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February 1, 2008

BBC makes iPlayer Firefox-compatible

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by Janet Harris

The download version of BBC iPlayer is now compatible with the Firefox web browser, after six months as being Internet Explorer-only friendly.

The development is significant because Mozilla’s Firefox is the first non-Microsoft application to be compatible with iPlayer.

The IPTV service still only supports Windows operating systems, but Linux and Mac versions are expected within two years.

According to Anthony Rose, the executive in charge of iPlayer development at the Beeb, it took around two months to make iPlayer Firefox compatible.

There were problems with the Firefox support provided by Kontiki, the Verisign P2P platform that distributes video for the download client, and the BBC ended up writing its own Firefox plug-in.

The download version of iPlayer is currently eight times more popular than the desktop application.

It is expected that peer to peer will be developed as a secondary complement to streaming services, allowing cheap distribution of massive high definition video files. Such files are too big for streaming on the existing broadband infrastructure.

Story link: BBC makes iPlayer Firefox-compatible


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