MattHawkins
MattHawkins

Ripping BBC IPlayer Content For Offline Viewing  

by Matt Hawkins, 22/11/2010
Categories : General

BBC iPlayer is an amazing application. However it has a number of annoying limitations:

- Many programmes are only available for 7 days
- Downloaded files are only available for 30 days and you are forced to use iPlayer Desktop
- Closed-source iPhones are given preferential treatment to to open-source platforms such as Android

Ever wondered if you could simply grab the programmes and watch it when you want on the hardware you actually own?

Using get_player these limitations disappear.

Step 1
Download get_iplayer from http://www.infradead.org/get_iplayer/html/get_iplayer.html. If you are running Windows you will need the Windows Installer. Install it.

Step 2
Read the documentation here http://linuxcentre.net/getiplayer/documentation

Step 3
Run get_player. In Windows there should be a link in your Start menu. It will launch a command window and eventually leave you at a command prompt :

c:\Program Files\get_iplayer>


Step 3
Now you can start typing commands. You did read the help in Step 2 didn\'t you? If not now would be a good time to start!

An example would be to type the following followed by Enter.

get_iplayer news


This will list all the programs that match \"news\". Each programme has an ID number associated with it.

Type the following to get detailed information about the program with id 123 :

get_iplayer --info 123


If you want to grab that programmes you simply type :

get_iplayer -g 123


where 123 is the ID number.

Step 4
I found that get_iplayer defaults to grabbing the iphone version by default. That tends to give you a MOV file. However most of the time there are higher quality versions available.

So I ran this command to change the order in which it searches for files :

get_iplayer --prefs-add --modes=flashhd,flashvhigh,flashhigh,iphone


I based the ordering on info about the different bitrates and resolutions on this page :
http://beebhack.wikia.com/wiki/IPlayer_TV#Comparison_Table

Other Features
It has PVR-like capabilities (like Sky+ / TiVo / Series-Link). You can save lists of programme searches which are automatically recorded when they become available. It can even stream the iPlayer TV programmes while recording!

This article has just skimmed the surface of get_iplayers capabilities but the documentation in Step 2 will get you up and running.

Author : Matt Hawkins  Last Edit By : Matt Hawkins
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