with such obvious flaws on a wing-and-a-prayer.

    This is THE most unprofessional beta release I have ever come across.

    It is absolutely definitely without a doubt that releasing this application as a beta in the real world, you'd be collecting your cards same day lunchtime.

    So p-l-e-a-s-e no more of this 'it's a beta' rubbish.
    >>>>

    Please stop "talking" rubbish! smiley - whistle

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  • Message 32. Posted by condoghost (U9249065) on Saturday, 11th August 2007permalink

    PatrickB care not to flame those who post in earnest. There is no 'talking' rubbish here. If you have a fix, post it. If you have a workaround, post it. Otherwise don't go flaming people with flippant remarks. Thx.

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  • Message 33. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Saturday, 11th August 2007permalink

    <<<<
    PatrickB care not to flame those who post in earnest. There is no 'talking' rubbish here.
    >>>>

    “Post in earnest” What like the C4 and Sky shills talking rubbish about bandwidth theft?

    “There is no 'talking' rubbish here.” God I nearly wet-my-pants with laughter! smiley - biggrin

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  • Message 34. Posted by Tiel73 (U9201518) on Sunday, 12th August 2007permalink

    @old vulpine.
    Many thanks for your post showing me how to check the services and modify them.
    Kservice appears to have uninstalled along with i-player, which seems contrary to many other peoples experience.
    Is it because I have no other download services installed? Or am I just lucky that way? Very odd.

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  • Message 35. Posted by jordan24e (U9279755) on Sunday, 12th August 2007permalink

    So p-l-e-a-s-e no more of this 'it's a beta' rubbish.

    -----------------------------------------------
    But, it IS a beta!

    I have seen far glitchier, unusable and unstable beta releases than iPlayer.

    There are one or two things that need changing and one or two problems that seem to appear only on certain computers. That's pretty good going for a beta.
    People are just repeatedly complaining about the same problems and blowing them out of proportion, making it seem like, as you put it, 'an application with such obvious flaws on a wing-and-a-prayer'.

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  • Message 36. Posted by maxping_ (U9193848) on Sunday, 12th August 2007permalink

    People are just repeatedly complaining about the same problems and blowing them out of proportion, making it seem like, as you put it, 'an application with such obvious flaws on a wing-and-a-prayer'.


    Its a shame they didn't use a forum with a inbuilt search ,this would have cut down the amount of threads asking the same question over and over again.
    As for all the no more beta quotes,i agree with jordan24e its not at all bad for a beta and i have also seen buggier programmes released,did anyone try multicast?



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  • Message 37. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Monday, 13th August 2007permalink

    Hi Tiel73,
    as you guessed, if iPlayer was the only instance of Kontiki on your PC, the uninstall does a pretty thorough job of removing all traces.
    However, it plays very safe whenever it detects bits of another version of Kontiki on board (for most people that'll be Channel 4's 4oD), and only removes a bare minimum of files.

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  • Message 38. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Monday, 13th August 2007permalink

    Hi condoghost,

    Presumably, in your vast and comprehensive experience of beta releases, you'll have considered the 57 varieties of Linux out there in the wild, each of which is in continuous beta?

    Having played around with the installation of several of them, I find it curious that you consider the iPlayer beta to be even less finished than the shoddiest Linux distro.

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  • Message 39. Posted by sock_puppet (U8651941) on Monday, 13th August 2007permalink

    I've seen some interesting statistics lately. And won't the Linux users be pleased..

    Linux represents less that 0.1% of users accessing the BBC.CO.UK. It's outgunned by OS's such as:
    Windows
    Mac
    Nokia
    SonyEricsson
    BlackBerry
    Motorola

    Its actually 17th on the list...just above DOS!!
    smiley - smiley

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  • Message 40. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Monday, 13th August 2007permalink

    Its actually 17th on the list...just above DOS!!


    I just wet myself laughing! smiley - winkeye

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  • Message 41. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Monday, 13th August 2007permalink

    57 varieties of Linux out there in the wild, each of which is in continuous beta?


    Yes but it's not really in continuous beta is it? Errr UBUNTU: http://www.ubuntu.com/ You're confusing a "stable release" with a "beta".

    Having played around with the installation of several of them, I find it curious that you consider the iPlayer beta to be even less finished than the shoddiest Linux distro.


    Yes but how many years has Linux been around? The point of my question is to point out that yours is pointless! smiley - biggrin

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  • Message 42. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Tuesday, 14th August 2007permalink

    Hi Patrick,

    I was just trying to point out to condoghost (or something similar) that his rant about
    <quote A beta is definitely NOT an excuse to just put out an application with such obvious flaws on a wing-and-a-prayer.

    This is THE most unprofessional beta release I have ever come across.

    It is absolutely definitely without a doubt that releasing this application as a beta in the real world, you'd be collecting your cards same day lunchtime.</quote>

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  • Message 43. Posted by OldVulpine (U9027651) on Tuesday, 14th August 2007permalink

    aaargh

    his rant about betas:

    <>

    could just as easily be targeted at some of the sad excuses for Linux distos that have hobbled past over the years!

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  • Message 44. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Tuesday, 14th August 2007permalink

    OK sorry, I see where you're coming from now. smiley - blush Must be this really hot summer we're having!!! smiley - biggrin

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  • Message 45. Posted by Jon iPlayer Host (U8557168) on Tuesday, 14th August 2007permalink

    Condoghost

    This is THE most unprofessional beta release I have ever come across.


    Every user has individual computer setups impossible to account for. However, we have provided support and a helpdesk to overcome issues as best we can.

    While some users are having issues, a read of other threads reveals that many are happy with the service the BBC is offering free of charge to those in the UK.

    As we have stated repeatedly, users not keen to use a Beta version are invited to wait until it's more stable.

    Jonathan

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  • Message 46. Posted by jamesowen1981 (U9203953) on Tuesday, 14th August 2007permalink

    "As we have stated repeatedly, users not keen to use a Beta version are invited to wait until it's more stable."


    Precisely my view and the reason I'm deleting this Iplayer beta. I only have Countryfile downloaded on my machine at the moment, yet 2 hours online and nearly a 1Gb worth of it sent out. Teething troubles are one thing, but that's a major flaw in my book, just beyond reason.
    Doesn't matter if some other users are care free about bandwidth, the way the P2P software hogs my modem has simply got to change before I use Iplayer again.

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  • Message 47. Posted by PatrickB (U9262337) on Tuesday, 14th August 2007permalink

    2 hours online and nearly a 1Gb worth of it sent out


    Am I the only person that doesn't believe that?

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  • Message 48. Posted by maxping_ (U9193848) on Tuesday, 14th August 2007permalink

    Precisely my view and the reason I'm deleting this Iplayer beta. I only have Countryfile downloaded on my machine at the moment, yet 2 hours online and nearly a 1Gb worth of it sent out


    As the Iplayer uses P2P unpopular programmes are not going to downloads as fast as popular ones.
    I'm currently downloading the real hustle and flog it , i started them at roughly the same time , flog it is now 32% complete (45 minute programme) real hustle 15% (30 minute programme.
    I have uploaded 4.5mb and downloaded 123mb (i use netmeter free to keep an eye on it)

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  • Message 49. Posted by BBC auto-messages (U8526101) on Monday, 20th August 2007permalink

    Editorial Note: This conversation has been moved from 'Known bugs and issues' to 'General Discussion'.

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