BBC iPlayer adds mobile downloads
Among the supported devices are the Sony Walkman E and S series and Archos' Internet Media Tablet. The Windows Media DRM-protected TV shows join DRM-free radio programmes and podcasts among the BBC's download offerings.
A "for media players" option is now available on iPlayer in addition to the link to download shows to a computer. Once the mobile download has been completed the media file may be dragged to a compatible mobile device's filesystem and played on the move. Videos are encoded in 320x180 resolution at 500kbps with 128kbps for audio.
The next stage of development will see programmes made available to Nokia's N96 on a download basis; the programmes will be protected by Open Mobile Alliance DRM and be downloadable direct to phone.
The BBC said that it is working on support for Apple's iPod and iPhone devices but blamed Apple's attitude to DRM for the incompatibility. In a post on the BBC internet blog, Anthony Rose, head of the online media group at BBC Future Media and Technology, said: "Unfortunately, Apple keeps its DRM technology close to its chest and has so far not licensed that technology to third parties. This means that as of today, it's not technically possible for us to make rights-protected BBC iPlayer programmes available for download from the iPlayer website in a format compatible with Apple devices. That's a major missing piece for us and a disappointment for Apple device owners, so please know that this has our full attention."