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BBC iPlayer application on Nokia N95, N85 8GB and E71

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David Madden | 15:02 UK time, Thursday, 11 June 2009

I can hardly believe it's been over a year since we first launched BBC iPlayer on mobile on the iPhone and iPod Touch. My team has worked very hard since then to bring iPlayer to more mobile phones and today we are launching BBC iPlayer on mobile on the Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8GB and the Nokia E71.

We've developed a downloadable app which you can install by going to https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer on your Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8GB or your Nokia E71.

Catch Up TV

The mobile app combines the BBC's iPlayer catch-up TV service and live TV and live radio. As on desktop iPlayer, you can browse through Highlighted or Most Popular shows or view the last 7 days of BBC programmes by channel or category. We have also included a handy search function and channel listings for the last 7 days.

You will notice that catch-up radio is missing from BBC iPlayer on mobile on the Nokia N95, N95 8GB and E71. The reason for this is we need to do a little more work testing the catch-up radio encodes. I didn't want to delay the launch of BBC iPlayer on mobile on the Nokia N95, N95 8GB and Nokia E71 while we waited for the catch-up radio encodes and we will be adding this feature imminently.

Live TV and Live Radio

The Live TV tab includes the BBC TV channels, each accompanied by a simple Now and Next listing. All you need to do is click on the channel logo to watch TV on your phone. Similarly, the live radio tab lists all of the BBC's national radio networks, which you can now listen to where ever you are.

You may notice that some Live TV or radio programmes are marked 'programme unavailable'. This is because the BBC does not have mobile rights to all of our programmes so we have to remove those shows from the live streams.

At the moment, the BBC only has the technical capacity to encode the national radio networks and the BBC London version of our TV channels on mobile. This means BBC iPlayer on mobile doesn't yet offer live streams of BBC local radio stations or the BBC television channels for the regional nations like, for example, BBC One Scotland or BBC Two Wales. These will be coming in due course.

You will also notice that Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra are not included on the Live Radio section of BBC iPlayer on mobile. This is because the BBC does not have the mobile rights to some of the sport coverage provided by those radio networks. We therefore would have to remove those programmes from the live streams and we don't yet have the systems in place for doing this on radio. This is coming soon.

Downloading Programmes

You can download full TV programmes on the Nokia E71 and watch them any time you want for up to 7 days, after which they will expire. This is really great if you commute on the train or the tube, like I do. Each week I've downloaded The Apprentice on my Nokia N96 to watch on the tube on my way home from work. We've optimised the picture quality on downloads and it's so convenient to download your favourite programmes to your phone and watch them any time you want for the next 7 days.

The BBC only has the rights to make TV programmes available in iPlayer for a limited number of days after the original broadcast. We therefore have to use Digital Rights Management (DRM) software to ensure downloaded programmes expire after 7 days. BBC iPlayer on mobile uses OMA 2.0 DRM for its download service. For the OMA 2.0 DRM software to work, special authentication certificates need to be installed on the phone when it is manufactured. Nokia pre-installed these certificates on the E71, but not on the N95 or N95 8GB. So, unfortunately, we can't offer programme downloads to the N95s.

Streaming over Wi-Fi and 3G Networks

The BBC has a committed to giving our audiences convenient access to our programmes wherever you are, and, from the outset, we designed BBC iPlayer on mobile as both a streaming and download service. We also decided to only offer BBC iPlayer on mobile to phones that include a wireless broadband, or Wi-Fi, connection. This is because the BBC can deliver higher quality streams and provide a much richer playback experience over Wi-Fi.

If you have a phone that is compatible with BBC iPlayer on mobile, and are connected to Wi-Fi, then you will be able to access BBC iPlayer on mobile regardless of which mobile network operator your phone contract is with.

So, if you are a 3 customer, or a Vodafone contract customer, then you can play full BBC programmes over either your Wi-Fi or 3G connections. If you are a customer of any other UK mobile network operator you can still use BBC iPlayer, but only when your phone is connected via Wi-Fi.

Here's how that works on your phone. If the BBC detects a phone accessing BBC iPlayer on mobile over 3G on a network other than 3 or Vodafone, we will display a 'switch to Wi-Fi' message when you come to play a programme. This will prompt the user to connect via their wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) connection before being able to play the programme.

The BBC are working to get BBC iPlayer on mobile accessible across more 3G networks in the UK and will let you know when we have more news on this.

If you have a Nokia N95, N95 8GB or a Nokia E71 I hope you try out the BBC iPlayer on mobile application and enjoy watching BBC programmes whenever and wherever you want on your phone.

Try watching a downloaded programme on the train or listening to the radio when you are in the park or out for a walk. Or have a go connecting your phone to your home Wi-Fi and catching up on your favourite BBC programmes.

Interestingly, our initial research suggests that many people enjoying using BBC iPlayer on mobile in bed at night. It's always nice to catch a bit of your favourite programme before you turn the light out.

