Posts tagged: download

Jul 30 2009

New Windows Installer for get_iplayer and Web PVR Manager Released

I’ve just released a new v2.0+ windows automated installer for get_iplayer. It now contains the experimental web-based get_iplayer PVR Manager. The installer downloads everything you need to record, stream and manage get_iplayer and the get_iplayer PVR manager. This includes: mplayer, lame, ffmpeg, vlc and flvstreamer. Take a look at the get_iplayer PVR Manager page for instructions and an overview of the available features.

Let me know if you find any bugs and I’ll do my best to squash them. Just remember that the PVR Manager is ALPHA quality experimental software!

You’ve probably already noticed; get_iplayer has a new shamelessly original get_iplayer logo.

Mar 17 2009

BBC Readies new iPlayer HD 720×404 streams

It would appear that the BBC have started to serve the new High(er) Definition iPlayer streams with the following stream quality:

  • Resolution: 720 x 404 pixels
  • Video Codec: H.264
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Bitrate: 1500 kbps

I’ve managed to watch some of the content and the quality looks excellent and a marked improvement over the existing 640 x 360 / 800kbps content.

So, to stop all the speculation, yes, it does seem that this new BBC iPlayer HD (well not quite 720p) will be served via the web based flash player.

Also, please update to the newest get_iplayer because flashhigh support has now been fixed after the BBC changed it today.

Update: For BBC HD content please use get_iplayer –vmode=flashvhigh … with get_iplayer v1.47 and rtmpdump v1.4. The fedora, ubuntu, MacOSX and Windows binaries on this site are already at v1.4.
For the programmes that have this new mode available this seems to work mostly reliably now.
Another Update (16/04/2009): You probably already noticed my newer post and that the BBC have released 1280×720 3.2Mbps HD streams now – and that the SD stream is now 832×468 (no longer 720×404) but still 1.5Mbps

Mar 11 2009

New and Improved Automated Windows Installer for get_iplayer

Today I managed to get access to a Windows XP desktop and thought I’d try out the latest get_iplayer Windows Automated Installer. I have to say I am really quite impressed. The Installer is maintained and put together by Simon Dible. I just downloaded it, ran it and it automatically downloaded and installed all of the get_iplayer support packages such as rtmpdump, mplayer, lame, ffmpeg and Strawberry Perl (an open source perl for Windows that is not broken like ActivePerl!).
This really takes all the pain out of using get_iplayer on Windows. I just had to fire up get_iplayer from the Start menu and I had a shell with get_iplayer primed and ready.
The even better part about the new installer is that it now supports get_iplayer updates from the menu, which is good news because the release frequency is higher than the average. The update only usually takes a second or two because you are no longer forced to re-download the whole installer again – only the perl script. I suppose it might be worth looking for installer updates now and then in case you want updated support packages.

Feb 06 2009

Hulu TV and Film Download Support in get_iplayer

Lots of new features have been added to get_iplayer since the New Year. Notably Hulu TV and Film indexing and download support have been added for US based users. This can add up to 9000 additional TV programmes and 200+ films!! Although I have now limited it to the most popular 2000 TV programmes to save on indexing speed.

To list all the programmes available on Hulu you can simply type:

get_iplayer --type=hulu

to get the index. Unfortunately, Hulu do not provide a very extensive XML feed so the indexing can take a few minutes. You can download a programme using the usual syntax, or, if you don’t wish to index the site, you can specify a pid or URL directly. e.g.:

get_iplayer --type=hulu --pid

You will need rtmpdump (see the get_iplayer download page) to be able to download any Hulu programmes.

As usual, this feature is rather new and will have bugs so please let me know if you find any.

Just one other note: If you wish to see all of the options available on get_iplayer you now need to use the –help-long option.

Jan 06 2009

get_iplayer Indexes, Searches and Downloads ITV player TV Programmes

Happy New Year!
For all of those who desperately want to watch UK ITV programmes, get_iplayer (v1.13 onwards) can now download them for you! (just specify –type=itv)

Normally ITV programmes can be streamed in real-time, on-demand, from the website. However you need microsoft Silverlight to watch them in a web browser. On the back-end provides these programmes as obfuscated asf (wmv/wma) streams.

get_iplayer scrapes the Catch-Up parts of the ITV site and indexes all of the available programmes. You can then search and download them as you would with BBC iPlayer programmes.

For example,

get_iplayer --type=itv 'Rising Damp' --get

Due to the advertisement breaks, many of the ITV programmes are split into a handful of approximately 15 minute segments. get_iplayer will find all of the segments and download them in parallel. At present I have not found a way to download the segments in anything except real-time so the parallelism means that most programmes only take around 15 minutes to download.

And before you ask – No, I’m not planning on adding 4oD or DemandFive because they use Windows based DRM and I’m not going to play that game. DRM will eat itself.


get_iplayer v1.17+ now indexes the ITV ‘TV Classics’ programmes in addition to the ITV ‘Catch Up’ programmes. This adds over 300 episodes to the avaiable list.

