View Full Version : BBC and iTunes

Stuart Cooper
2004-08-17, 15:37
I received a long (off the record) email from a BBC engineer explaining
why they had gone down the Real Audio route, and why it was highly
unlikely (never going to happen) that they would move in a different

The only bit I can quote is:
"Real had Internet streaming many many years ago, the BBC started using
it in 1996. There were no alternatives that could be played on such a
wide set of platforms (Loads of different flavours of UNIX, Acorn
Archimedies, Mac, Windoze ...), over time we have built up terrabytes of
media dating back years."

Licensing, politics, legal, and other issues were all raised. Given that
they are now (or have, not sure) selling off BBC Engineering, any
significant spend in this area is even more unlikely. Of course if Apple
gave them a fat handout, Itunes could happen... But I bet it would be a
"Premium" service, provided for a fee, or even worse, encrypted!

Transcoding or DAB (obviously not an option if outside the UK) are the
only ways to go realistically (sorry, no pun intended). I'm looking into
a new DAB USB device, but no info on supply of that so far from the

DAB works well with the Wavefinder (only available on eBay I believe) -
once you've persuaded the Wavfinder to work of course (no mean feat!),
and provided you have room for a device that looks like an extra from
the movie of "War of the Worlds".


-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of dean
Sent: 17 August 2004 17:50
To: Slim Devices Discussion
Subject: [slim] BBC and iTunes

Having the BBC also support MP3 would be a huge step forward. MP3,
while not free, IS open and available for licensing by anyone. It just
costs money.

I also would prefer a completely free alternative, but as MP3 is the de
facto standard and is supported by the largest number of hardware and
software players (including SlimServer/Squeezebox), it would be an
excellent step for the BBC.

On Aug 17, 2004, at 5:13 AM, Jules Taplin wrote:

> Oh for goodness sake... what's the point of trying to get the BBC to
> stop using one proprietry format, and start using another. If anything

> - we should be trying to persuade them to either restart their OGG
> trials (started... and then abandoned for lack of time on their part),

> or at least to just stream in mp3. Trust me... having spent the last
> ages hacking around with slimserver support for BBC streams - we don't

> _WAN'T_ iTunes support. We want something open instead.
> (Sorry.... rant over. It just irritates the hell out of me that we
> have a public service organisation - that produces some fantastic
> output - but that they're then propping up broken, irritating,
> proprietry standards *sigh*).
> -- Jules
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Stephen R Ward"
<srward (AT) srward (DOT) com>
> To: "Slim Devices Discussion" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 12:51 PM
> Subject: [slim] BBC and iTunes
>> If anyone's interested in trying to persuade the BBC to supply their
>> streams
>> via iTunes, there's a petition available from here:
>> <http://www.macworld.co.uk/forums/msgs.cfm?msg=35776&forum=4>
>> Cheers...
>> --
>> - $.
>> Stephen R Ward
>> <srward (AT) srward (DOT) com>