Mar 02 2010

Please answer the new poll on the right hand side of this page. It would be interesting to gauge what and why get_iplayer is used. Not all of the answers are legal or condoned but please be honest with your answers! You can check one or more answers.


  • On March 3rd, 2010, Don said:

    I use get_iplayer for place/media shifting as well as time shifting. eg to get mp3 of radio programs to listen to in car / on mp3 player.

    iplayer itself is sufficient for most simple timeshifting.

    • On March 4th, 2010, dude said:

      The main reason I use it is because it allows you to use the best player available for your platform rather than forcing you to use the very poor Flash player that the BBC provide.

      My Atom based machine can play the HD programs completly smoothly using the best software available. While the BBC provided Flash based player can only do a reasonable job with a quarter of the resolution, i.e. 640×360. Even with faster machines it never seems to be completly smooth; it suffers from little hesitations that personally I find even more distracting than the poor picture.

      I think Flash is ok for amusing little youtube clips but a good way to ruin your favorite TV shows.

      • On March 5th, 2010, Energy said:

        I use it for having bbc iplayer programmes on my iphone while I travel. BBC doesn’t support 3G for programs and even if they did the train journey is a bit sketchy with signal. The program has been so useful and brought me hours of entertainment, so while here big thanks!

        (tho on my windows 7 machine the latest update deleted my media folder :S)

        • On March 6th, 2010, guppy said:

          I travel abroad four times a year, so I like to download things my wife doesn’t like and I then watch them on my iphone why on a plan or in the hotel.

          • On March 7th, 2010, Jon said:

            the main reason I use get_iplayer is simply that the BBC iPlayer on linux just doesn’t work full screen on my pc. with get_iplayer the media player actually uses the hardware acceleration in my ION graphics card, and doesn’t expect the atom processor to do more that it’s capable of.

            • On March 14th, 2010, The PaperBoy said:

              Quite simply so I can watch the content without constant buffering on whatever device I choose to watch it.

              • On March 17th, 2010, James R said:

                Working for a college, instead of having to record programmes on video tape, I can use get_iplayer to download MP4 streams, & put these on USB stick to play back on projectors/whiteboards.

                • On March 25th, 2010, Chris said:

                  I record programmes for my private viewing, and re-viewing when I want to and when I can (often long after the 7 or 30 day time limit imposed). It is much easier to pause, rewind, and replay using the superior media player software available on any PC than it is to use the embedded iPlayer web browser application. It can be many days even weeks after a programme has aired that a reference elsewhere in the news, media, online etc… gives me cause to re-watch a programme or part of it. There is a general election coming up in the UK, and some of the news broadcasts and programmes such as Newsnight and Question Time will form – in my opinion – a fantastic resource for future historians looking back over this period in UK history. You can do that with other methods (Sky+, TiVo-type boxes etc…), but get_iplayer is one of the neatest and easiest to manipulate, file and annotate the resulting recordings.

                  In computing terms, I’m sick to the back teeth of Flash applications that run the processor hot enough to fry eggs on. It’s hardly energy efficient or environmentally conscientious to use computers in this way. The BBC’s Flash-based iPlayer viewer isn’t the worst offender here, I’ll admit, but as a Flash application, it has to be considered untrustworthy (I’m not alone in this, Apple refuse to allow Flash to run on iPhone or iPad as it’s the most likely thing to crash the browser app). And yes, I do use Firefox with the FlashBlock plugin and would recommend it – it will reduce crashes, increase battery time on laptops, reduce power consumptions all round and save time and reduce personal stress.

                  Also you can’t trust the BBC. Go back in time and you’ll find many great programmes you would’ve expected to have been archived, have been lost by them over the years. There are examples of old BBC Engineers dying and their relatives only then finding stashes of stolen tapes containing such shows, and these are being brought back by the BBC into their archives. The ex-engineers took this knowledge to their graves for fear of reproach.

                  The BBC do have an amnesty on ex-engineers who come forward with lost copies of early Dr Who, AJP Taylor lectures, and comedy shows that were broadcast live and recorded at the time but the tapes were blanked and reused as a cost/efficiency measure, and any other show or clip.

                  You may think this detour into the past has no reference to the present or future. The BBC’s main archive is at Caversham, near Reading, on the River Thames. Admittedly it’s quite a distance inland, but here’s a news prediction: “Great Flood of 2025: Thames surges up river”. Then a day later a Homer-(Simpson)-esque “D’OH!” from the BBC as they reveal they’ve lost a significant portion of their archive, and are asking if any members of the public have copies. If/when that happens, and if I’ve kept any of these recordings, I may help them out.

                  • On March 29th, 2010, kyb said:

                    I mainly use it to download and reencode video for my android phone. On the way to work I watch BBC content that I wouldn’t otherwise watch, e.g. comedy shows, documentaries, etc. It makes my commute much better.

                    • On March 1st, 2011, Jim said:

                      I LOVE get_iplayer, being outside the UK I use it only to download radio shows so I can put them on my mp3 player.

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