The loved by some and loathed by others BBC iPlayer is set to increase the number of platforms it will run on in October 2008 when it will be available for the Nokia N96 mobile phone.
The service will be download based, rather than streaming which should avoid jittery playback due to the variations in mobile coverage. The use of downloads is important as it will allow people to download data over cheaper Wi-Fi connections at home or at Wi-Fi hotspots. While mobile data costs are dropping with the arrival of mobile broadband, tariffs for mobile handsets can often be more restrictive as to what is included in bundled web usage, so ensure you check with your network provider what the costs are before using 3G or GPRS on your handset to catch-up on EastEnders while commuting to or from work.
The BBC is not the only broadcaster trying to reach out to people on the move, the Go!View service which Sony and Sky operate targets the Sony PSP. The difference with BBC services is that because of the unique licence fee that funds the BBC the reaction of the public is very likely to be one of why doesn't the BBC focus on producing content, rather than producing more ways of repeating the same content.
With the wide number of platforms that can play video in existance perhaps the BBC should rather than continuing to develop the various iPlayer interfaces, reduce the price of downloading content that BBC Worldwide makes available via iTunes. Video and audio purchased or downloaded for free (as many BBC podcasts are) can already be transferred onto wide range number of mobile devices. Nokia even has a video tutorial showing how to do this for their mobile phones.