Update (16th September 2009):

Looks like ITV have completely redesigned their site and back end which has broken the existing ITV plugin. Maybe someone would like to write a new plugin?

Dec 25 2008

get_iplayer gets High Quality Flash BBC iPlayer RTMP Downloading Capability

Merry Christmas!

Another great feature has been added to get_iplayer. You can now download programmes from the high quality flash version of the BBC iPlayer (640×360 resolution) using the optional rtmpdump tool. This means that you will be able to download ANY programme as soon as it is available on the iPlayer Flash web page.

Andrej Stepanchuk has very kindly written and released rtmpdump. If installed, get_iplayer (v1.04 or above) can use it by adding the –vmode=rtmp option to any TV download. This feature is currently an alpha test.
Pre-requisites are:

  • Installation of rtmpdump
  • ffmpeg (to convert the flv file into mp4 format)

You can get rtmpdump here (compiled for Linux/x86-32bit, MacOSX/x86 and cygwin). The Home Page and C++ source is here. I recommend you compile your own – it is very easy – just make sure you have the boost libraries installed.

In get_iplayer you’ll need to specify the location of rtmpdump binary (using –rtmpdump) if it is not already in the path.

Let me know how it goes.

Update (28th December 2008)

Andrej has released rtmpdump-v1.1 this addresses issues with 64-bit Linux and adds download resume support. Use in conjunction with the latest get_iplayer 1.05 or newer.

If you come across problems specifically related to rtmpdump (i.e. not get_iplayer) you can post them at the Sourceforge page for rtmpdump.

Update (2nd January 2009)

For get_iplayer 1.09 and above to use the RTMP features you’ll need rtmpdump-v1.2+ this addresses issues with Normal quality RTMP Flash downloads and adds download resume support for this quality.

Oct 14 2008

BBC iPlayer download client will use ‘platform-neutral’ AIR with DRM

Erik Huggers, ex-Microsoft BBC Director of Future Media & Technology, has just announced that the BBC, in partnership with Adobe, are building a platform-neutral download client.

It will use the Adobe Integrated Runtime, or ‘AIR’.

Unfortunately, even though AIR is supposed to be platform-neutral, Adobe, in their wisdom have chosen again (as with flash) to prohibit the use of AIR on

…on any mobile device, set top box (STB), handheld, phone, web pad, tablet or Tablet PC (other than Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and its successors), game console, TV, DVD player, media center (other than Windows XP Media Center Edition and its successors), electronic billboard or other digital signage, internet appliance or other internet-connected device, PDA, medical device, ATM, telematic device, gaming machine, home automation system, kiosk, remote control device, or any other consumer electronics device, operator-based mobile, cable, satellite, or television system or other closed system device.

Erik goes on to say: Read more »

Oct 01 2008

get_iplayer has new BBC iPlayer PVR functionality

Ever wanted to automatically download your favourite BBC iPlayer programmes and podcasts? Well now get_iplayer v0.84 can act as a quite sophisticated PVR.

It allows you to download any number of iPlayer / podcast programmes using any combination of search terms that you would normally run on the get_iplayer command line. This includes searching by channel, category, version(i.e. Signed or Default), date added, programme name, episode name, description etc.

The PVR searches are saved in ~/.get_iplayer/pvr/. You can Add, Delete and List the PVR searches. You’ll need to run a single command from a scheduler such as the Unix cron daemon (or possibly
the Windows scheduler).

Examples of usage are as follow:
Read more »

Jun 23 2008

My Mashed ’08 Hack: Getting Freevo PVR to Stream BBC iplayer in Higher Quality H.264

My hack was to get the Python based PVR, Freevo, to play iplayer programmes without having to download them in advance. (Yep, kids keep bugging me to download the latest episode of Blue Peter on the Linux xbox!).

The hack allows the Freevo user to browse all of the iplayer programme listings which get_iplayer has obtained from the BBC iplayer web site. It sorts it by programme name to make this task quicker.

The H.264 (mp4/quicktime) files from the iplayer site (intended for the Apple iPhone) are of higher quality than the flash and Wii alternatives. Watching them on a full-sized TV can actually look very good quality.

The user can then simply select the programme and watch it. In the background the programme is also saved to disk for watching at a later date should you not watch it all at once.

Downloading of the programme resumes as soon as you start watching the programme again (the resumed download goes faster than the streaming rate).

The streaming from the iplayer site is made possible by first downloading the Quicktime moov atom which contains the video stream indexing info and is unfortunately located at the end of the file, munging it and moving it to the beginning of the file so that mplayer, xine, etc can play it back before it is totally downloaded.

I’ve now posted the new version of my get_iplayer perl BBC iplayer downloader script here. Also there are the iplayer Freevo plugin and get_iplayer Freevo wrapper script which includes installation instructions.

See the beebhack wiki for may more details of the H.264 download workrounds.

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