Category: Linux

May 22 2009

get_iplayer 1.87 now supports the new flvstreamer tool. This tool is a drop-in replacement for rtmpdump except that it has no support for RTMPE. This will not affect the operation of get_iplayer as it does not use that functionality to stream or record rtmp programmes.

flvstreamer is a fork of rtmpdump v1.6 which was censored by adobe who issued a DMCA removal request to the rtmpdump author and got the project taken down in the USA.

Search for flvstreamer on the download page.

Apr 29 2009

Update 6th May 2009: You might want to read this first…

A milestone has been reached today with the addition of Channel 5’s Demand Five service to the list of DRM-free services that get_iplayer can index, search and record. The following are now supported:

Supported platforms are: Linux, MacOSX, Windows and pretty much any modern OS that can run perl. See the download and installation pages.

To download and search programmes use:

get_iplayer –type=TYPE <other options>

Where TYPE is either ‘tv’ (BBC TV), ‘itv’, ‘ch4’, ‘five’, ‘radio’ (BBC Radio), or ‘podcast’ (BBC).

For full instructions see the documentation page

Now I’m off for a beer….

Apr 27 2009

Update 6th May 2009: You might want to read this first…
You are now able to search, index, record and watch Channel4’s 4oD without Adobe flash on most platforms using the latest release of the open source get_iplayer. And, best of all – it is DRM free…

This is possible thanks to today’s release of rtmpdump v1.5 by Andrej Stepanchuk which now supports adobe’s obfuscated RTMPE protocol.

To get this working do the following:

  • Use the download page to get a new version of rtmpdump and update get_iplayer to the latest version (1.73). (use get_iplayer –update)
  • Re-install the new Windows Automated Installer from here – it will then update to a working ffmpeg and rtmpdump v1.5.
  • Search for a programme:

    get_iplayer –type=ch4 Shameless

  • Record the programme that is number 40123 in the resulting index:

    get_iplayer –type=ch4 –get 40123

You can also record a programme if you suplly a 4oD url:

  • Find the programme on the Channel4 4oD web site and copy the link location of the programme.
  • Run get_iplayer as follows:

    get_iplayer –pid=ch4:

  • Or just: get_iplayer –pid=ch4:2872545
Apr 16 2009

The BBC now provide HD 1280×720 resolution (720p) flash streams!!! And, OMG, the quality is awesome. get_iplayer also supports this as of now.

The even better news is that if the flash version determines that your broadband link is too slow for this HD content, get_iplayer will still record it for you to watch at your leisure on the player of your choice.

I’ve managed to get this working with get_iplayer on ‘Dr Who – Planet of the Dead’. (Thanks to Andrew who pointed this out)

  • Resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Video Codec: H.264
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Bitrate: 3200 kbps
For BBC HD content please use get_iplayer –vmode=flashhd … with get_iplayer v1.61 and rtmpdump v1.4. The fedora, ubuntu, MacOSX and Windows binaries on this site are already at v1.4.
Do be warned that a one hour programme will consume approximately 1.4GB.
Interestingly enough, my desktop PC suffers badly when trying to playback even the 640×360 programmes in flash player but using get_iplayer and mplayer to playback works perfectly even with 1280×720!
Update 20th April: It seems that the BBC were a little premature in their earlier announcement. They launched the HD iPlayer today properly.
Mar 17 2009

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

Feb 20 2009

After some head scratching today I have managed to determine that the new PID which is used to get the rtmp stream URLs is generated by the new, long PID in the format of ‘[64chars]~[64 chars]’ (as shown when get_iplayer runs in –verbose mode). The correct PID is generated by using some keys (in a var called ‘copyrighted_strings’) and AES crypto functions from this flash file: (specifically function ‘dec’). If anyone feels like writing/porting this in perl please let me know.

Feb 16 2009

get_iplayer currently does not work (8:30pm 16th Feb). The BBC are having some kind of outage on their iPhone iPlayer service. I am reliably informed that the Apple iPhone cannot get iPlayer either as we speak. It has been down since some time after 16:30 GMT today. I’ll post an update as soon as I hear anything.
I’m not entirely sure if it is related but it also appears that Adobe AIR downloads are somewhat broken also. See this report on the BBC iPlayer forum.
In the mean time, ensure you get rtmpdump installed and you can continue to download and watch iPlayer programmes (unless you use ActivePerl or the Windows Automated installer…).
Update (23:30 GMT 16th Feb):
It seems like the site is slowly coming back – albeit somewhat intermittently.
Update (12:26 GMT 17th Feb):
Apparently the BBC has fixed the problem.

Dec 15 2008

You know how it gets over the Christmas period; busy visiting relatives and friends, drinking and partying. The last thing you remember to do is to watch that crucial episode on iPlayer within the minute window of seven days the BBC has kindly granted you.
Now is the time to set up get_iplayer to act as a PVR (you know Sky+, TiVo, series-link, etc, etc)! get_iplayer can be easily configured to automatically download your favourite BBC TV programmes just like any other PVR except that there are no limits on how many programmes you can ‘record’ simultaneously (OK, except your broadband speed maybe). You even get seven days grace when you’ve forgotten to setup the PVR.

Here is a quick guide to setting it up. Read more »

Nov 12 2008

Yeah, yeah, before you say it – I know my version numbering system is rather pathetic. However version 1.00 has been released because this is actually the 100th version. There are, however, some useful features that have recently been added:

‘–tree’ option: Displays the lists of programmes or matching programmes in a sort-of tree view
‘–hide’ option: Removes programmes that have already been downloaded from listings and searches.

I will also try now to update with new releases.

Nov 02 2008

Given that I don’t actually suffer from this problem I guess it is not surprising that I didn’t realise until now how useful get_iplayer is for people with slow ‘broadband’ connections. I have recently heard that several people use get_iplayer to download because watching the BBC iPlayer via the flash web page just keeps pausing and rebuffering resulting in a very annoying experience.

get_iplayer will just download the H.264 quicktime version of the programme at your broadband speed so that you can watch it after it has downloaded. Yes, this even works if you have a dial-up modem – should you be so desperate!! (it will even resume downloading when you redial after your connection drops)

The PVR options of get_iplayer will also take the pain out of having to wait while programmes download – it will download your favourite programmes as soon as they become available.

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