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BBC iPlayer 2 - now!
Brian Butterworth published on UK Free TV
You don't need to wait to use the new version of the BBC iPlayer, you can give it a go by clicking here: BBC iPlayer version 2.
You can watch a video Introducing the new BBC iPlayer too.
There are lot of new features:
- BBC television and radio programmes all in one place.
- Radio is now in high-quality stereo and available in Click to Play (streaming) but you can still pop-out the player - and you can still listen live or listen again.
- Click to Play (streaming) video playback is bigger.
- Programmes now pick up where you left off, you can find them easier in the carousel, and BBC iPlayer will remember the last ten programmes you played.
- Schedules and details on what's coming up to help you plan what you want to play on BBC iPlayer.
- Better programme descriptions when you roll over a programme image.
- Improvements to search.
- Improvements to the help site to help you better find what you're after.
- First, we're removing the need to install RealPlayer if you're listening in the UK. We're not dropping RealPlayer entirely (if you've a wifi radio that uses it, don't worry) - but, if you use the BBC iPlayer to listen again in the UK, you'll now be given an embedded Flash player instead, just like for the television programmes. As a result, it will "just work" for nearly everyone. You also won't need RealPlayer to listen live in the UK - the new iPlayer will use Windows Media Player which should be installed as a default on your PC (a version is also available for Macs!)
- When you use the current iPlayer for Radio, you can't rewind and can only fast-forward in five minute chunks. As we are integrating radio into the full iPlayer, we will be using the same transport controls as we do for television programmes. If you want to forward through Chris Moyles's show to around 8.00am, you can just click and drag. Easy.
- Another new feature is that iPlayer will remember what you last played so if you didn't have time to finish it, it's ready to resume when you are.
- And we're dramatically improving the audio qualityfor UK listeners. For most stations, we'll be using MP3-streaming at 128k stereo. If you're a fan of serious classical music on BBC Radio 3, we're improving it still further, recognising that classical music requires higher bitrates to do the job well - so Radio 3's listen-again will be at 192k stereo. Mono speech also increases in quality, up to 80k mono. All that means that BBC Radio through the iPlayer will be much better quality.
- There'll be further changes to our streaming infrastructure later in July: on-demand and live streaming. We'll fill you in with those details nearer the time. In the meantime, I really hope you'll enjoy the start of the tremendous difference in sound quality from iPlayer's listen-again service. For further information about the radio aspects of the new iPlayer, take a look at these frequently asked questions.
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