Flash / RTMP stream version[]

The web-based Adobe Flash version of the iPlayer was introduced on the 13th of December 2007, designed to bring the iPlayer to a larger audience than the Windows XP only iPlayer.

The service streams the video over Adobe's proprietary RTMP, although the video itself is DRM-free.

As of about 18-Feb-2010 BBC enabled the RTMP feature "SWF Verification". Most applications with RTMP support do not include this feature for legal reasons. Without "SWF Verification" playback can start, but the server will close the stream after a few seconds.

Video URL resolving process[]

The flash client goes through the following process to resolve the location of each episode ID video:

  1. The media selector URL for the relevant episode is requested from[PID] this gives the script:
    1. token
    2. server
    3. identifier
  2. These make up an authentication string [auth] of the form auth=[token]&aifp=v001&slist=[identifier]
  3. The server string is used to fetch ident data from http://[server]/fcs/ident which contains the IP address of the media server
  4. The final stream URL is then resolved as rtmp://[ip_address]:1935/ondemand?_fcs_vhost=[server]&[auth]

An example of this algorithm can be found in this PHP script: