If you read our site on the 21st of February, you should have noticed the news that the BBC was planning to bring its iPlayer service to the iPhone and iPod touch ‘within the next few weeks'. Well, true to its word, the Beeb has come good and the Apple flavoured version of the site is now up and running, albeit in beta form.
Those of you logging on to the iPlayer site via your iPhone or iTouch will notice a small image in the top right corner indicating that the service is now up and running. Not everything is transcoded in Apple friendly codecs yet, but henceforth all content should be available.
Technically speaking, the iPhone and iTouch grab a 516kbit stream comprised of 400kbit H.264 encoded video and 116kbit audio. Subjectively, as an iPhone owner, I can attest that the quality is fantastic, and more than good enough for casual watching. Never has the Antiques Roadshow looked so good on a mobile device - honest.
Bandwidth-wise, you can't use the service over the EDGE network so the iPhone is limited to WiFi only - yet another reason we need a 3G iPhone. Luckily the BBC recently inked a deal with The Cloud to offer free access to its content via various hotspots nationwide, so if you're out and about you can still catch up on the latest episode of Little Britain or Ashes to Ashes. Other mobile devices are expected to be offered support soon, but for now Apple users, enjoy your exclusivity.