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BBC iPlayer Puts the BBC on the iPad

Posted by Rob Rich on July 29th, 2011

Ages ago, when mankind first learned of fire and kept small dinosaurs as pets, I used to work in a very large bookstore. One of those big ones that sold DVDs and wooden toys on top of books and stuff. Stick with me, the bit about the DVDs is important. So, having worked in a store that sells DVDs I've come to learn something about our society: American people go absolutely nuts for British television.

Seriously, so many people would spend upwards of $80 or more on a single season of some show about a woman who marries people and lives in wine country or something. And maybe solves murders. Average citizens solve a lot of murders over there, don't they?

Perhaps it's because they've finally realized that their shows have a massive global appeal, or maybe it's because they finally got the funds together, but BBC Worldwide has created (and is unleashing) their BBC iPlayer: an iPad app that allows a fairly extensive (1500 hours worth on day one) amount of their catalog to be streamed digitally. The managing director of BBC.com (Luke Bradley-Jones) has told guardian.co.uk that the service will feature newer episodes but also grant users access to "... the best from the catalogue stretching back 50 to 60 years."

Some content is available for free (add-supported, of course), but subscriptions are available for €6.99 (roughly $10) a month and €49.99 (about $72) a year. Sure subscription fees are always daunting, but considering the fact that most BBC enthusiasts plunk down more than triple that in a year or less, I think this seems like a great deal. Especially when considering the perks that the US version will include: 3G and Wi-Fi streaming, as well as (this is the big one) downloading videos directly to the iPad for offline viewing. I mean seriously, who wouldn't be willing to pay a little bit each year to be able to load up some Doctor Who, Primeval, Top Gear and more, whenever they'd like? Imagine how awesome those commutes would be.

The BBC iPlayer is due out "Thursday" in 11 Western European countries, but US, Canadian and Australian residents will have to wait until later this year. Bummer.

[via guardian.co.uk] [ image credit: guardian.co.uk ]

mSpot App Allows Full-Length Movie Streaming...from iPhone!

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on May 27th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

If you'd asked me a while back which company would first release an iPhone app for streaming full-length movies, I'd have probably guessed Netflix. ABC. Blockbuster. Redbox. Hulu. Maybe even Apple.

A much less famous company called mSpot, however, has stolen the crown of "first!"

Not that mSpot is new to the movie streaming business. They've already been offering movie streams for PC, Android, Palm, and Blackberry devices; they also have a music cloud-based storage/streaming service. Now, however, their mSpot Mobile Movies app has reached the App Store. The app allows you to browse movies, watch trailers, and rent movies for watching on your iPhone...or, if you decide you want to switch screens, you can hop onto your PC partway through!

The streaming quality looks pretty solid, and works on both 3G and WiFi (how did that get past AT&T?). As for prices, they offer both a "club" option and an a la carte method. The prices aren't too outrageous, either; movies like Inglourious Basterds and Star Trek are shown as costing just $4.99 to rent, while a small number of old titles like Night of the Living Dead are available for free. mSpot's library isn't enormous, but there are enough good titles there that it's definitely worth a look.

Now, if mSpot can just expand its library, its early advantage could transform it into yet another movie-source contender.