Jan 03 2010

Update: A new get_iplayer automated installer has now been released. It has a new version of VLC and it now allows you to selectively update, install or remove the components. AtomicParsley is also in there for good measure. Let me know how it goes.

A new get_iplayer automated installer has been pre-released. Please can you test it and kindly report your experiences below.

The new installer will put the recorded audio/video files, by default, into ‘Desktop\iPlayer Recordings’ as opposed to the old location which caused problems on Vista and Win7. You are now also able to select the recordings folder during installation. The new pre-released installer can be downloaded from here.

Happy New Year!


  • On January 3rd, 2010, Andrew said:

    Great script – thanks again.

    I have been trying to get the –versions tag to work. It works well if I try “get_iplayer -g 430 –versions default2” but it does not work at all if I try “get_iplayer -g qi –versions default2”.

    Am I using it the wrong way?

    • On January 3rd, 2010, linuxcentre said:

      This is nothing to do with the installer.

      However… The BBC don’t specify a full list of available versions in their XML feeds for each channel. Subsequently using –versions in the search context (e.g. specifying a prog name) will only give you results from the feed matching the version you specify. If you specify an actual programme by pid, url or index then it will interrogate it for other versions.

      • On January 3rd, 2010, linuxcentre said:

        BTW: Did the pre-release installer work for you?

      • On January 3rd, 2010, Andrew said:

        Agreed, this has nothing to do with the latest installer but I didn’t know where else to put this as I couldn’t find a post about –versions.

        (I don’t use Windows so cannot help with the installer – sorry!)

        Is there any documentation about –versions, as I am obviously using it incorrectly?

        I would’ve thought that “get_iplayer -g qi –versions default2” would download the default2 version of Qi if it existed. At the moment the script downloads nothing even if default2 exists (try it for the latest version of Qi). Is that the correct outcome? When would you use –versions in the “search context”?

        • On January 3rd, 2010, linuxcentre said:

          Yes, its a caveat. Unless the BBC decide to publish more accurate version metadata in their channels feeds then what you ask for isn’t quite so straightforward or practical. I’ll have a think about it.

          • On January 4th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

            Just curious, how did you find this longer version using the iplayer website – I can only seem to navigate to the 29min version.

            • On January 4th, 2010, Andrew said:

              I often watch Qi and was always frustrated that BBC iplayer never has their longer version Qi:XL on. When I saw that get_iplayer could now download specific versions I did a “get_iplayer qi –info” command and it showed that there were two versions of Qi available to download (default and default2). I don’t think this is documented on their website other than it often says it is their “extended version” of the show in the long description of the show (but when you try to download it via their site I always got the 30mins not the 45mins version).

              • On January 4th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                OK so I’m not going mad – no wonder that the metadata isn’t readily available in the channel feeds. If you want to get the extended version in preference and use QI as a search term you can use:

                get_iplayer –versions=default2,default –get QI

                The only caveat is that if no extended version is available it will fallback on the normal edition.

                • On January 4th, 2010, Andrew said:

                  That command was what I was originally using but it didn’t work (except I just specified default2 as I wasn’t interested in downloading default). Do you have to specify default as well? Have you fixed this? If so, thanks!

                  • On January 4th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                    That’s the difference 🙂 This is just a workaround. Cannot fix until BBC sort their act out.

        • On January 5th, 2010, robert said:

          I had a previous version installed, and installed this one, selecting to remove the old version, but keep my library + PVR etc. When I click the “get_iplayer” icon on the start menu i get a command prompt with this error:
          ERROR: Invalid option in C:\ProgramData/get_iplayer/options: ‘mmsnothread = 1’
          INFO: Please remove and use –dump-options to display all valid options

          • On January 5th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

            How old was the previous version of the installer you used. What version does get_iplayer report when you start it?

            • On January 16th, 2010, robert said:

              (sorry for the delay, I travel a lot) don’t know what it wsa, but it was quite recent, last month or two. I can’t actually start get_iplayer at all as i get the same error. how can i check the version?

              • On January 16th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                It’ll would have told you in Windows Add/Remove Programs. Anyway there is a way to fix this. Just get the latest installer and run. The newer installer is much improved.

