Sorry, this programme is currently unavailable

I am a great fan and user of BBC iPlayer, great for catching up on what you have missed and for watching things again (especially when repeated on BBC Three at an unsociable time).

I will often use an iPod touch to watch programmes, either in bed or more often then not connected to my TV. However now and again I get the following message.

Sorry, this programme is currently unavailable

You can see this in the Christmas edition of Doctor Who.

Sorry, this programme is currently unavailable

This means that you have to use a computer to watch the programme. I get the same “error” with the comedy Outnumbered episode seven (but not with the previous six episodes of Outnumbered).

I believe that the error (it’s not really an error, but I think it is) is a rights issue. In other words the rights holders have not allowed the programme to be made available to the iPod touch (or the iPhone).


Well I suspect that the issue is the way in which BBC iPlayer works on the iPod touch and the iPhone. Basically the BBC serve the iPhone with a DRM free MOV version of the programme. On the iPhone you can’t save this file, so it is not an issue, however a quick Google search provides various ways in which you can get your computer to pretend it’s an iPhone and as a result are able to download the DRM free version of the BBC programme.

Of course I don’t know for sure if this is the issue, or it is a technical problem and the programme just hasn’t (yet) been encoded for the iPhone and the festive break is the cause of the delay.

BBC iPlayer now available on Mac and Linux

Well I know you are thinking that you could access BBC iPlayer already on your Mac or Linux PC!

Well what we’re talking about here is not the Flash based web BBC iPlayer, but the iPlayer which allows you to download BBC programmes and watch them while offline.

Not tried it yet, but thinking it could be useful for train journeys.

Read more on BBC News.

The BBC has created a version of the iPlayer that works with both Mac and Linux computers.

The two systems, which have been able to stream BBC programmes via the iPlayer for a year, will now be able to handle downloads.

The BBC, working with Adobe, has developed the new version, known as BBC iPlayer Desktop.

iTunes Store

I have realised lately that I am downloading more video from the iTunes Store than in the past.  I am downloading films and TV series as well as renting films too.

I quite like the fact that I can get a TV series for £10 and downloaded Life on Mars. However that was a special offer and most series are if you buy every episode quite expensive as a result!

I still think renting is expensive at £3.49, but at least here in the UK we have 48 hours in which to watch the film, over in the USA it’s only 24 hours. Due to busy lifestyle sometimes I want to watch a movie over two evenings. I have watched a few of the 99p rentals which I think are value for money, and if there were more then I would probably rent more, but one a week!

Not tried HD, but as I don’t have an Apple TV or a HDTV not much use to me!

When the GO!ng gets tough, the tough get going…

Okay, in a previous post I mentioned how I quite liked the GO!VIEW service for the PSP from Sony and Sky.

Having now used the service for two months I have unsubscribed.

I think I would have probably unsubscribed last month, but the service wouldn’t let me so I was automatically subscribed for another month.

So what’s the problem, it’s not as if I don’t watch “rented” video?

Well let’s see?

Was it easy to find what you wanted?

Basically yes, the Flash based interface was a little annoying and a little too clever for it’s own good, but for most purposes it was fine.

Were the files good quality?

Yes, as I said previously:

The quality of the Doctor Who video was quite poor, almost VHS quality, however I was more impressed with the quality of the Hustle video which was (in my opinion) as good as the quality I have managed converting EyeTV Freeview recordings.

Was it easy to move the files to the PSP?

Yes, and when you consider I was doing this on parallels on my iMac, I had added a extra layer of complexity.

So why have you unsubscribed then?

To be brutally honest, the one reason I have unsubscribed is that there is no new content.

In the last two months, there have been no additions to the content line-up. So we have Hustle season 1, but no seasons 2, 3 or even 4! We have Spooks season 1, but none of the other seasons. We have a single Doctor Who story and though you can rent the new Doctor Who, as part of the Entertainment package you only have the single Jon Pertwee Spearhead from Space.

True I could have watched other stuff, but I didn’t want to watch Desperate Housewives or badly made TV movies. I wanted more of the stuff I had watched.

So though it was only costing £5 per month, I’d rather not pay £5 per month for re-watching the same content again and again…

If they bring in new content, I may subscribe, but for now I’m going…

Renting from iTunes, hmmmm

I have finally got round to not just renting a movie from iTunes, but also taking the time to watch it as well.

