BBC iPlayer


2 pint overload 

Since broadband was available for a reasonable price throughout the UK, people have been downloading films over it. My friend downloaded a wobbly copy of Episode 1 of Star Wars months before it came out over here and got to discover that Jar-Jar Binks was shit way before anyone else. That was in 1999. I’m saying this so that you can get an idea of how behind the times ‘Auntie’ is in launching a program downloading service.

The BBC have realised the internet exists and now let you watch shows through BBC iPlayer. The sign up process is confusing, but provided you have at least a PhD in Computing and the sort of relentless optimism that got Haig through the Somme, you should be able to manage it. Your computer will be filled with a bilious slob of a program that will swallow up resources and works very slowly.

I bet at this point you’re thinking ‘well at least I’ll be able to watch my favourite programs whenever I want’. Well, no, you can’t. You can watch a tiny selection of programs for about seven days and then they are gone forever. Thanks to the unique way the BBC is funded you don’t get to watch the programs you have already paid for whenever you like because the production companies have realised this might dent their sales of compilation DVDs at Christmas. So all the programs are limited.

The searching is clunky and slow, you can’t download a series in one go, or even a few episodes from a series. You have to find a program, click the first one on the list, go into the item of it and click download. Then you have to go back to the menu, find the program again and click the second one on the list and then go into it’s page to download it.

It doesn’t even realise that if you always download Mock the Week, you might want to be able to ‘subscribe’ to it and get it whenever a new one comes out, as Podcasts have done for a while. Is that too much to ask?

Oh and it’s just full of crap at the moment, the image above is an actual screen shot from their ‘comedy’ selection. Provided you like watching Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps you will be delighted. What makes this worse is that there are naughty websites on the internet who provide this service illegally and they do it much better. You can be sat at your desk at work at watch classic episodes of Dr Who or the second season of Heroes with only the occasional danger of adverts for ‘hot girls in Slough’ flashing up.

The BBC does some things brilliantly. In my head the license fee I pay is split between Radio 4, the BBC website and the cast of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

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60 Responses to “BBC iPlayer”

  1. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Oh bloody hell, you’ve mentioned Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps. It’s a trigger word for boobies to show up and start shouting at us. Can’t we agree in future to use a false name for this show? I suggest ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ – surely nobody but the old like that programme? And the old can’t use computers, can they?

  2. Swineshead Says:

    It’s spelt ‘bucket’ but pronounced ‘bouquet’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  3. mikey Says:

    Actually ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ is very popular in Holland. You would be surprised. People of all ages really enjoy it. Been in bars where people just concentrate on the program and really laugh out aloud.

  4. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Buggeration! Well what about ‘First Of The Summer Wine’ then? Surely no one but a few die-hard TV memory men remember that crap?

    And yes, I concede the bucket point.

  5. Swineshead Says:

    First of the Summer Wine – I have a very hazy memory of that. I’ll bet it was superb.

    I remember a ditty you wrote to the tune of the Last of The Summer Wine theme song when you must have been about 16. It went thus:

    I’m really feeling fine
    Pissed out me head
    On fucking wine
    I’ve shagged every lass
    In fucking pub
    And I’ve shagged the pub n’aaaaall.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    It makes sense that the Dutch like Keeping Up Appearances. I’ve laughed at many inappropriate things when stoned off my nut like their entire population is half the time. And god bless ’em for that, say I.

  7. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Well I bet that Andrew Motion chap’s quaking in his boots. Thanks for that little trip down memory lane.

    First of the Summer Wine was rubbish. Roy Clarke tried to make us believe that Clegg and Compo were best mates with Seymour back in 1939! Well, anyone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Last of the Summer Wine knows that Clegg and Compo had never met Seymour when he was introduced after Foggy left the show the first time around. They both acted cautiously towards this eccentric schoolmaster when first taken round his house by Wesley. Ha! Talk about pulling the bloody wool over viewer’s eyes.

  8. Swineshead Says:

    A horrendous discrepancy.

    (Was Nora Batty fit?)

  9. piqued Says:

    ‘the sort of relentless optimism that got Haig through the Somme’

    He didn’t get through The Somme, he gave up after 1.2 million men had died in November 1916

    Doesn’t bode well for the iPlayer does it?

  10. Swineshead Says:

    That line did jump out at me as being bizarre but being a history thicko I didn’t pick mostlylouche up on it.

  11. mostlylouche Says:

    Well if the BBC had bothered put some of their history programs on IPlayer, maybe I wouldn’t have got that wrong.*

    *There may be history programs, I’ve not really checked I was too busy watching Grownups

  12. Swineshead Says:


  13. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    A rather over-simplified view of the attitude of Haig during the final phases of the offensive, but there you go.

