I'm afraid I missed this rather double-edged announcement from the 15th of October, and was wondering if anyone else was aware of it.
Evidently under a new deal with Adobe - the BBC are creating a streaming version of the iPlayer at the end of the year, that will work on both Linux and Apple OS.
To be honest, I think this is a bit of a disappointment. A streaming version is never going to be equal to that of a proper downloadable application, however, it does fit more in with my view of Web 2.0. (If the program relies on the OS to install a specific 3rd party application for the particular site - then it's not Web 2.0). It's still a shame though. I'm not clued up on the current status of Flash on Linux, as I try to avoid it - but I can guarantee that the debian fraternity will be a little upset at the news. Gnash is catching up and making huge efforts - but one can almost guarantee they'll have to make a herculean effort to get this particular incarnation working with Gnash - especially as I expect some horrible DRM to be in the mix.
Mr Highfield - the bloke in charge of "New Media" in the BBC said that Adobe was chosen due to the fact it is becoming a market leader in interoperability. My socks are market leaders in interoperability - I can wear whichever sock on each foot - they don't match but they "inter-operate". Hmm.. this is bad news. As well as this, and the BBC Trust highlighting in their decision to allow the XP-only version to be released. I'm sure they said something along the lines of (not a direct quote) "We shall be reviewing progress on the Linux and Mac OS ports of the iPlayer every 6 months, and are fully committed to all platforms."
However, Mr Highfield states in the BBC Article. "We need to get the streaming service up and look at the rate of consumption between the services and then we need to look long and hard at whether we build a download service for Mac and Linux."..."It comes down to cost per person and reach at the end of the day"..."We are not ruling it out; but we are not committing to it either." I'm sure thats against the whole BBC Trust thing - someone poke me to tell me I'm mistaken.
Well he's a great lad. He's also blissfully ignorant of the effect that the BBC has, not only on the market, but on the internet as a whole. Now don't get me wrong - the BBC are unlikely to have enough server power and ports open that will turn the whole iPlayer streaming fiasco into a huge UK initiated DDOS attack - but think about it. The increase in the number of people that use MacOS and Linux (and Vista will probably work with the streaming service, but not until 2020* :p) will place a huge strain on the BBC servers streaming service - whereas a cached downloading service would place less stress on an already quickly-increasing-its-load UK broadband network.
He ends by saying "We do not believe there will be an impact on the infrastructure of the UK internet. It's more than level in dealing with this level of demand." It's nice that someone can shoot himself in both feet, and then finish off by finding a third foot. Surely the BBC should be aiming to have a massive effect on the infrastructure of the broadband network? Whilst Germany and France are upgrading to fibre, we're stuck with our lovely Victorian copper... and I bet Queen Vic would be complaining about her YouTube in this day and age. It's a great tale of two wonderfully inept public services. The BBC failing to provide content (now I even provide you guys with content, albeit bullcr*p) and BT failing to upgrade their systems for the future.
I can guarantee two things now. Over-budget & failure. Maybe not bilateral failure - but it's not going to be pretty.