A few weeks ago I contacted BBC iPlayer with a comprehensive report of the shortfalls of the software on my PC. Program downloads were disappearing after every reboot, and the only workaround was to empty the Repository in the iPlayer folder, then allow re-downloads. Deinstall and reinstall is not a consistent workaround. This in-depth reply was received today, and judged as worthy of blogging as a FYI
Dear Mr Stephano,
Case Number: CAS-******-******
Thanks for contacting us regarding BBC iPlayer Desktop.
Firstly, please accept our apologies at BBC iPlayer Support, as we are aware you have had to wait for a response while these reported issues with BBC iPlayer Desktop were fully investigated.
David Price, the Head of TV and iPlayer has provided the following response:
“Hi, Please accept my apologies for the problems you have been experiencing with the BBC iPlayer Desktop download application. Just to confirm, we are experiencing two key problems:
1. Upgrades to Adobe Air are corrupting or ‘removing’ the directory where programmes are stored, resulting in previously downloaded programmes not playing, and future downloads often failing to play.
2. Compatibility problems with Adobe Air and recent releases of Google Chrome result in some users being unable to install iPlayer Desktop or download new programmes.
My team are working hard on a complete overhaul of BBC iPlayer Desktop. However, it is some months away before we release this dramatically simplified service, which will provide more reliable downloads and playback. We’ll update the iPlayer help site when we have more information to share.
We have also made a number of revisions to our FAQs and support pages. In particular, the following may be useful:
1. If you are having a problem downloading and playing more than one programme it’s worth uninstalling and re-installing Adobe Air. For more information on how to do this please read the Adobe Air – How do I reinstall Adobe Air? FAQ.
2. Why am I having an issue installing iPlayer Desktop on my Mac?
Some Mac users have experienced issues trying to install iPlayer Desktop on their machine. When going through the installation or version upgrade process when prompted ensure you click Allow Keychain Access. This confirms that you allow the application to be installed and download BBC programmes.
3. Why am I unable to download programmes when using Google Chrome?
Further information on the problem and compatible browsers can be found in the iPlayer FAQs.
Finally, while this may not be a solution for everyone, we do now offer downloads via our mobile application (for Apple devices, Android is in development). Furthermore, for compatible devices, if you are experiencing problems, I’d also encourage you in the interim to try downloading the WMV files and play through a compatible player (e.g. Windows Media Player). These downloadable files can be seen under the ‘Download Options’ button.
Apologies for the prolonged problems you are experiencing. We are working hard to mitigate the issues and provide a more robust download solution on desktop and I hope you are able to continue watching and enjoying programme via BBC iPlayer in other ways in the meantime.
Head of TV & iPlayer”
Once again, thanks for taking the time to contacting BBC iPlayer Support.
BBC Audience Services