Cross-platform iPlayer downloads available

The BBC has made a new cross-platform version of its iPlayer download manager available in beta.

The Adobe AIR-based application, which has been renamed iPlayer Desktop, will run on Windows PCs, Macs and computers running other operating systems including Linux and FreeBSD. Digital rights management from Adobe is used to apply the same playback and storage limits present in the current Windows-only Microsoft download manager.

"Since it launched at the end of last year, BBC iPlayer programmes have been available for streaming on Windows, Mac and Linux computers," said Erik Huggers, director of BBC Future Media and Technology. "Today, we’re pleased to display our commitment to providing a cross-platform download solution for BBC iPlayer users, as Mac and Linux users are now able to download BBC iPlayer programmes to play offline."

The new Desktop application is expected to come out of beta and be available to all iPlayer users during 2009. At present it is only available to users who agree to participate in the iPlayer Labs programme.