Oct 20 2008

Looks like my prediction in this earlier post was not quite right. Things are marginally better and much worse;

The Bad news: The BBC eventually announced that the iPlayer Mobile download service would in fact not be using 3GP/H.264 but in fact DRMed WMV HTTP downloads (yes that’s a Windows video format!).

The good(ish) news: The resolution is better than I reckoned it was. One test report suggests that the resolution is 320×240 which is a marginal improvement over the 320×176 I reported as available 3GP/H.264 for the Nokia N95/N96.

The other good news is that the 3GP/H.264 feeds still seem to be available even though these do not appear to be official in any way. You can see these URLs from get_iplayer using the ‘–streaminfo’ option listed as ‘Nokia N96 h.264 low quality stream URL’.

To restrict what you can do with the programmes you have funded, the BBC has opted to employ ‘OMA DRM 2 specification’ which, incidentally, Apple does/will not support. So I guess that is why we still have those higher quality iPhone download streams available. The OMA DRM 2 spec only appears to be currently implemented (supported?) on closed source players and platforms (correct me if I’m wrong here).

For a one interesting legal evaluation of DRM (in easy-to-understand terms) see this link 🙂


  • On October 25th, 2008, 1050rat said:


    So if I understand your article correctly we won’t be able do download programmes the way we currently (using your wonderful programme) in the future ?



    • On October 25th, 2008, linuxcentre said:

      Well not what I was trying to say, but, yes, only if Apple support WMV and this DRM scheme (unlikely).

      • On January 10th, 2009, Andrej said:

        There is an open implementation of OMA DRM 2: https://sourceforge.net/projects/openipmp

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