bbciplayerThe BBC has launched a new media player for playing BBC content on Android phones and tablets.
The BBC Media Player will be used with the mobile view of the BBC’s iPlayer website and will be followed by a new version of BBC iPlayer on Android which will use the media player.
In a blog post Chris Yanda, Executive Product Manager, POB Mobile Management at BBC Future Media, explained that one of the difficulties is the number of variations in the Android platform, “The Android operating system is constantly evolving and has been upgraded several times in the last two years. Back then version 2.2 (FroYo) was the latest OS. Today the latest version is 4.1 (JellyBean) and in between we’ve had Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and Ice Cream Sandwich.”

The BBC explored a number of solutions including Http Live Streaming (HLS) which is used to stream BBC media to other platforms. However, HLS isn’t supported on Android OS versions prior to Honeycomb.
“In the end, Flash was still the best choice of media format for us to use. And the only practical technology for us to play this format back on Android is Adobe Air,” added Yanda. The result is a separate application (BBC Media player) that the BBC will now use across its Android developments.

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By Expat