    Nora was fit, yes. Those stockings, those stockings …

  14. mostlylouche Says:

    After carefully reading the wikipedia entry on the Somme, I think my initial poorly researched comment is just about valid. It wasn’t a victory for either side, but Haig kept trying his stupid tactics again and again even though they didn’t work.

  15. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Your assessment is perfectly valid mostlylouche. Haig did indeed ‘get through the Somme’, as the hoary old idiot got through the whole of The Great War. Whether it was with optimism or just bluff, bloody-minded English chinlessness, I’m not sure – he certainly believed the Somme achieved its objectives. Whether it did is a raging historical debate.

    I’d suggest not using Wikipedia as your only source, mind. Try reading some of the millions and billions of real books available on this subject – there’s a cracking one that sees the battle through the eyes of the Germans called, not unsurprisingly, ‘Through German Eyes’. I forget who wrote it now, but I’d heartily recommend it.

  16. Rosszszsss Says:

    Wikipedia’s way better than books, like novels are harder than poetry. (I learned that in my degree.)

  17. piqued Says:

    Yes, but his ‘relentless optimism’ didn’t get him through the Somme, where as ‘relentless optimism’ will, apparently, get you iplayer (without 1.2 million dead, hopefully)

  18. mostlylouche Says:

    Yes Piqued, it will get you the Iplayer, but at what cost?

    Think on that.

  19. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    What was it then Piqued? I’d say any general officer has a level of optimism about any action he orders. The dead suffered during the course of the battle are, for the sake of this argument, a red herring. I’m sure there were plenty in the trenches that had absolutely no optimism whatsoever. Haig, billeted with Gough safely behind the lines, could afford optimism.

  20. piqued Says:

    Erm, is it anything to do with Frankfurters?

  21. Swineshead Says:

    Surely the issue is whether or not Haig actually got anyone ‘through’ the Somme, as ‘through’ implies success…?

    Remarkable losses suggest he failed in getting ‘through’ it, in a sense – though I can see your point.

  22. piqued Says:

    “but provided you have at least a PhD in Computing and the sort of relentless optimism that got Haig through the Somme, you should be able to manage it”

    I’m merely saying that Haig didn’t manage it making the metaphor redundant. It’s not a problem though, I’m in a pedantic mood and I want BLOOD

  23. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    No, that’s not what he said. Haig personally got through the Somme because he never actually fought in the battle. … I’d be pretty damned optimistic if I’d been in that position. If mostlylouche had said ‘got his soldiers through the Somme’ then that would be different. I’m not sure, but I don’t see how his sentence was open to interpretation. He wasn’t writing a poem.

  24. Swineshead Says:

    I think we all know what he meant, eh? He was being rude… he was talking about Haig sticking his thing up a fat lady.

  25. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Haig did manage it! He survived! The action came to an end! One of the principle reasons for starting the offensive was as a diversionary tactic – that objective was ‘managed’. The German troop numbers never recovered after this battle – surely one of the main objectives in warfare is to reduce an army’s strength until they can no longer fight effectively? Isn’t that ‘managing’ something, if you achieve this objective? What weird view of history is this? Where are you getting your knowledge of the Great War Piqued? Blackadder?

  26. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    He could have been talking about Haig shagging a fat lady, yes.

  27. Swineshead Says:

    I’m fairly* sure he was.

    *about 2% sure

  28. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    2% is pretty convincing.

  29. piqued Says:

    Well NP, my grandfather was a Lewis gunner at The Somme, he survived after getting Trench foot and winding up in a field hospital.

    He told me about it.

    Indeed, he may have told you about indirectly as he’s quoted in a fair few books about the conflict, you know, actually fucking well having been there and that.

  30. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Which is completely irrelevant Piqued. That your Grandfather fought at the Somme is lovely for you (my Great Great Uncle was killed at Passchendale, my Great Grandfather saw action at Ypres etc etc … shall we play Relatives Top Trumps?). It doesn’t, however, have any bearing on Haig, his levels optimism, his actions, or the outcome of the battle as far as he was concerned. Anyone else with nothing to do with what we were discussing you want to throw in the mix? How about the two brothers on my father’s side of my family who both lost their lives on the first day of the Somme? Oh! Wait a minute! They have fuck all to do with Haig getting through the battle either! Silly me.

  31. piqued Says:

    You asked me where I got my knowledge of the Great War, I told you. It was therefore relevant for the love of anal dildos.

    It would seem your top trump remark was self fulfilling, you win, well done

    When ML was talking about the ‘relentless optimism that got Haig through the Somme’, you know full well he wasn’t talking about Haig per se.

    *bites fist*

    (your turn)

  32. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    It wasn’t relevant to the actual discussion though, was it? It was a failed attempt on your part to try distracting people away from your ignorance of 20th Century history by using the same ‘Well my mate’s got cancer’ approach that prick used a few months back.

