It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the BBC’s TV catch-up service iPlayer (UK-only), which I regularly access on my laptop, cable television set-top box, and of course my trusty iPod touch. The problem with the latter version, however, is that it offers streaming only not downloads, which doesn’t sit well for a mobile device as it prohibits off-line access such as when traveling on a plane or train or anywhere without WiFi access. It isn’t the BBC’s fault but the fact that Apple doesn’t license the iPod and iPhone’s proprietary DRM solution – so-called FairPlay – to third-parties. DRM is a necessary evil, says the public broadcaster, in order to meet its obligations to copyright holders who require that programs only be made available for up to seven days after broadcast.
In contrast, the newly released version of iPlayer for Nokia’s latest flagship handset, the N96, doesn’t suffer the same problem, offering both streaming and downloads. Earlier this afternoon I got some hands-on time with iPlayer on the Nokia N96.