The iPlayer changed again today, which broke my downloader. It was a surprise to me: I had thought that the cat and mouse game of countermeasure and counter-countermeasure was over. Had the BBC regrouped for another round?
Well, no. It didn’t take me long to understand the changes. In fact, the latest iteration of the iPlayer-for-iPhone is significantly simpler than the last. It’s just a page with an embedded movie. There are no fiddly web bugs to authorise the client, and there’s no need to resolve the programme ID to a version ID first.
I don’t know the reasons behind it, but I’d like to imagine that someone in charge has recognised the quixotic nature of all attempts to thwart downloads. After all, people have now been downloading iPlayer programmes for a couple of years. The sky hasn’t fallen. Why waste time complicating and obfuscating when you could be making it simpler and better?
Have sensible technical decisions prevailed over futile political ones? I can only hope so.