[Linux-aus] New ABC services

Bret Busby bret at busby.net
Wed Mar 12 15:39:28 UTC 2008

On Wed, 12 Mar 2008, James Purser wrote:

> Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 22:21:14 +1100
> From: James Purser <james at jamespurser.com.au>
> To: Andrew Donnellan <ajdlinux at gmail.com>
> Cc: linux-aus <linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au>
> Subject: Re: [Linux-aus] New ABC services
> On Wed, 2008-03-12 at 21:14 +1100, Andrew Donnellan wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> In case you haven't heard the ABC is launching some new online
>> services over the next few months[0] which sound really awesome:
>> * ABC Playback - three online high quality customisable TV channels
>> * ABC Shop Downloads - digital versions of various ABC products
>> This sounds to me like what the BBC did with the iPlayer.
>> However, from what I gather from their videos, it seems that the new
>> services will use Flash and/or some form of DRM - a 'rent' option is
>> available for the shop downloads - and probably isn't too
>> FLOSS-friendly.
>> While of course the ABC is too far in the development of Playback and
>> Downloads right now to make something more Linux-friendly, I suggest
>> we start a bit of petitioning and formal complaining about it.
> Andrew,
> I actually picked this up last December when it was first announced so I
> shot off an email to the ABC to ask about both Linux Development and Ogg
> take up vs Mp3/RealMedia.
> Here's the response I got:
> Dear James,
> Thank you for your message regarding ABC Now.  ABC Now does have a
> little similarity to the BBC's iPlayer but is not intended to be the
> same service - instead we offer a way for our audience to aggregate a
> selection of our most current radio, TV, news, sport and weather
> content into a small desktop application.
> With regard to your query regarding a Linux version - due to the
> technical requirements of ABC Now we have been unable to find a
> robust and secure tool for making the Flash based code into a stable
> Linux version at this time.
> We are keeping an eye on developments in this area and hope to bring
> a Linux version to you as soon as practicable.
> In terms of our use of Real Player with ABC Now - our audience has
> the choice to use either Real Player or Windows Media to listen to
> live radio via ABC Now, and this is because we are aggregating live
> streams from around ABC Online which use these formats.  In the
> future we are hoping that all live streams will be offered in mp3
> format so that we can drop the need for Real/Windows from ABC Now but
> this is yet to be resolved.  We've passed your feedback regarding
> this issue onto our production team and technical staff.
> Kind regards,
> The ABC Now team.
> http://abc.net.au/now
> -- 
> James Purser

This is probably naive, but why can't they just publish the video stuff 
as .mpg or .avi files?

That would eliminate proprietary software requirements, wouldn't it?

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
  you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
   Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
   "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
   A Trilogy In Four Parts",
   written by Douglas Adams,
   published by Pan Books, 1992


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