iPlayer for Linux wins approval of open sourcers

The BBC's cross-platform streaming iPlayer service gets the thumbs up from the Open Source Consortium, although there is still demand for a download version

The Open Source Consortium has welcomed the BBC's move to make its iPlayer online on-demand TV service available for streaming on operating systems other than Microsoft Windows.

The OSC was one of the groups critical of the BBC's decision to initially launch the download version of iPlayer for Windows XP only — although it recently also became compatible with Windows Vista.

The new all-platform streaming iPlayer service is available for Macs and Linux as well as the two Windows operating systems — XP and Vista.

OSC president Mark Taylor told ZDNet.co.uk's sister site, silicon.com: "We think it's a step in the right direction."

But regarding the download version, Taylor said: "There is still a lot of work to do on the client side. What we can say for sure is that the BBC Trust is utterly promising to hold feet to the fire on this one."

Following a meeting with the OSC, the BBC's independent governing body, the BBC Trust, restated its commitment to make the download version of iPlayer "platform agnostic".

The BBC Trust said the streaming iPlayer service is only a "partial solution to the issues" with BBC management due to present their next progress report on iPlayer to the trust next spring.

In a recent interview with silicon.com, Ashley Highfield, head of the BBC's future media and technology unit, was unable to commit to a download version of iPlayer for Macs and Linux but said he was "pretty certain" there would be one at some point during 2008.