Yesterday, the BBC announced on their "BBC Internet Blog" that they have begun rolling out a new way of securely playing video and audio content on Android phones and tablets. It's called BBC Media Player and they are starting to use it with the mobile view of the BBC's iPlayer website (with a new iPlayer app coming next week). They are keen to stress that Android is "an important platform for us".
They cite the main force behind this Android revamp as "Adobe's strategic decision to remove support for the Flash Player plug-in meant that we had to change the way that we play back this content." So, as well as a new BBC iPlayer App (coming next week) they have removed the need for Flash by replacing it with the "BBC Media Player" App which will work in conjunction with the iPlayer App and "other BBC applications and websites". The application is downloadable from the Play Store.
I have done a little bit of testing of the new Media Player and it seems to work ok, albeit with particularly grainy playback so far.
Until the new iPlayer App is released you need to launch video through the BBC iPlayer Website. I'm happy to report that it works fine through Chrome (where Flash didn't) on both my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7.
Hopefully when the iPlayer App is released it might bring some SD/HD toggles and other options because at the moment, playing files through the website doesn't appear to give you any choice but SD (i'm happy to be advised otherwise if anyone finds anything).
It's nice to see the BBC taking Android so seriously and looking for a "One App suits all" approach which works with no bother on ROOTED devices. Which is in stark contrast to the guff the SKY keep spouting about their SKY GO app. :(
I would heartily recommend you read the article on the BBC Internet Blog, they aren't shy in provided technical info on their decisions. :)
I look forward to the new BBC iPlayer App, I think the BBC are making all the right noises here. Agree?
[Via: BBC Internet Blog]