Archive for February, 2011

BBC iPlayer Partner Schedules

February 18, 2011

So I’ve been working on the BBC iPlayer Interlinking Project on and off over a 6 month period and it’s live now so check it out! I will say that its been a very tough project and I’m glad to see it released. Although I was a very small cog in the wheel I had interactions with other developers on the project and there were some major loops and hurdles to run through.

You may look at the site and think that looks easy, but it wasn’t. If you think about it, its a very complicated process. We have to gather data feeds on programming schedules and on demand programmes (these are TV shows that you can watch via the Internet for a given period of time i.e. ‘on demand’ ) from all our partners and add them to our system. OK that sounds straight forward. However these are all 3rd party companies that probably store their own data in a different way to the BBC. They have to consolidate and output their data into a standard feed that the BBC can ingest and import. Then once this data is in our system we have to index it to make it searchable and make the schedules available. Plus all of this has to be automated so that changes from our partners appear as quickly and as accurately as possible on the iPlayer website. And we need to make sure we are not wasting time and (license fee) money babysitting feed ingesting 24/7.

Not an easy project!