Things should just work

The BBC has released a new desktop player for downloaded videos. I was struck by the headlines on Techmeme: “Now Install BBC iPlayer for Mac, Linux Computers”, “BBC releases iPlayer for Mac and Linux”, “BBC introduces CBBC iPlayer, plus beta Mac and Linux downloads”, “BBC iPlayer download feature available on Linux & Macs”, “BBC announces iPlayer Desktop for Mac and Linux”, “BBC iPlayer for Mac arrives”, “BBC iPlayer now available for Mac”, “BBC iPlayer finally available for Mac, Linux”, “iPlayer Released for Mac, Linux; Adobe Announces AIR for Linux”.

Isn’t that the way things should be? If you have a computer, it should just work.

It shouldn’t be just “an Apple computer” or “a Windows OS” or whatever. They’re computers; they should just work.

With AIR, you can publish an application to any popular type of computer. All it takes is some JavaScript, or some Flash.

We need to get to the same place on other devices too.

I liked reading over those headlines. No drama… Windows, Macintosh and Linux are coming to parity.

One more thing, in that original BBC article. They mention the need to time-restrict and geo-restrict the video. They can’t invest in video production unless they can rationalize their ability to tax UK citizens for support. Rights-management is a vital key in making rational business decisions. But at the same time it can’t inconvenience the intended audience. Things aren’t perfect and invisible yet, but there’s steady improvement in making doorlocks.

(Tip: On Linux, please be sure to uninstall old versions and update Player before installing AIR 1.5… more here.)

Anyway… good stuff. We’re making progress. 🙂

2 Responses to Things should just work

  1. Here, here! That’s why I love working in Flash.

  2. Chris Brind says:

    It is good news, but has felt like a long time coming as according to my wife the downloadable iPlayer has been available for Windows for ages and she has a Mac so has been bugging me about it for some time…
    I recently moved my development environment to a Mac Book Pro, and while I’m loving working with Mac OSX, Eclipse is obviously very familiar. However, I have to admit that Firefox seems to crash a lot more and when I have a look at the detailed crash report it seems to be something in the Flash player that causes it (something to do with security checking). The same thing happens on my Mac Mini as well, though I upgraded that to Flash Player 10 today, as it isn’t an environment.
    So while it is great that Mac and Linux are starting to be taking seriously, sadly, the support for VM based applications isn’t quite there yet, imho.