BBC iPlayer application officially available for the N95 and E71
The BBC has just launched a standalone iPlayer S60 application (v1.0.0!) for the Nokia N95 and E71. iPlayer lets UK users catch up on BBC programmes that have been broadcast in the last week or so and has previously been exclusive to the Nokia N85, N96 and 5800, available as a Web Runtime widget. Although no formal announcement has been made by the BBC as I write this, it's as good as a done deal, as this BBC blog post strongly hints.
iPlayer listings as seen on the Nokia N95 (in landscape mode)
The basic application operation is very similar to the widget version. However the UI has been tweaked with re-arranged tabs and layout. The most notable change is the addition of support for Live TV. Live TV allows you to view the programmes currently running on the various BBC channels. Previously this was only available via the BBC website.
Watching BBC One live, via iPlayer on the Nokia E71
The Nokia E71 supports both streaming and download of iPlayer content. Unfortunately it appears that the N95 doesn't contain the DRM needed for the 'Download' option, but the streaming part of the system works well. Downloads and streaming will work over Wi-Fi for all and, on select UK operators, streaming and downloads should also work over the 3G network.
Downloading a programme from BBC iPlayer on the Nokia E71
You can get the iPlayer application, as always, by going to www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/iplayer in S60 Web. The site will serve you whichever version is appropriate.
Comments on performance, connectivity and compatibility welcomed!
While the application is a native S60 application it consists of 'web browser component' with a few extras designed to solve the Real player access point bug.
The new version will only work on the Nokia N95, N95 8GB and E71. Even if you do obtain and install the SISX file on another device it will not work. The programme listings are still downloaded over the web and, when this happens, the service checks which device you are using through the browser's user-agent. Instead of seeing the listings you will see a message saying that the device is not compatible with iPlayer.
Hopefully the BBC will widen the compatibility once it has carried out further testing. You can leave your feedback on the official launch post, which is now live on the BBC Internet blog. There's also a second blog post, explaining some of the technical details, here.
You may also find this help page useful, it lists, in a compatibility grid, all the mobile devices that can be used with iPlayer.
Steve Litchfield and Rafe Blandford, AAS, 11th June 2009
P.S. Steve: Interestingly, despite setting up my RealPlayer 'Network' panel to the right access point, iPlayer's streaming doesn't seem to like my Linksys router. I had the same problem with the N96, yet iPlayer works perfectly over the same router on the 5800. If any tech wizards out there can offer a plausible explanation, I'd love to hear it!
Published by Steve Litchfield at 7:04 UTC, June 11th