Adobe has announced that the public beta of the new BBC iPlayer Desktop download manager is built on Adobe's AIR development technology.

BBC iPlayer Desktop enables Windows, Mac and Linux users to download programmes to their desktops. Previously, the ability to download programmes was only available for Windows users.
The BBC iPlayer Desktop application on Adobe AIR will be available to BBC iPlayer Labs users, who can sign up at here. The BBC iPlayer Desktop application on AIR will be rolled out to all BBC iPlayer users during 2009.

Erik Huggers, director, BBC Future Media & Technology, said: "Since it launched at the end of last year, BBC iPlayer programmes have been available for streaming on Windows, Mac and Linux computers. Today, we’re pleased to display our commitment to providing a cross-platform download solution for BBC iPlayer users, as Mac and Linux users are now able to download BBC iPlayer programs to play offline."

The BBC iPlayer is only available to UK audiences and can only be accessed within the UK.