iPlayer gets deep linking back

Earlier in the year, BBC rolled out a new version of iPlayer and one of the ‘updates’ was removing the deep linking facility – where you could share a link to a specific point in the audio/video. That was really useful.

So I got in touch with them to ask if they’d put it back:

Me:
“We’ve been using the ability to deep link to a specific point in time on iPlayer content for years (e.g. ?t=2m13s) but we’ve just noticed that it doesn’t seem to work any longer. Could you please explain why it is no longer possible? If it is possible another way, please let me know how?”

Them:
“Thank you for contacting us at BBC iPlayer.
We understand you valued the ‘deep linking’ facility that was possible with a previous version of iPlayer.
This feature was removed from the new versions of iPlayer. We appreciate that you would like it to be reinstated. We do encourage people to use the play controls to navigate to the exact point within the programme that they wish to use.
Other detail about the features which have been developed and introduced, together with the issues involved in those kind of decisions, is available on this blog here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/posts/new-iPlayer-preview-feedback-and-live-launch”

Anyway. A couple of months pass, and then I notice the ‘chapters’ functionality on BBC iPlayer Radio – it turns out they’ve rolled out a new version of the deep linking!
They’ve dropped the question mark and gone for hash # instead, like this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01q0k5b/wallace-and-gromit-a-close-shave#playt=0h3m50s

It doesn’t autoplay, but that’s fine by me.