You can install the BBC iPlayer on mobile app by going to https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer on your Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8GB or your Nokia E71. BBC iPlayer on mobile is also available on a range of other devices.

David Madden is the Executive Producer for Mobile Media in the BBC's Future Media and Technology, Audio and Music and Mobile team.


  • Comment number 1.

    "The BBC has a committed to giving our audiences convenient access to our programmes wherever you are"

    That's totally untrue, the iPlayer doesn't work if you're overseas.

  • Comment number 2.

    j0hnsnith123 - the iPlayer works fine if you leave your computer at home running as a proxy server. You only need to redirect "licensing" traffic that way too, so you can download using the iPlayer desktop application without a proxy and then just pop on the proxy to get the licence.

  • Comment number 3.

    The explanation above that 3 and Vodafone customers can stream explains why I can't use beebPlayer on the G1 without a wifi connection, T-Mobile obviously mean "unlimited" in some strange sense of the word.

  • Comment number 4.

    BBC News channel live on the Google G1 using the beebPlayer application https://twitpic.com/749u4

  • Comment number 5.

    A bit rubbish tbh.

    No Listen Again, no volume control, no 3G access unless your on a certain carrier.

    Who are you to tell me what i can do with my data that i pay a premium for to access streaming and voip.

    Stop pandering to the networks, if they have a problem with it they can discuss it with me or block the function as they do on lower price plans.

  • Comment number 6.

    When is there going to be an iplayer for my Nokia?

    A 3330 that is :)

  • Comment number 7.

    Can the iplayer be used in US on Nokia E71x(AT&T) with wi-fi (and not on 3G)?

  • Comment number 8.

    This is great. You should seriously consider distributing this on Getjar.com Here's why:

    - largest independent app store with over 1 million downloads a day
    - over 45,000 apps available in 200 countries
    - all apps are totally free for consumers
    - totally cross platforms and supports over 1300 devices
    - others like Facebook, YouTube, Bebo, Yahoo! and MTV already use it.



  • Comment number 9.

    This is excellent, but not being able to change the volume (on my N95) is a bit of a pain in the bum.

  • Comment number 10.

    Aha! Volume control *is* there, just not marked - when your N95 is horizontal, press up and down on the directional keys to change volume (there is no on-screen display).

  • Comment number 11.

    GUYSSS the nokia website says the n95 8gb HAS OMA 2.0 which i believe is what is required to play downloaded videos. If this is wrong why not change your DRM method to one that works for everyone????

  • Comment number 12.

    Comment 7 hary536 - I'm afraid the answer to your question is no, not at the moment. See here for more details.

  • Comment number 13.

    the volume up/down controls don't work on my E71 - there is no way to make the streams louder or quieter when using iPlayer (bizarrely, as I thought the volume controls were a hardware function not a software one).

    Looking forward to BBC Wales and Radio Wales/Cymru ;)

  • Comment number 14.

    I still can't get iplayer working on n95. It can't get past buffering and times out every time. There's nothnig wrong with my wifi connection, everything else works fine.

  • Comment number 15.

    Apparently the OMA 2.0 support on the N95 is a bit knackered - https://discussion.forum.nokia.com/forum/showthread.php?p=539118


  • Comment number 16.

    Problem connecting on Vodafone? Use 'Wap' as connection point!

    If you're on Vodafone and have a handset that is compatible with the mobile iPlayer then make sure that you use Wap ('Contract Wap' or maybe 'Vodafone Wap') as the connection point. I was trying to connect with 'Contract Internet' (my default for all mobile internet/data) and I was always getting the 'Please switch to Wi-fi to play this programme' when I tried to view anything on the mobile iPlayer. As soon as I switched to WAP as the connection point it all worked find. Weird and dumb......but true (or it was for me, at least). @chrsoz

  • Comment number 17.

    Am really mad that the Nokia application is not available on the Nokia E63, which is a stripped down version of the Nokia E71, it's available for the E71 why isn't it and won't work in the Nokia E63? as it uses the same architecture as the E71. Will it ever be available for the E63?

  • Comment number 18.

    I don't understand why you restrict 3g streaming to certain networks. Can you explain better why this is? I have an unlimited data plan with t mobile and it would be great for the beebplayer to work over 3g.

    Also,given the impending release of another 18 Android phones this year, any news on an official Android iPlayer?

  • Comment number 19.

    I need some help. I've downloaded the iplayer application to my N95 8gb. It opens ok and loads up to the 'buffering' time. Then after a few moments of buffering, it times out, citing a 'general fault'. Any ideas?

  • Comment number 20.

    There is a volume control on the E71, I was stymied at first. It is the up and down buttons around the central 'ok' button, literally under your fingertips!

    As for buffering, I am with '3', I have a 10meg wlan which workd well apart from with the iplayer, I too get teh endless buffering, however if I switch to '3' it works perfectly.

    Hope that is helpful

  • Comment number 21.

