BBC iPlayer Downloads replaces old Desktop client for a cleaner, simpler user experience

Those of you across the pond with access to BBC's iPlayer Desktop client may have been frustrated with the offline video experience. There were frequent Adobe AIR updates that caused incompatibility issues and features that were either mostly ignored by users for their complexity (i.e., Series Record) or inaccessible offline, like Live TV and Radio. Well, consider that the past because the Beeb's introducing a new client, BBC iPlayer Downloads, which sidesteps the need for Adobe AIR and cuts out those former features in favor of a unfussy UI focused on downloading programs. To that end, downloads will no longer be made available in .wmv format (due to cost reasons) and are now hosted only on episode pages to keep the experience consistent with companion mobile apps. Fans of the old Player will still be able to view any existing downloaded shows until their expiration date, but, from today forward, that client will no longer be available on the BBC's iPlayer site. Embrace the future, video junkies... you have no choice.