Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - The BBC has released a new desktop application for Mac and PC that replaces the old BBC iPlayer Desktop experience. BBC iPlayer Downloads is a client that makes the downloading of shows for offline viewing easier and more intuitive.

Previously, BBC iPlayer Desktop required the installation of Adobe Air, but there were issues when Adobe updated its software. It was left open to vulnerabilities, says the Beeb, when Adobe pushed out software patches.

The new BBC iPlayer Download application simply requires a one-off installation. It will then start when you wish to download a programme through the browser version of iPlayer. A show or film will appear in the client and be ready to watch when the download has completed. You can also queue downloads and easily see which shows are available in a list with thumbnails.

Content will also be played within the client and expanded to full screen.

The BBC has discontinued some features of the old software in order to simplify the process. There is no longer the ability to watch live TV or listen to live radio through the client. As this is not part of an offline experience and merely duplicates what is possible on the browser site, says the broadcaster, it was no longer a necessity.

The Parental Guidance Lock is now part of the iPlayer website too and is triggered at point of download rather than playback.

And you can no longer download files in Windows Media format. This was axed for cost reasons.

The BBC iPlayer Downloads desktop application is available to download for free from the BBC's website.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 26 September 2013.