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BBC iPlayer Desktop: Series Record launched

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Dave Price Dave Price | 13:35 UK time, Thursday, 19 May 2011

Yesterday, as part of the BBC iPlayer's continuous evolution, we've launched a new feature, which we're calling Series Record.

The new feature means that with the latest BBC iPlayer Desktop application, you can "subscribe" to download future episodes of any programme on BBC iPlayer. The desktop application installs on your computer and lets you download programmes to watch in the highest available quality, regardless of your broadband speed.

BBC iPlayer download options

BBC iPlayer download buttons

For those who aren't acquainted with the app, you can download and install it here at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/install, or click the download buttons next to most programmes in BBC iPlayer.

 Here are a few good reasons to use the BBC iPlayer Desktop app:



• You no longer need to remember to watch your programme within seven days. Downloaded programmes are available for up to 30 days before they expire (seven days once you've started to watch).

• You don't need to remember to come back to the website. No excuses for missing an episode of BBC One's The Apprentice or BBC Four's The Killing! Once you've enabled Series Record, new episodes automatically download when available, meaning all your favourite programmes are available for offline viewing for 30 days.

• You can watch BBC programmes when offline. Very useful for those with limited bandwidth who struggle with streaming or who are on the move, but also useful when you're overseas** (if you download in the UK before leaving: my top holiday tip!)

• You can watch programmes in high quality, even if your broadband connection isn't fast enough to watch on the Web. If watching live or streaming in HD pushes the limits of your Internet connection, you can download in HD or the highest available quality and say goodbye to buffering or interruptions during playback.

BBC iPlayer desktop series record


For more information about BBC iPlayer Desktop, please take a look at the FAQs here. Your feedback helps us develop features you love, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

** In order to watch already downloaded programmes when abroad, you'll need to make sure you're not connected to the Internet.

Dave Price is Head of BBC iPlayer, Programmes and On-Demand, BBC Future Media


  • Comment number 1.

    Still no Full Screen live tv, which was promised months ago, when will we get that on the Desktop.

    Can we also get regional and Red Button options on the Desktop Soon please.

  • Comment number 2.

    The download link needs correcting - looks like it's missing an https://. It should read:


  • Comment number 3.

    BBC iplayer linux version hasn't worked on Ubuntu for a couple of years now. I'm giving up on it. It would be better not to provide a Linux version, than one that never worked since after the first upgrade

  • Comment number 4.

    Any chance of getting the Android app to work on Honeycomb-based tablets too...

  • Comment number 5.

    This is a nice update, but the one thing that would make iPlayer so good is offline consumption on mobile devices. That would be immense. Surely the mobile iPlayer apps could cache a programme or radio show similar to how Spotify and Google Music work?

  • Comment number 6.

    When can we get live regional radio (BBC Wales etc) on iPlayer? Especially on Mobile iPlayer (Android)? ta

  • Comment number 7.

    Why does iPlayer Desktop block watching already-downloaded programmes when overseas, then? You are essentially saying you have to trick iPlayer into not knowing you are overseas by not connecting to the Internet. If you do, does it keep blocking until you connect to the Internet in the UK again?

    If the content has been delivered in the UK, you should be able to watch it anywhere, Internet connection or not.

  • Comment number 8.

    Also, why do I have a white line across my screen at the bottom of fullscreen playback?

  • Comment number 9.

    For watching off-line on holiday, this would be more useful on my android phone, which, incidentally, can't run iplayer even though the youtube app can do video so why can't iplayer?

  • Comment number 10.

    ***"Your feedback helps us develop features you love, so I'd love to hear your thoughts."***

    Yet the BBC closes the iPlayer message board.

    Now, instead of merely looking at the iPlayer message board for those "thought", you have to trawl through a number of diverse internal (BBC) and external blogs and message boards.

    And this is all part of the BBC's "Delivering Quality First" strategy? Seriously, who thought up that name, eh?

    Reminds me of an episode of Ther Simpsons" where a future President Lisa Simpson attempts to introduce a massive tax hike by calling it a “temporary refund adjustment”

  • Comment number 11.

    @Dave Parker

    The most likely reason why you cannot watch iPlayer on your Android phone is because it does not support Flash. Android phones use processors based on two different cores. ARMv6 and ARMv7. ARMv6 is used on older and cheaper phones, while ARMv7 is used on newer and more expensive phones.

    Flash and, therefore, iPlayer will only run on ARMv7 based phones.

    There were two 3rd party iPlayer apps for Android (BeebPlayer and MyPlayer), but the BBC killed them off at the behest of certain rights holders.

    The bottom line is if you have an older or cheaper Android phone you cannot use iPlayer and, because of the BBC's policy regarding the use of Flash, you are unlikely ever to be able to.

  • Comment number 12.

    Why can't Radio shows be series linked? Could this be considered for the next release?

  • Comment number 13.

    I setup 3 separate Series Record. All three failed to download the programme. When the programmes became available for download. Desktop still failed to download. Could I start the download manually? No. Could I use the web-site to start a download? No. What can I do? Delete the Series Record - that's it. Summary: A waste of time.

    Finally, to add insult to injury. Desktop closes full screen applications to display an error. What arrogance! You do NOT touch full screen applications, NO excuses, NO Exceptions!

  • Comment number 14.

    what about UPnP? I'd prefer to not watch this material on my computer.


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