BBC Radio 1 hasn’t heard of Flash Player 10

Imagine my surprise when I headed over to the BBC Radio 1 website to discover that I didn’t have the latest Flash player installed. It struck me as weird as I knew I had Flash Player 10 installed, so what was the beef? Well you’ve probably guessed it. Auntie’s Flash detection script has likely been hard coded to look for Flash Player 9 only not any version greater (one could argue that as FP10 is in beta and it’s my own fault).

Radio 1 aren’t the only ones though. Iomega informed me I didn’t have Flash installed at all and flatly refused to let me access the site beyond the country selection page. In fact the page you get sent to if you don’t have the right Flash player installed informs you that the page doesn’t exist – Bravo! That’s so helpful

It does make me laugh, but not in a humorous way. As it just shows a lack of foresight and could cause concern to non-technical users who want to access a site and are barred because of a poorly implemented detection system (I’m not going to get in to the “all flash sites” debate). Again I will caveat this with the fact that Flash Player 10 is in beta and I suspect the relevant companies PR monkey would blether on about the fact that they support the current release player version. That may be the case, but in Iomega’s case bumping you to a confusing and non-helpful page does nothing but show a deeper lack of understanding or concern

So at this point I’ll have to make do with a broken BBC website and Iomega won’t be getting any money out of me any time soon as I have no idea what they actually sell :p

Mike Jones


  1. I sent the BBC technical department a message telling them as much, but unfortunately only got back a useless canned reply telling me to ‘upgrade my browser’.

    It would seem £85 million a year (yes, that’s what was spent last year on their website, with an overspend of 3.5 million) isn’t enough to employ developers who actually know what they’re doing or have a support team that can actually read or answer the simplest query.

  2. True, such iron-sphinctered detection scripts seem to cause problems each cycle. I heard there’s a CNN property which acts the same, and even one internal Adobe server I accessed briefly balked at Astro. JavaScript isn’t always as simple as it looks…. ;-)

    One of the main drivers behind Player developer releases is to check against such unexpected behavior of existing sites, and do it early. BBC and Iomega have probably already heard similar reports by now, but if you could drop a note to such sites’ feedback forms, then that extra cost of your time would help us all out down the road, thanks.


  3. Hi there, Mike,

    Thanks for the heads-up. We’ll get fixing this, though it might take a week or two.

    @theothermike – if you’ve still got that email, please do forward it to me; my email address is the BBC standard style. I’ll make some enquiries!

    James Cridland | Head of Future Media & Technology for BBC Audio & Music Interactive
    Room 718 | Henry Wood House | 3-6 Langham Place | London W1B 3DF

  4. Hi James, thanks for taking the time to respond. Having worked with FMT&J I know you guys are quick to resolve problems when they arise. So I assumed it was on the radar :D

  5. …and preliminary results are:

    “I’d love to help on this but I don’t know which bit of the site he’s referring to.”

    Point me in that diirection, and I’d be happy…

  6. Mac Version seems to work fine 10.0 d525, but PC version still not working, possible maybee that the Pc version shows 10.0.0 d525

  7. Hi neebong, I suspect it is fixed now. I’m on Mac also so if it works for you it will likely work for me.

  8. Nah FlashGen, still getting constant errors on my PC.. Sky website doesnt work either

  9. unfortunately a lot of sites using old detection scripts break with player 10. i’ve looked at a few and discovered that they are not hard-coding a specific version. rather, the format that the player plugin returns for version is a little bit different, and the old scripts do not parse it properly.

  10. Not working for me, I’m using Firefox 3 on Ubuntu. Still not fixed yet? Where’s my license fee going :( .

  11. Have a look at this. BBC and Flash 10
    I spotted it today on a BBC News page too.

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