Common Sense Prevailing? iPlayer in Flash?!?

iPlayer LogoI’ve been highly critical of the BBC’s iPlayer in the past.  Not only did it have some very obvious failings, including the interface and confusing DRM, but it was also tied to Microsoft Windows XP.  Well, not any more.  Mashable is reporting (without a source I might add) that the BBC have signed a deal with Adobe to provide a Flash interface for the iPlayer.

So the only question that remains is, how will the BBC mess this one up?  Well, I can immediately think of two ways.  firstly, they could use this as an excuse to stop developing a “proper” iPlayer for other operating systems.  Flash players have some drawbacks, namely the quality and size of the image available.  I can’t image sitting through an entire episode of Doctor Who if it’s only being displayed on a tiny You Tube like player.  So how else can it go wrong?  Well, the BBC have proven in the past that they like to seriously over complicate things.  Just look at the current iPlayer interface.  This really causes a problem when it comes to an “inline” flash player.  How do you find the content you want?  You can’t subscribe and automatically download the content like you could with a stand alone player, so getting word out that there’s new content available could be a challenge.  I would suggest RSS but I can’t see the BBC’s audience being tech savvy enough to understand and utilise feeds in this way.

Can you see any potential pit falls with this approach? We all know how easy it is to get the source videos from sites such as You Tube, so how will the BBC combat this?