Monday, April 21, 2008

iPlayer fix

Allow me to provide a technical solution that I've been working on recently. It's boring if you don't have the problem, but it took a while for me to work out for myself, so the chances are I could save someone out there some time and effort. Who knows, that person might invent a perpetual motion device or a cure for cancer in the time I save them.

It concerns the BBC iPlayer. If you don't know what it is then either :-

(a) You are technologically illiterate : in which case you probably aren't reading this
(b) You don't watch TV : the only one of my readers meeting that criterion works for a broadcasting organisation (go figure).
(c) You don't have decent broadband speeds : Mother & Father Stan being an example.

For the rest of you, iPlayer and the similar Channel4 application are a means of downloading TV programmes so you can watch them on your PC.

It's great for train journeys - on a recent journey on the Manchester to London service, for every suit doing an Excel spreadsheet there were two watching Shameless.

The problem comes when you've installed the BBC iPlayer and also the Channel4 equivalent and one or other other of them stops working as a result. Quite likely, as they are both built on the same technology and use a lot of the same files.

The directory you need to look in is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Kontiki. There is a config file here called zdata.db.

Rename the file to (say) zdata.c4.db

Now you need to stop and restart the zservice service. If you don't know how to do this, you might be safer switching PC off and back on again.

You should find now that the BBC iplayer will work. It will create a new zdata.db file when it starts up. If had a bunch of good stuff downloaded from C4 that you now seem to have lost, you can always just switch the files back.

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