iPlaying for the masses

The Beeb, being partial to all things Apple, was always going to launch an iPhone compatible iPlayer web site in preference to the tens of millions of other handsets crying out for a touch of BBC greatness.

So it was a big disappointment that their next release was aimed solely at the high end Nokia N96 rather than more popular Nokia and Samsung S60 handsets.

Thankfully that has neither stopped the industry nor the avid tinkerers out there from sorting out the BBC’s shortcomings.

Skyfire, the previously US/Canada only browser, is now available in the UK. Great beta that it is, it also has another trick; playing iPlayer videos.

True, it is at only 3 or 4 frames a second and lip sync isn’t quite right, but at least all you E71, N95 and other WiFi enabled Symbian handset owners can get the best of Jeremy Clarkson or day time telly in your local hotspot (don’t try it over 3G as your tariff could be blown apart).

For Sony Ericsson’s X1 users, plus a few others, there is an even better solution. The blog artesea.co.uk shows how an adept user can fool the iPlayer into showing full motion video in the Opera browser. Works nicely over WiFi.

So that just leaves the question; when will the BBC start charging a separate licence fee for all smartphone users around the world?