Just after 4oD adds an online player and you think that Channel4 might be catching up with the iPlayer, Anthony Rose, Head of Digital Media Technology at the BBC, comes along to prove you wrong. In a post on the BBC Internet Blog today Rose demonstrated many of the new features that will be coming with, "iPlayer 2.0".
So, what can we expect? Quite a lot as it turns out:
*TV and Radio are now combined into the same interface.
*If you leave the iPlayer half way through a program it will now resume when you return to the homepage
*iPlayer will now suggest programmes based on past viewing habits.
*A schedule of all the BBCs broadcasts is available showing which programmes are (going to be) on the iPlayer and which won't.
*RSS feeds have been added. These can be customised to filter in line with user preference.
*Video quality is improved (higher resolution).
*Radio playback can now be skipped through, rewound and so forth.
*Radio playback quality is being improved.
All much-welcome additions and improvements I'm sure you'll agree. My personal favourites are RSS feeds and the quality improvements on both Radio and Video - it's nice to know I can listen to Just a Minute at a decent bit-rate.
An iPlayer 2.0 Beta will go live tomorrow and run in parallel with the current implementation to fix any bugs that occur, and allow the BBC to see how the servers cope with the increased load. This is the kind of innovation we pay our license fee is for people!