Warning – this one is a bit of a rant. With pictures.
I’ve just tried to watch a video on the BBC website on a new(ish) MacBook running the latest version of the Mac operating system (Leopard). But of course, I’d forgotten, you need Real Player or Windows Media Player to watch their video:
So I head off to www.real.com to download the latest version. I click the big shiny “Download FREE RealPlayer” button. And a Windows .exe begins to download. Hello? I’m on a Mac! So the download is cancelled. I spot under the button in tiny writing “Other versions / languages”. It seems like the much touted version 11 of RealPlayer isn’t available for OSX, so I’ll have to use version 10 instead. Stupidly, I click the first link for OSX, and the download is offered in Spanish…
So I return to the previous page, and find the English version at the bottom. Most websites these days are able to tell your OS and your language automatically – can’t Real do that? Anyway, I select the rather old-fashioned link to the copy hosted by Demon Internet which downloads rather swiftly (Demon are my ISP).
The RealPlayer icon extracts itself from a dmg (disk image) into my downloads folder. Great! I can just drag it into my Applications folder like a normal Mac program!
…well actually that’s not how it’s done, as I find out by double-clicking the icon…
Another dialogue between me and the video (it’s just the weather forecast for heaven’s sake!). So I follow the necessary steps, agree to sell my soul by agreeing to the license without reading it, save this draft, let it close my browser, and (cue fanfare):
So I eagerly open my Safari web browser, and head off to the BBC Weather homepage to watch that all-important weather forecast (snow tomorrow, apparently, and we don’t get it that often here).
The fanfare rapidly turns into a parping sound:
I give up.
Please BBC, please fix your videos to use Flash video or something that will work with a modern slimline, cross-platform plugin.
This is now 2008. The process I’ve just been through feels like 1998, and I have deja vu…
After posting this, I had another close look and it seemed that the BBC site had decided that I chose Windows Media Player as my preference (which I hadn’t).
Just clicking on OK set my preference to RealPlayer, and lo, the holy Weather Forecast was watched: