BBC 'committed' to iPlayer platform neutrality

The Open Source Consortium has met with the BBC Trust to discuss concerns over the corporation's online on-demand television service

The BBC and the Open Source Consortium have met to discuss concerns surrounding the development of the corporation's iPlayer.

iPlayer is the BBC's online on-demand television service, unveiled last month and available to Windows XP users for public download on 27 July.

The Open Source Consortium (OSC) wanted to meet with the BBC's independent governing body to clarify its commitment to making the iPlayer available for other platforms.

OSC president Mark Taylor said: "The meeting with the Trust was very positive. We're absolutely clear that the BBC Trust themselves are committed to platform neutrality.

"We asked [the Trust] to explain how platform neutrality was going to be achieved given that the existing iPlayer is completely locked into single provider's technology stack."

Taylor explained that the issue isn't just about desktops but also mobile phones and media players — many of which run on Linux or Apple software — which the BBC claims it wants to bring iPlayer to.

The OSC isn't the only group concerned about the iPlayer, with more than 11,000 people now having signed a 10 Downing Street e-petition asking the prime minister to take action.

The BBC Trust also asked the OSC to assist in preparing for the next iPlayer review in October by providing guidance on questions to ask.

The BBC Trust statement said it is "fully committed to users of both the Linux and Mac operating systems having full use of the BBC iPlayer".

The Trust described the meeting with the OSC as "useful and constructive" and added: "The Trust welcomed the OSC's offer of help to establish an open-source, cross-platform solution."

It was agreed that the BBC Trust and OSC will meet again following the October review.


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