Basically I wanted a film I could watch on an ipod on the train and it was one of those 99p films, “A Guy Thing“.

Not sure how I feel about renting movies, it’s not as though I have never rented a movie (as in a physical DVD) from Blockbuster before, but felt more pressure to watch a rented film from iTunes.

The terms are quite generous, you have thirty days to watch and once you start watching you have two days to watch and finish (or even watch it again).

I just felt that I had to watch it (having watched half) even though I wasn’t in the mood for it.

Will I rent again, possibly.

“Why Kyte will kill Qik!”

Robert Scoble on TechCrunch has written a well detailed and informative article on why he reckons that will win over other services such as Qik in the mobile phone streaming live video arena.

Anyway, back to the fight between Kyte, Qik, and Flixwagon over your cell phone video experience. Last year I was Kyte’s top user too. Why did I switch to Qik? Because I saw that cell phone video would let me extend my brand into places no other video network was letting me get to. I was the only one doing cell phone videos from the World Economic Forum, for instance, something that got me a lot of attention and followers. I told Kyte’s CEO, Daniel Graf, tons of times over the past seven months to get video streaming into his product. At first he resisted, thinking it wasn’t that big a deal, but on Friday I finally tested it out on my cell phone and was impressed enough to give Kyte a second look.

Robert Scoble is one of the top (if not the top) streaming mobile phone video users and has done some really interesting stuff at events all over the world.

“Why Kyte will kill Qik!”

Article is certainly interesting and well worth reading.

iTunes Movies in the UK – hmmmm

I was quite pleased the other day to hear that movies films would be available in the UK iTunes Store.

iTunes Movies in the UK - hmmmm

At the time I had a quick look over the store and saw lots of films. The number one film was (at that time) I am Legend, I was quite impressed that the price for the film was only £6.99 – and that seemed to explain why it was number one. I was also interested to see that National Treasure 2 was also available and thought “I’ll rent that”.

At that time I was busy with work so knew I would leave until later to get them.

So today I upgraded my version of iTunes and decided I would buy I am Legend and rent National Treasure 2.

So you can imagine my disappointment, to see that I am Legend had gone up in price to £10.99. So why was it cheaper to begin with? Why has it gone up? Was it a mistake that Apple has now corrected? Or did I imagine it all?

Ah well so not to worry I’ll rent National Treasure 2 instead. Even with the rental limitation, I was fine with that, I could always transfer the film to an iPod and connect the iPod to my television.



Yes, though I can buy National Treasure 2 for £10.99, I couldn’t rent it!

It’s suppose to be a reasonably fun film, worth renting, but not worth buying it and certainly not worth paying £10.99.

So my first proper attempt to get films off the iTunes Store was not a great success, ah well maybe next time.

iTunes Movies in the UK

Great news for all iTunes Store users in the UK, we can now buy and rent movies.

From the Apple press release:

Apple® today announced that movies from major film studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Sony Pictures Television International and Lionsgate UK are now available on the iTunes® Store in the UK ( Movie purchases and rentals feature iTunes’ legendary ease of use, which makes discovering and enjoying movies as simple and easy as buying music on iTunes has always been. The iTunes Store in the UK features over 700 films available for rent or purchase, with titles available for purchase on the same day as their DVD release, including favorites such as “Hitman,” “I Am Legend,” “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets” and “Into the Wild.” iTunes Movie Rentals also features over 100 titles available in stunning high definition, perfect for viewing on a widescreen TV with Apple TV®.

I am very pleased with this, and I suspect I may use it a fair bit.

I am even now seriously considering getting an Apple TV just so I can watch the movies on my TV, well I guess I can use the iPod nano in the meantime.

Video killed the internet… or will it!

Ten years ago most of used the net for usenet, e-mail and browsing was in the main text with a few pictures.

Today the internet is a much richer in terms of content, and video is a big part of this, anyone for YouTube?

However will this growth in video be the death of the internet?

The BBC reports on this very issue:

There is no doubt that video is big on the net. But is it getting too big?

Ask AT&T and it will answer – yes.

Speaking in London in late April, Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s vice president of legal affairs, said the burgeoning amount of video would consume all the net’s bandwidth in two years.

So will the interent collapse under the weight of a new richer internet, well I think not!