The iPlayer is a concept which should "just work." The BBC are a massive corporation in the UK, and once led the way in both content and technological developments in television entertainment. There were the BBC cameras, Dr Who, and all sorts of wonderful programmes coming out of Television Centre. Since then bits and pieces have been sold off, and more content was being bought from independent studios.

Then, BBC Future Media & Technology started to take off. In the digital world they created Dirac, the open and royalty-free codec, designed for transmitting HD content without encryption. They also started the development of the iPlayer which enables anyone in the UK to access BBC programmes to "watch again." This is subject to a fair-use policy, and a 30 day download limitation.

The flash-based implementation of the BBC iPlayer was fairly well received, as it allowed the iPlayer to be used on both Windows, *NIX, Linux and Apple based devices - anything that was supported by Adobe Flash. The BBC later dropped their Desktop version (which was implemented for Windows and Macs, but not Linux) in favour of the flash-based one - as it meant it required programming to only one interface - flash.

Good decision BBC.

Unfortunately, now they are developing applications for all sorts of devices. Where they saved themselves from having to program for three separate interfaces by no longer coding Desktop clients for Windows/Macs/Linux - they are now creating lots of more work to be 'cool and trendy' and 'Web 3.0' as they program for specialist devices like the iPhone platform, or Android.

If there were only a platform-agnostic way of delivering the content to all these devices, without having to program for each one individually.

Well there is, it's called HTML5 - I sure hope that out of all this mess the BBC at least spend some time coding for that interface. In terms of target markets, HTML5 should be supported of 100% of the devices accessing the iPlayer. I'm not saying the BBC shouldn't develop for these platforms - but there are better ways to do it. The writers of get_iplayer wrote a brilliant wrapper for linux - so why not allow freelance developers to put the iPlayer on the iPhone, Android .etc - rather than doing it all in house. That's more Web 2.0.