BBC iPlayer Radio 9 released: still to fix AAC support

Both WebbIE BBC programs have now been updated to the new system, but they may not work yet if you have Windows 7 or earlier

Summary: both WebbIE BBC programs have now been updated to the new system, but they may not work yet if you have on Windows 7 or earlier.

Yesterday I released BBC iPlayer Radio 9. This new version works again with the BBC on-demand seven-day radio catch-up service, after the BBC shut off the old Windows Media service. It works the same except that instead of playing a programme immediately, it has to download it to your computer first. This can take a while, but downloaded programmes are saved for the next seven days so you only have to do it once.

However, there is another problem. The new AAC format used by the BBC works just great on my Windows 8 machine. But lots of users have contacted me to say that they get only a couple of seconds of audio on their machines before it stops, and they report it for both BBC iPlayer Radio and BBC Live Radio 2. It looks like on older versions of Windows, or Windows Media Player, or the K and KM versions of Windows, the BBC programmes won’t play.

Normally this is fixed by installing another piece of software called a codec or filter or plug-in and one user has reported exactly that. But until I get onto a Windows 7 machine next week in the test rig at work, I can’t confirm what versions of Windows are affected and I can’t identify the best plug-in to recommend.

Until then you have two options, both of which are quite technical, I’m afraid:

  1. Install another media player that does support AAC files, like VLC. Use BBC iPlayer Radio 9, and wait for the programme to download, then stop playing. Then open the File menu (Alt and F) and select the new menu entry, “Open in external media player”. This will launch whatever program Windows thinks handles AAC files – hopefully VLC.
  2. Try installing the codec that my user kindly suggested. I’m not naming him in case it goes wrong: remember, this is at your own risk! Orban AAC Plug-in – zip of Windows installer exe, unzip and run.

4 thoughts on “BBC iPlayer Radio 9 released: still to fix AAC support”

  1. I am finding it a bit overwhelming at present so I think I will leave it alone for a couple of weeks and try again.
    Kind regards, James

  2. I think we’re out of the woods on this one now, but I’ll leave Alasdair to give more details.
    Best wishes, David.

  3. I have the latest version of Webbie Iplayer (9.0.3) have updated flash, but have not been able to receive any updates to the programs available on iplayer since Tuesday 28 July 2015. Is there a problem with the BBC? I’ve tried on 2 laptops, one running Win7 and one on Win 8.1 and the result is the same on both.
    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Cheers, CJ

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