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Downloading iPlayer programmes
Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby
tobyaw
Earlier this week I came across a script called “get_iplayer”; it downloads programmes from iPlayer and converts them into a suitable format to use in iTunes, to use on iOS devices, and to play on an Apple TV. The script has been around for years, but I only found it last weekend.

It’s quite handy; it can display a list of all the programmes available on iPlayer, and can download them based on their name or on a regular expression. It is clever enough not to download the same programme multiple times, unless you tell it to do so, and it can download HD programmes in 720p.

A typical invocation might download all of the episodes of Harry & Paul that are currently available on iPlayer, in the best quality available:

get_iplayer "Harry & Paul" --get --modes=best


It lends itself to automation; I now have a cron job set up to automatically download programmes that I’m interested in, and to pop them into my “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder.

This is a note of what I did to download get_iplayer on my Mac mini; it depends on having the developer tools installed:


  1. Install “rtmpdump”, a utility for streaming Flash video files:
    git clone git://git.ffmpeg.org/rtmpdump
    cd rtmpdump
    make SYS=darwin
    sudo make SYS=darwin install
    

  2. Install “ffmpeg”, a utility that can convert a Flash video file into a plain MP4 file:
    git clone git://source.ffmpeg.org/ffmpeg.git
    cd ffmpeg
    ./configure --disable-yasm
    make
    sudo make install
    

  3. Finally, download “get_iplayer”:
    git clone git://git.infradead.org/get_iplayer.git
    


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It's jolly useful, get_iplayer is. I have a cron job that runs every night at 1am and downloads various Radio 4 programmes onto my computer.

Ha! Have just edited the post to note that I have a cron job set up to download my programmes. 2am is my time of choice…

I find the --pvr option particularly useful - it just downloads everything new that matches any of the preset searches I've defined.

I'd heard of this, but not played with it. Something for the weekend when I am in front of a Mac.

Edited at 2012-11-22 08:28 pm (UTC)

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