                • On January 28th, 2010, Channis said:

                  I seem to be experiencing the same issue.
                  I removed the previous version using add/remove programs including any settings and reinstalled using version 2.66.
                  Windows Vista 32 bit with Service pack 2

                  • On January 28th, 2010, Channis said:

                    I examined the error a bit closer and looked at the file “C:\ProgramData\get_iplayer\options”

                    Removing the line ‘mmsnothread = 1′
                    did the trick and it now works.

                    Just curious that when it starts it indicates using version
                    “get_iplayer v2.43, Copyright (C)”
                    Is this to be expected or should it match my add/remove programs that says

                    My computer is getting to the point where I usually do a fresh install so I would not be surprised if my system is miss behaving.

                    Anyway, working now and can use your great product again 🙂

                  • On January 28th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                    There were some installer bugs due to UAC VirtualStore. Please get the installer I just released and it will clean up any old versions in there + update the packages. Best uninstall first.

        • On January 6th, 2010, DC said:

          My Windows 7 experience with the new installer is as follows:

          Ran the installer & accepted the prompt to remove previous version but opted to retain existing presets. The installer failed with errors related to writing some files (appeared to be perl related stuff). Deleted these manually from the get_iplayer program folder and the installation then progressed OK. Program appears to run the same as before.

          One problem that I have with Windows 7, that wasn’t a problem with XP Home (brand new PC with Win 7), is that “Run PVR” works only once then have an error:

          ERROR: Quitting – process is already running (C:\Users\Doug/.get_iplayer/pvr_lock)

          If I delete the file then it runs OK once and the error repeats.

          But otherwise, a great little program, many thanks!

          • On January 6th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

            Thanks for the report. When yo say ‘Deleted these manually’, what were those files?

            What version is get_iplayer reporting when you run it?

          • On January 6th, 2010, DC said:

            To look at this again, I have just reinstalled the old version using the installer that I downloaded on 10th Dec “get_iplayer_setup_latest.exe”. This reports get_iplayer v2.53 and Web PVR Manager v0.59
            I then reinstalled using the Windows 7 installer “get_iplayer_setup_2.54+.exe”

            This time it all worked fine with no errors! So I’m not sure what caused the problem last time round.

            Each time I selected the options to preserve downloaded files & preferences.

            The installed versions are now get_iplayer v2.53 and Web PVR Manager v0.59

            The problem:
            ERROR: Quitting – process is already running (C:\Users\Doug/.get_iplayer/pvr_lock)

            • On January 6th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

              Here is the Changelog for v2.55

              Version 2.55 – 20100102
              * Fixed lockfile for –pvrscheduler option.

              I cannot understand why you still have 2.53 if you just re-ran the installer – it should be 2.55 if you ran it after 2nd Jan.

              • On January 6th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                And what were those perl files you had to delete – I’m really confused by that part?

              • On January 6th, 2010, DC said:

                I’ve just (i.e. 6th Jan 15:30) reinstalled this a few more times using the automatic installer.

                The first time the version was definitely 2.53. I thought to then use the Web browser “update software” button and it reported the present version as 2.53 – and updated it to 2.55.

                I’ve just done the reinstall a couple more times (removing the existing program each time) using:


                and both times it reported the newly installed version as 2.55.

                So it is a mystery to me – could the files that are downloaded for the installation have been cached somewhere?

                With regard to the files that remained undeleted and caused the installer to fail first time round – I realise that I must have left the web pvr script running when the installer script was removing the last install. It didn’t flag the error until it tried to write the new files. To prove the point I managed to replicate the error on purpose. Sorry to create confusion – perhaps the installer needs to prompt you to stop the process.

                Thanks for pointing out the Pvr lock file fix in 2.55 – it works



                • On January 6th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                  It doesn’t matter which version of the installer you use – it will always get the latest get_iplayer script from the iternet. The currect version is 2.55. Ah now I see what you mean about the PVR running – hmm difficult to detect it running unless I first check for a lockfile. Thanks.

                • On January 8th, 2010, Mark said:

                  I’m on 2.57 and I keep getting this contradictory message. So far I’ve not managed to get anything recorded using the front end and have to go back to the command line.

                  INFO: 1 Matching Programmes

                  WARNING: No programmes are available for this pid
                  INFO: No versions exist for this programme


                  • On January 8th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                    You’re really gonna have to give much more information than that….

                  • On January 11th, 2010, Stephen said:

                    Just installed it onto a fresh install of Windows 7 and it seems to be working just fine so far.

