The controversial iPlayer, which we covered back in July, has only recently added Firefox support. Built by the BBC to allow users to catch up with programs from the past seven days, the iPlayer was released only last year. It works with all BBC channels and programs.
The immediate criticism launched out at the program was it’s lack of support for the open source community, with Linux users spearheading the protests. Back in July, an e-petition with more than 11,000 signatures was passed around in the hopes that it would pressure the BBC into releasing a Linux version of the iPlayer. To calm the debate down, the BBC assured users that it would at least release a Mac version of the iPlayer in Autumn. However, we’re now in February and there are still no signs of a downloadable iPlayer for Mac or Linux. The help page of the iPlayer website still says, “We are aware of demand to expand this to other operating systems, please check at a later date for any further news.” However users should note that streaming itself works for PC, Mac and Linux as the player is based on Flash, which all three systems support.
Firefox support for the iPlayer is a positive move towards the open source community. As Anthony Rose, head of iPlayer development since September, says, “It’s good because it’s the first real non-Microsoft thing we’ve been able to do with the download iPlayer.” Hopefully it won’t be the last if the BBC wants to reach as many users as possible.