    The mobile iplayer is all well and good, but why do you start to offer a particular series as a download and stream - but then only offer it as a stream for later episodes (i.e. The new series of Top Gear - Episodes 1 & 2 available as a download and stream - episode 3 (latest) only as a stream)?

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm having exactly the same problem as nicegrumpa (post 22 Jun) with a Nokia E71. Is there a fix for this?

  • Comment number 23.

    iPhone App

    Can we please have an update to the iplayer on iphone (workable across all iPhone versions). At present, it's great but prone to errors. For example, today, it's mysteriously loading material from the week before last (rather than last week). A more common problem is that the play symbol fails to load on some programmes. Reboots, clearing Safari caches, etc, do not resolve these problems.

    It would also be good to expand the coverage to include something similar to the PC version. (including, say, BBC Radio Scotlan or BBC Alba - I speak as a resident of Devon who would like to access all of the major BBC output).

    Live transmission would be good, though for me at least, it's not really essential.

  • Comment number 24.

    Lack of 'listen again' is a massive downside.
    Also, I'd like to be able to use this app in the background, so that I can listen to it with my E71 in my pocket, without the buttons being pushed accidentally.

  • Comment number 25.

    I use a Nokia E71 in T-Mobile. I have 10GB per month dataplan.

    I'm only allowed to use the iPlayer with WI-FI ie at home where I have my laptop and TV.

    The iPlayer is effectively useless to me.

    Come on BBC, sort this out with T-Mobile.

  • Comment number 26.

    Is there any news about making catch-up radio available on the N95?

  • Comment number 27.

    Sadly this means I'll no longer be able to listen to Radio 5 live on my Nokia E52.

  • Comment number 28.

    Love the iPlayer - well done all. BUT... what happened to the "imminent" arrival of Radio Catchup on iPlayer mobile?
    4 months later...

  • Comment number 29.

    I used to be able to stream 5live and 5live extra via the realplayer streams on my n95 8gb. Now I can't because the iPlayer doesn't have the streaming rights- how are the realplayer streaming rights different?

  • Comment number 30.

    I have a Nokia 5800 on Vodafone and a few days ago the BBC iplayer website stopped allowing programs to be viewed and said to install an application on my mobile. I did this and everything seemed to be OK until I actually tried to watch something. it seems the application is faulty or am I doing something wrong here. I have it set as WAP connection and also the network is G3 Vodafone. could this because of permissions and DRM? I have real player, which always used t work.

    In addition if I need a new mobile player to run this, where do I go to get it?
    So far I hate this new BBC iplayer application
    can anyone tell me where I am going wrong please

  • Comment number 31.

    I too cannot get the iPlayer to work on my N95, it just times out, despite a good internet connection. However, the Skyfire browser allows access to the desktop version of iPlayer, so listen again is a goer. Unfortunately, the frame rate for video is unwatchable, but audio seems fine.

  • Comment number 32.

    When is the BBC likely to complete catchup radio for the Nokia E71?

  • Comment number 33.

    Works fine on my Nokia N95 8gb. I'm running the latest Nokia software on the phone (ver. 31.0.015) and iPlayer is fast, has adjustable volume and absolutely no lag or pixelating at all.

    My only issue, at least on my N95 8gb, is that it doesnt make use of the whole screen, but instead a kind of letter box mode. I'm guessing this design is a result of testing and finding what was most stable; I'm not sure the Nokia would cope well with full screen streaming....

    Anyway, regardless I think what the BBC and APADMI have created is excellent.

    And yes...have on occasion enjoyed a little bit of iPlayer before I fall asleep

  • Comment number 34.

    Any update on the five live rights?

  • Comment number 35.

    i need help on my bbc iplayer for nokia n96. I have the player on my phone .i can watch the tv channels on my phone but when i connect my phone to my tv via tv out cable,all i can see on my tv is a key slashed but i can he the voice. I need help.my email is [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 36.

    I was looking at getting an iphone but when I realised that I won't be able to use iplayer I've had second thoughts so now I've realised that if I get a Google nexus one this will play iplayer fine:


    The link above seems to confirm this - happy days!

  • Comment number 37.

    The E63 has the same software spec as the E71. The developers at the BBC should whitelist the E63 as a phone that works with Iplayer. At the moment the only thing stopping E63 users from using the iplayer is the server side script which thinks the E63 isnt capable of playing Iplayer. The E63 is the same as the E71 so it can and would play the videos if it wasnt for that script. The script should be modified to stop denying access to E63 users. It should hopefully take less than 5 minutes to make this change and it would make alot of E63 users very happy.

    Looking forward to watching the Iplayer on my E63. Thanks.

  • Comment number 38.

    I love the availability of iPlayer on different formats, PC, MAC, Wii etc.

    Can you advise why although iPlayer is available for the Nokia 5800 an Symbian S60 5th Edition phone but not the Nokia X6 which is basically the updated version.

    Surely it can't be that difficult to release one version for all S60 5th edition phones. You will make a lot of Nokia users very happy.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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