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BBC iPlayer Downloads replaces iPlayer Desktop

The BBC has ditched its iPlayer Desktop app and replaced it with BBC iPlayer Downloads.

According to Dan Taylor, head of BBC iPlayer, the move comes after criticism of the previous service.

Taylor said that 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,” he said.

Read our guide to BBC iPlayerHe added that the new BBC iPlayer Downloads doesn’t require users to download and install Adobe AIR and consequently, shouldn’t be vulnerable to issues resulting from updates to Adobe AIR.

He said that the changed has allowed the organisation to simplify the application, focusing it on the core tasks of the download and offline playback of BBC TV programmes.

“We haven’t rebuilt the Series Record functionality in the new application, which introduced significant complexity and was only used by a minority of users,” said Taylor. “Similarly, we haven’t rebuilt the Live TV and Live Radio areas, which couldn’t be used offline and duplicated functionality on the BBC iPlayer website.”

He said that downloading should be simpler so it will be less vulnerable to browser updates.

Taylor added that it will no longer be possible to download the old BBC iPlayer Desktop client but any programmes already downloaded should continue to be playable until they reach their natural expiry date.

The new app can be downloaded from this link.

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