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BBC iPlayer Adds Pre-Booking


BBC iPlayer Adds Pre-Booking

The list of features lacking from the BBC's iPlayer is really beginning to dwindle! Latest to be stricken is the inability to 'pre-book' programmes to be downloaded once available. That's right, folks; in a yet-to-be-rolled-out update, the iPlayer will gain the function to set shows as-yet-un-aired to be downloaded as and when they become available.

Obviously these programmes will still be subject to the same restriction as any others. Videos must be watched within 30 days of downloading and expire after seven days of the first play. That's a small price to pay for being able to call dibs on downloads seven days before they're actually available to download for free, though.

For now the service is to be PC only so Virgin Media subscribers will still have to play the fun game of "is that programme available yet?" There's no reason to think the BBC wouldn't include cable viewers in the fun at some point, though. Even if only to the extent of pop-up notifications once programmes hit the catch-up service, perhaps.

Frankly, though, anything that saves me the effort of sitting at my PC hitting F5 until 11:20 on a Sunday night waiting for Stephen Fry in America to be available to download is a Good Thing in my book. Well played, BBC, well played.


November 11, 2008, 5:44 pm

Any ideas as to when the feature is going to be rolled out? A while ago in an article the abolition of the 7-day-limit was also mentioned, but I have yet to see it implemented.


November 11, 2008, 5:47 pm

There's no indication of timescale yet but judging from previous updates, probably by the end of the month. I don't know anything about time limits, though.


November 11, 2008, 6:29 pm

@Hugo: you're right, it was written by Gordon:


Mike Dowler

November 11, 2008, 7:03 pm

Series stacking is already here - this is different to the 7-day limit Hugo is talking about. Previously, you used only to be able to access a show for download (or to watch using the streaming player) within 7 days of broadcast. That is no longer the case.

Hugo's 7-day limit relates to expiry of a downloaded show, which, once started, can only be watched (or watched again) for the next 7 days. I guess from Hugo's comment that this still applies. Though, provided at least one episode of the series was broadcast within the last 7 days, there would not seem to be any reason why you should not just download it again, giving yourself a further 30 days to watch...


November 11, 2008, 7:43 pm

Actually, only the current episode is available for download, the rest are online-only. At least in my experience. (iPlayer rocks!)

mr dog

November 11, 2008, 9:25 pm

I think you are going to have to update your stock iPlayer screenshot, that is unless you want hordes of daily mail readers hounding you for your graphicular support of Ross and Brand.


November 11, 2008, 10:46 pm

To put it bluntly: I don't give a damn what the Daily Mail's readership thinks.


November 12, 2008, 1:39 am

The killer feature that is now left is ad-funded back-catalogue! I want to watch every episode of eastenders that i have missed in the last 10 years, and i'll watch randomly-placed in-show adverts if that mean's i get to!

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