The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has just flicked the switch on its new software offering ABC Now. Currently only available on PC (with Mac on the way) the desktop client is an audio/video hub for ABC content that allows you to stream and download programs and listen to live radio. And while comparisions are bound to be made to the BBC’s iPlayer this isn’t quite it, not yet at least.
The software is currently pretty basic, and doesn’t offer anything you can’t already get through the ABC’s website. What I find exciting about this is the potential it has. The fact that the ABC is building its own software is great, and its promise to be cross platform is also nice, what it needs though is much more content, much better quality streams and downloads, an integrated media player and library for your downloads, live streaming of ABC television channels, and a huge video back catalogue of every ABC production they have the rights to give away or sell to us.
And while my wish list is probably a bit of a stretch, I think this very first release is a nice start, with a lot of room to grow. Try it out for yourself here.
In related news: The ABC have announced that vodcasts are being downloaded at a rate of 327,000 per week, with over 14 million video downloads so far this year.