Government responds to iPlayer complaints

The government has increased the pressure on the BBC to make the iPlayer work on non-Windows operating systems.

Government responds to iPlayer complaints

The government was forced to respond after a petition on the Number 10 website calling for the iPlayer to be made available for other operating systems garnered more than 16,000 signatures.

In its response, the government says the BBC Trust made it explicitly clear that the iPlayer should be a cross-platform service.

“The BBC Trust made it a condition of approval for the BBC’s on-demand services that the iPlayer is available to users of a range of operating systems, and has given a commitment that it will ensure that the BBC meets this demand as soon as possible,” the government’s response states. “They will measure the BBC’s progress on this every six months and publish the findings.”

A BBC spokesman claims it was always the Corporation’s intention to make the iPlayer cross-platform. “We’re prioritising work on Windows first – we’re working on the others as fast as we can,” she says.

However, there seems little prospect of Mac or Linux versions until at least 2008. “There will be a Vista version of BBC iPlayer available this year. We are actively working on Mac and cross platform support,” the BBC claims.

The iPlayer has been dogged by controversy since the catch-up service was launched as a public beta in July. Many people have suffered technical glitches with the iPlayer’s DRM software that prevents them from watching downloaded programmes. Others have experienced long delays when downloading shows.

Click here for PC Pro’s preview of the iPlayer service.

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