    Anyway, I took mostlylouche’s optimism comparison at face value. When I read a sentence like ‘relentless optimism that got Haig through the Somme’, I tend to think the author is talking about the relentless optimism that got Haig through the Somme. What, exactly, was I supposed to read into this? That getting this BBC download thing to work takes the same levels of optimism as a banana on a sunny day in May? Were there hidden messages only someone with an English Literature degree could interpret?

    You really are a bumpkin.

  33. Swineshead Says:

    Demoted from a Hooray Henry then?

    Make your mind up, Cockaparte.

  34. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Hooray Henrys are noted for their country-style idiocy Swinesy, old son. Putting a sausage together with some broccoli and pouring some form of filthy sauce all over it is exactly the sort of bumptious behaviour you’d expect from a straw-sucking farmer’s boy. I firmly believe Hooray Henrys have their origins in the backwards atmosphere of the Medieval fens. Even a clod-hopping Yellowbelly like Piqued can find his way to the big city if he points the horse in the right direction.

  35. piqued Says:

    Actually, you made a ‘sorry my dogs sick’ comment last week but I’m not holding it against you, I mean that sincerely.

    *goes back to biting fist*

    It was relevant in terms of answering your question as to where I got my knowledge of the Great War, yes.

    I recall mentioning that I was being pedantic about ML turn of phrase; obviously I knew what he meant too.

  36. Swineshead Says:

    Last night I had broccoli and sausages. And sprouts. And potatoes (roast).

    It was nice.

    What did you have?

  37. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    ‘Actually, you made a ’sorry my dogs sick’ comment last week but I’m not holding it against you, I mean that sincerely’ … and immediately said you shouldn’t let your guard down and go easy on me for it. Try reading the thread instead of using your booze-addled memory, you senile old bastard.

    Swineshead – That’s different, that’s a roast. You’ve read what that buffoon does to a sausage, and it ain’t slavering it in gravy and eating it with roast potatoes. Sounds nice, by the way.

    I had steak, chips, mushrooms, and peas for my tea. Aaaah, lovely.

  38. piqued Says:

    Fucking steak, ponce

    Where did I say anything about letting my guard down and going easy? You make enormous presumptions following quite staggering leaps in logic due to poor judgement.

  39. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    No, idiot, I said that. Try reading the thread, idiot.

  40. piqued Says:

    There you go, another assumption…You fucking read what I wrote back, I’m not going easy on you or ‘letting my guard down’ (which sounds like you’re warning me over some sort of power you have from which I should be protected, OOOH I SHITZ MESELF WEN U R REWD)

  41. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Are you really this dumb, or just doing it for comic effect? I haven’t made any assumptions Piqued. You’ve become hopelessly muddled up and I can’t be arsed to make the mountainous decent to your level of intelligence to try explaining where you’re going wrong. Again, read thread this AND the thread where the dog comment was made, then try using whatever it is you have floating about in your skull to work out where you’re getting mixed up. You fucking moron.

  42. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I wish I hadn’t spelled ‘descent’ wrong there.

  43. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    And indeed ‘read thread this’ … I think Piqued’s rubbing off on me.

  44. Rosszszsss Says:

    You two want to DO IT.

  45. Swineshead Says:

    I think they do, Roszs. Piqued’s already ‘rubbing off’ on NC, with consent it would seem.

  46. Rosszszsss Says:

    NC “can’t be arsed to make the mountainous descent”, I think that’s something to do with a reciprocal blowjob arrangement.

  47. Swineshead Says:

    I just wish we could have peace on earths.

  48. piqued Says:

    NC, when it comes to discussion you’re worse than a fundamentalist Christian.

    (and you’re getting all cross making your spelling and grammar all spazzy)

  49. Rosszszsss Says:

    You still would though, piqued, eh?

  50. piqued Says:


    I’d make him taste one of my ‘sausages’ after it had been smothered in my ‘sauce’.

    (then I’d bum him ’til he bled)

  51. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    NC, when it comes to discussion you’re worse than a fundamentalist Christian.

    At least I can fucking-well follow one!

    And the rest of you can get fucked.

  52. piqued Says:

    I can see you in the United Nations

  53. Rosszszsss Says:

    oooooh my knees are knocking ooooh

  54. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    You people make me sick.

  55. Rosszszsss Says:

    Out of your willy?

  56. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Oh ha ha! Well this is incredibly sophisticated, I must say. Shall we go on to wee-wee when we’ve finished with the gay jokes? Or stuff about poo, p’raps? C’mon Piqued! This is your level of wit – roll with it son.

  57. Swineshead Says:

    I’ll take a discussion on willy sick over an argument about the grammatical specifics of a sentence any day…

    Napoleon – fancy doing an article for tomorrow’s WWM?

    GO ON

  58. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    No. Bugger off.

  59. Rosszszsss Says:

    Don’t be mean, NC. I am only 8.

  60. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    You don’t look 8 on your site. You look like a loose woman with Brian May’s face. No offence, o’course.

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