                    • On January 11th, 2010, THE JUNKLER said:

                      Installed on RC Build 7100. No problems.
                      Got the jazz I wanted. Thank you!

                      • On January 12th, 2010, The PaperBoy said:

                        Works ok, but did install VLC 1.01 (which according to http://secunia.com/advisories/36762/ has a remote system access exploit within it)

                        • On January 12th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                          Oh thanks! I’ll try to get an updated installer out soon. I suggest in the mean time that you don’t associate asf or mp4 files with this vlc. They won’t be if installed by get_iplayer and I think we can trust the content from the BBC so low risk in this scenario.

                          • On January 13th, 2010, The PaperBoy said:

                            No big deal really – but if there are paranoid users out there…

                            Would it be practical to check for an existing default install of VLC/mplayer/etc during the installation process, set the prefs accordingly and not to install a second instance?

                            • On January 13th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                              Yes – so they can choose not to install VLC – it is optional.

                              Good idea! Feel free to modify the NSIS script and send a patch – it’s in SVN.

                              • On January 13th, 2010, The PaperBoy said:

                                Time to learn what NSIS and CVN are then 🙂

                                • On January 13th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                                  Check out the latest installer…. VLC updated. Selective removal and update also in there. Wow! That took me rather a long time….

                      • On January 15th, 2010, Getopenid said:

                        The PVR runs automatically every 4 hours. How can I stop this feature?

                        Thanks and amazing new alpha installer, works amazingly well in Windows 7!

                        • On January 15th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                          Close the terminal window it opens once the PVR run has completed. Or, just user ‘get_iplayer –pvr’ instead.

                          • On January 15th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                            Thanks for the feedback btw! I am glad to here that – I’ve never tried it on anything except XP 😐

                            • On January 15th, 2010, Getopenid said:

                              Thanks for the help and keep up this outstanding work!

                          • On January 18th, 2010, Tim K said:

                            I had problems with this under Windows 7 regarding the default location (stored in the options file) in program data. I think it was getting confused between / and \. I was trying to download Radio and the transcoder was attempting to access R:\Radio Downloads/the tempfile name…. and failing.

                            I edited the options file and removed this entry and it now downloads correctly.

                            Not sure if this is the installer or the latest version and how it uses the options.

                            • On January 18th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                              I suspect that the / and \ characters aren’t the problem. They weren’t before. I suspect you chose a recordings folder where your user has no permissions to write files. Try using somewhere in your user profile folder – e.g. under Desktop and see if that works for you. If it is indeed a Win7 file permissions issue then I cannot help you – although you could contact Microsoft and ask them to assist.

                            • On January 27th, 2010, Chris Bolus said:

                              Just installed in Windows 7 and it did exactly what it should. Not had need to download from iplayer before, so finding they had modified the format of the downloaded file was a bit of a surprise, as was finding none of my usual converters would touch it either.
                              Your program however has downloaded it perfectly, and it’s even a much smaller filesize. The resulting MP4 plays in WMP as well as VLC and loads into MoviePlus for editing. just what I wanted!

                              • On January 29th, 2010, Philip Colmer said:

                                Just installed this on a clean Windows 7 64 bit and it is a blessed relief to have the default location somewhere more “sensible” now!

                                Radio downloads are going well. One of my HD downloads is getting a bit stuck – RTMP_ReadPacket, failed to read RTMP packet header – but that probably isn’t anything to do with the installer 😉

                                • On January 29th, 2010, linuxcentre said:

                                  Thanks for the report. Yes, hopefully the microsoft nonsense of the UAC VirtualStore is banished from get_iplayer from now.
                                  BTW: Have a look at FAQ Q18 for the HD problem.

                                  • On August 17th, 2010, Eric said:

                                    hi, sorry to be ignorant but how did you get this installed on 64-bit Windows? I keep getting an error that says the package is for 32-bit only.


                                  • On October 16th, 2011, Ali said:

                                    I’m trying to use the installer on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. During the installation the installer reads Execute:”Perl.exe”get_iplayer.pl –plugins-update and a window entitled “C:\Program Files (x86)\get_iplayer\perl.exe” opens. In the window there is info about no warranty then the following lines:
                                    WARNING: running the updater again to get plugins
                                    INFO: current version is 2.80
                                    INFO: checking for latest version from http://www.infradead.org
                                    There everything stops. What do I need to do to get the program to install. My knowledge is very very limited.

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