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BBC iPlayer finally supports Macs and Linux

BBC iPlayer - now available for Macs / Linux
BBC iPlayer - now available for Macs / Linux

The BBC has finally rolled out a download manager that will work on Mac and Linux operating systems, as well as giving its popular VOD system a child-friendly CBBC spin-off.

For those that sign up to the iPlayer Labs, a beta version of BBC iPlayer Desktop download running on the cross-platform Adobe AIR system is now available, with a full release scheduled for February 2009.

Although it has proven to be immensely successful in the year of its existence, the lack of functionality for non-Windows operating systems has been a bone of contention for many.

DRM problem

This constraint has been down to DRM, with the BBC Trust's conditions for allowing programmes to broadcast over the internet meaning that the BBC has had to work hard to find a suitable engine.

"The BBC Trust said we could make content available for seven or 30 days after broadcast," BBC Head of Digital Media Anthony Rose said.

"The ability to take things away after some time requires DRM. We may embrace other DRMs as needed."

Meanwhile, the BBC has rolled out iPlayer CBBC which has bolder animations and a simpler graphical user interface (GUI) to make the online content more accessible for kids.