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Monday, March 24, 2008

The BBC iPlayer is an amazing mobile content experience.

The menus full of stuff
The menus full of stuff
The Top Gear show full of moving excitment.
The Top Gear show full of moving excitment.

Early March BBC launched a iPod Touch and iPhone compatible version of the iPlayer. I have been using it now for a few weeks and I find myself returning for more content. What strikes me as super interesting is that I actually almost prefer watching it on my iPod Touch rather than the Macbook Air, the reason being that the video is so amazingly crisp on the iPod Touch where as if I use it on the Macbook in full screen it gets grainy.

This is living proof that we are moving towards mobile personal video. A system that is a fusion between, broadband streaming, broadcast and PVR functionality with 'more' option for browsing could revolutionize mobiles. At a 3.5" screen we have a comfortable size that still fits nicely in the pocket. The technology is maturing faster than the business models, which should ensure good user experiences once hitting the mainstream.

A typical consumer Wi-Fi, with up to 8Mbit e.g. BT Broadband seems enough to carry the BBC content crisps to my handheld terminal. It is of course not enough to get a crisp full screen experience on my laptop. What becomes truly apparent is that quality of service is crucial. Getting a circle of spinning dots will be a universal turn off. I do think consumers will start to value quality of service and pay for it. That means emergence of the smart pipe.

There is lots of room to improve the interface of the iPlayer on the iPod Touch and the iPhone. There is too much pinching and panning for a fluid experience, but for a fast beta i give it my thumbs up.

04:21 PM in Technology | Permalink


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