A bug in Windows Phone is holding back BBC's iPlayer app?

The BBC iPlayer app on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console

In May, the BBC denied rumors that it would be bringing its popular iPlayer streaming video app to Windows Phone devices. At the time, the UK TV network did not go into detail on the reasons behind this move. Now the BBC has offered some specific reasons behind why Windows Phone owners would not be seeing the iPlayer app anytime soon.

WPCentral.com reports it has received an email from one of its readers, who got a detailed response from an unnamed BBC representative about his iPlayer questions. In summary, the BBC uses a streaming video system that doesn't currently work with Microsoft's Windows Phone OS. The email said in part:

...today there's a bug in Windows Phone that prevents our standards-based media from being played on those devices. Microsoft has been aware of the bug for over a year now, and we're hopeful they'll address it (on Windows Phone 7 as well as Windows Phone 8) so our Windows Phone audiences can access iPlayer.

The details of this bug were not revealed and it's unclear why Microsoft has not taken action to fix this issue. With Microsoft about to launch Windows Phone 8 later this fall, it may be a while before the BBC iPlayer is launched for the OS.

Source: WPCentral.com | Image via BBC

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...today there's a bug in Windows Phone that prevents our standards-based media from being played on those devices.

I think that bug is called "Windows Phone 7" and Microsoft is not planing to fix it. Internet browser on this phone is complete crap and slow as hell. Things like jQuery Mobile + PhoneGap on it looks and works horrible by comparison to iPhone and Android. Microsoft ignored developers and refused to implement features they wanted so, a lot of developers are ignoring this phone now.

For example, if Microsoft in not going to implement such feature as big brother cloud - free sync with Outlook then I doubt that serious people, whose contacts are their business, are going to like it. Facebook is one thing, but very valuable private business information in the hands of huge international corporation is not good (I bet Chinese government would like for Microsoft to outsource all these business contacts .

They must be stalling because as we have been saying that every app has a API issue or GUI bug, they just need time to sort it out, in the mean time we must wait for it to be released

Yes, sound like BS to me too. Every WP7 developer has ran into a bug or lack of a functionality in the API. They always work around it and do what they have to do. I bet there is no bug and only something missing in the API that BBC developers want. They need to stop crying and develop like every other developer.

BillyJack said,
Yes, sound like BS to me too. Every WP7 developer has ran into a bug or lack of a functionality in the API. They always work around it and do what they have to do. I bet there is no bug and only something missing in the API that BBC developers want. They need to stop crying and develop like every other developer.

I'm pretty sure they're "crying" because a few WP's came to them crying for an app. They're not crying just for attention. They simply answered a question.

The arguments used are BS and in an old fashioned English way of putting it a piece of crock..

But since I can happily use iPlayer from Plex on my Lumia I do not really care that much..

paulheu said,
The arguments used are BS and in an old fashioned English way of putting it a piece of crock..

But since I can happily use iPlayer from Plex on my Lumia I do not really care that much..

I too use Plex for my windows phone. I have a roku box too and use plex on that and my ipod. Its really nice to actually have control over what media you stream and have a consistant experiance across platforms.

Princess Chica Ami said,
Imagine the Windows Phone down the line accidently got married by the BSOD from the Windows counterpart, that would be hillarious.

I am not sure what this has to do with this article. Either way it would be funny.

How about figuring a way to create your streaming player so it can work on all devices without an issue. I understand their point of view but what I don't understand is why not figure a way to make your services available without issue. Netflix did it, crackle did it, and many other streaming services did it. I am not saying i know the solution or anything but obviously its possible on their apps to make it work.

I believe the WPCentral article says the bug is referring to the web based version of iPlayer and the IE browser, which has little to do with any application.

As to why there is no app, they said it's too much effort for such a small return, considering they think they'd have to re-engineer it for WP8 anyway.

~Johnny said,
I believe the WPCentral article says the bug is referring to the web based version of iPlayer and the IE browser, which has little to do with any application.

As to why there is no app, they said it's too much effort for such a small return, considering they think they'd have to re-engineer it for WP8 anyway.

They basically want to skip Windows Phone 7 and just make a Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 app.

~Johnny said,
I believe the WPCentral article says the bug is referring to the web based version of iPlayer and the IE browser, which has little to do with any application.

As to why there is no app, they said it's too much effort for such a small return, considering they think they'd have to re-engineer it for WP8 anyway.


I think it's not a bug but lack HLS (Http Live Streaming) that prevents them making a WP app. WP8 will support HLS.

Anthonyd said,
If you read the comments of the source, you'll know that it's BS.
Yet another poor article written by JC.

But this is NOT BS:

A company like them could write their app for Windows 8, which will have more market share on day one of its public release, and then they could easily port it to WP8.

Or, they could write an app for WP7 which wouldn't as easily port to Windows 8 and hardly has any market share.

Why in the world would a company like them choose the second, more expensive and less productive, route?

Maybe the same bug exists on Xbox. The iPlayer app on there is buggy and is usually always "unavailable".

Crisps said,
Maybe the same bug exists on Xbox. The iPlayer app on there is buggy and is usually always "unavailable".

Really? Seems perfect to me aside from the fact that it's super slow. Load times and everything really.

Mark said,
Really? Seems perfect to me aside from the fact that it's super slow. Load times and everything really.

I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but I'm in the new Xbox dashboard preview, and I've found that the infinite loading times are gone. It looks like they've fixed that.

Meph said,

I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but I'm in the new Xbox dashboard preview, and I've found that the infinite loading times are gone. It looks like they've fixed that.

I signed up for the preview too, never got an email or anything though. Nice to hear things are a bit faster

Mark said,

I signed up for the preview too, never got an email or anything though. Nice to hear things are a bit faster

You don't get an email, you request a key from the website.