I went to tigertiger last night in the Printworks in Manchester to an event organised by Manchester Digital. The talk was marketed as "our man from the beeb coming up to talk about the move to Manchester." However, after speaking to the event's organiser, the only reason it was billed like this was a lack of communication from the speaker. The actual presentation began with "I won't be talking about the move up to Salford." Quite a few people in the room that I'd spoke to before the presentation were looking forward to see what the move meant for external suppliers.. alas, it was not covered.

The talk itself was more of a historical journey through the BBC's experience with digital media - and the transition from a cradle-to-grave institution (from making the cameras to broadcasting the content) and how digital media is causing fragmentation of it's broadcasting. He touched on the BBC's deal with YouTube, and the way in which many users were using BBC content and cannibalising it in order to create their own content.

One viewer took a BBC film, and cut all the scenes back into it (rather seamlessly) that the BBC had to remove due to "editorial guidelines."

As you would imagine, this talk necessarily moved onto the iPlayer - and as the laptop being used for the presentation was an iBook - we were only shown a screenshot of the application. Within the presentation Jon spoke about the BBC trust having to approve it, and that it's been a long wait - but that the reason for the Microsoft link was more down to the content providers, rather than choosing by means of market share on the desktop.
The other consideration he made was that "being the BBC" they had a responsibilty to make it very accessible - so subtitling technologies were necessary.

The final thing he spoke of was the way that BBC2 now have a "create your own ident" on their website - and that some user generated idents have been used on BBC2 over the last 6 months.

After the presentation had finished, there was a 20 minutes Q&A where Jon batted off two streams of questioning. The first was the "move up to Salford" (given that 90% of the people I spoken to prior to the presentation were there to see the BBC's view on talent creation in the NW it was of no surprise) and the second was the "Open Source/Open Format" debate around the iPlayer. One of the things that he reiterated is that there are alot of "Open Source Geeks" within the BBC that want to make it happen, but that currently content providers are the massive block to having an open model.

To wind up - I think that there is definately pressure coming from inside the BBC on making the iPlayer platform independent - but it's doing it in a way whereby the rights of many content producers can be respected. There are open source ways of doing this - but is it an ethically-viable route to go down? I don't know enough of the ins and outs to be able to pass comment in this regard - but I hope that those of you that read this will enlighten me in the comments.