Jan 152009

get_iplayer is yet another cool command line tool to download or stream any iPlayer programme from the BBC in H.264 (Quicktime/mp4) format, any BBC radio programmes in MP3 or RealAudio format (optionally converted to wav or mp3) and all BBC podcasts in MP3/AAC format. The H.264 feeds from the BBC are higher quality than in the Flash iPlayer (normal quality) or the Wii. It even downloads the BBC subtitles where available and has support for downloading ITV TV programmes.

get_iplayer, does the downloading, indexing and searching of the iPlayer TV/Radio/ITVplayer programmes and podcasts available. It can even stream the iPlayer TV programmes while downloading them to mplayer or xine, etc. It does not circumvent any digital rights management security.

Features include,

Downloading H.264 video, and MP3 (or RealAudio) audio streams and podcasts from BBC iplayer site

Downloading WMV video from the ITV player site

PVR functionality allows predefined searches to be downloaded from a scheduler such as cron or Windows scheduler

Rewrites the movie file on-the-fly so that it can be streamed before being fully downloaded

Resume downloads of partially downloaded iPlayer video, radio and podcast files

Stream iPlayer or podcast content via mplayer or xine while downloading it

Allow multiple programmes to be downloaded in one command

Indexing of all available (i.e. listed) podcasts and BBC/ITV Radio/TV programs

Script update capability

Caching of Programme Indices

Creation of basic html and xml index files

HTTP Proxy support

Search on programme name, episode, description, channel or category

Limit search by programmes made available after a specific number of hours

Meta-tagging of downloaded iPlayer iPhone/H.264 files for importing into iTunes

Install get_iplayer

Click this oneclick21-click installer from packman which supports openSUSE 11.1/11.0/10.3/10.2. This should download the YMP file and automatically launch the YaST package manager to add the required Repositories and download and install get_iplayer and the required dependencies. Click next on the get_iplayer installation screen and Next again on the installation proposal window. This should start adding the required repositories, download and install get_iplayer and its required dependencies. Click Finish when the installation completes successfully.

NOTE: Click here for a how to on enabling 1-click install in openSUSE 10.2
get_iplayer1 get_iplayer2

This should install get_iplayer under /usr/bin/get_iplayer

saihari@opensuse11:~> which get_iplayer

get_iplayer defaults to searching for BBC TV indexes. For instance, simply run get_iplayer from the terminal window to search TV index feeds from BBC.

saihari@opensuse11:~> get_iplayer


saihari@opensuse11:~> get_iplayer –type tv
INFO: Getting tv Index Feeds
Added: 15:      Air a Chuan – Episode 1, ‘BBC Alba’, Factual,Scotland,History,TV, default
Added: 41:      BBC News at Ten – 14/01/2009, ‘BBC News’, News,TV, default
Added: 95:      Big Cook Little Cook: Series 3 – Optician, ‘CBeebies’, Children’s,Activities,TV, default
Added: 182:     Dè a-nis?: Series 16 – Episode 17, ‘BBC Alba’, Children’s,Scotland,Entertainment & Comedy,TV, default
Added: 219:     Gardeners’ World Top Tips – Episode 8, ‘Signed’, Factual,Homes & Gardens,Sign Zone,TV, signed
Added: 265:     Hospital 24/7 – Episode 3, ‘BBC One Wales’, Factual,Wales,Health & Wellbeing,Guidance,TV, default
Added: 296:     Inside Out South East – 14/01/2009, ‘BBC One’, Factual,News,TV, default
Added: 354:     Masters Snooker Extra: 2009 – Day 4, ‘BBC Two’, Sport,Snooker,TV, default

679:    Young Dracula: Series 1 – Episode 3, ‘CBBC’, Children’s,Drama,TV, default
680:    Young Dracula: Series 1 – Episode 4, ‘CBBC’, Children’s,Drama,TV, default

INFO: 680 Matching Programmes

The other types are Radio and ITV,

saihari@opensuse11:~> get_iplayer –type itv
100001: A Bit of A Do – Episode one, ‘TV Classics Comedy’
100002: A Bit of A Do – Episode six, ‘TV Classics Comedy’


You can filter down what you are looking for. Say if you are looking for indexes matching News then

saihari@opensuse11:~> get_iplayer news
39:     BBC News at One – 14/01/2009, ‘BBC News’, News,TV, default
40:     BBC News at Six – 14/01/2009, ‘BBC News’, News,TV, default
41:     BBC News at Ten – 14/01/2009, ‘BBC News’, News,TV, default
387:    Newsnight Review – 09/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, Factual,News,Arts,Culture & the Media,TV, default
388:    Newsnight Scotland – 08/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, News,TV, default
389:    Newsnight Scotland – 12/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, News,TV, default
390:    Newsnight Scotland – 13/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, News,TV, default
391:    Newsnight Scotland – 14/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, News,TV, default
392:    Newsnight – 08/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, News,TV, default
393:    Newsnight – 09/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, News,TV, default
394:    Newsnight – 12/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, News,TV, default
395:    Newsnight – 13/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, News,TV, default
396:    Newsnight – 14/01/2009, ‘BBC Two’, News,TV, default
397:    Newsround – 14/01/2009, ‘CBBC’, Children’s,News,TV, default
678:    World News Today – 14/01/2009, ‘BBC News 24′, News,TV, default

INFO: 15 Matching Programmes

To search news under radio,

saihari@opensuse11:~> get_iplayer –type radio
INFO: Getting radio Index Feeds
Added: 10008:   1Xtra D&B Show with Bailey – 14/01/2009, ‘BBC 1Xtra’, Radio
Added: 10050:   6 Music Plays It Again: Holloway Dreams – Episode 3, ‘BBC 6 Music’, Music,Classic
13075:  World Business News – 15/01/2009, ‘BBC World Service’, Factual,Money,Radio

INFO: 134 Matching Programmes

For more options , run get_iplayer with -h arguement

saihari@opensuse11:~> get_iplayer -h

Now, to download the choosen programme,

saihari@opensuse11:~> get_iplayer –get 565
565:    The Large Family – The Great Explorer, ‘CBeebies’, Children’s,Entertainment & Comedy,Animation,TV, default

INFO: 1 Matching Programmes
WARNING: Cannot read /home/saihari/.get_iplayer/download_history

INFO: Attempting to Download tv: The Large Family – The Great Explorer
INFO: Getting version pids for programme b0085jc5
INFO: iphone,flashhigh,flashnormal modes will be tried
INFO: Attempting to download using iphone mode
INFO: Checking existence of default version
INFO: File name prefix = The_Large_Family_-_The_Great_Explorer_b0085jc5_default
9.84MB / 48.33MB  4817kbps  20.4%, 00:01:05 remaining

The get_iplayer refreshes its programme cache every 4 hours, but you can flush the cache as follows:

saihari@opensuse11:~> get_iplayer –flush

To update to a newer version of get_iplayer,

opensuse11:~ # get_iplayer –update
INFO: Current version is 1.17
INFO: Checking for latest version from linuxcentre.net
INFO: New version 1.19 available, downloading
INFO: Copied new version 1.19 into place (previous version is now called ‘/usr/bin/get_iplayer.old’)
INFO: Please see: http://linuxcentre.net/get_iplayer/CHANGELOG.txt

There are more download and streaming options, click here for the authors documentation.