I've spent the morning playing around with the BBC's iPlayer Beta. Naturally, being the BBC, everything is more complicated than it needs to be. The player and the downloads are not intergrated and the DRM system (which is utterly pointless anyway and won't stop pirating) has major bugs and after downloading three programmes and being told I don't have a licence to view them I gave up.  iPlayer is Windows only (and XP only at that, so if you've upgraded to Vista, tough) and, even though I've got XP on my Mac I can't be arsed to switch OS to watch a BBC repeat. Having said all that, from what I can make out from the message boards once the thing is up and running it is pretty impressive. But I like things to work first time so I'll hold back a while.

Fortunately I can watch and record from Freeview on my computer and BT Vision on the telly. It would be handy to be able to 'watch again' as easily as you can 'listen again' on BBC radio and maybe when iPlayer is available for Mac/Firefox and is out of Beta I'll give it another try.

I'm not even sure why the BBC decided to develop it's own player rather that collaborate with existing, experienced developers. I think they hope to flog the technology to other TV networks and make some money off it. I've got my doubts but time will tell.