BBC cleans up iPlayer downloads as desktop platform gets a revamp

BBC cleans up iPlayer downloads, as desktop platform gets a revamp
Desktop users get some love from mobile-focused BBC

Good news for iPlayer fans frustrated by the temperamental desktop downloads functionality, good old Auntie has sorted it out with a new bit of software for Mac and PC.

The new BBC iPlayer Downloads program, which replaces the now obselete BBC iPlayer Desktop software from today, has ironed out some of the kings, for a more reliable download experience.

Dan Taylor, the new man in charge of the iPlayer, has explained how downloads will no longer rely on users running Adobe AIR. Previously updates to that program had disrupted users ability to download.

"BBC iPlayer Desktop relied on users downloading and installing Adobe AIR. Unfortunately updates to this underlying technology often resulted in issues with the BBC iPlayer Desktop, with users reporting that they had lost downloaded programmes and/or were unable to download any new programmes," wrote Taylor on the BBC blog.

Tata Live TV and Windows Media files

The corporation has also simplified the experience, cutting out many of the existing features to ensure the focus is on offline viewing only.

Live TV and radio integration is gone as it couldn't be used offline anyway, as is the Series Record feature, which Taylor asserts was only frequented by a fraction of the iPlayer audio.

Furthermore, the parental lock has now been integrated at the pre-download stage of the iPlayer website, where users will now visit to obtain anything they wish to download.

The download mechanism itself, Taylor says, has also been simplified to make it "less vulnerable to browser updates," while downloads in the Windows Media format have also been ditched?

Are you a fan of the new streamlined desktop downloads experience? Give it a whirl and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.