[TUTORIAL] How to install get-iplayer (for downloading BBC radio/TV programmes)

Forum Forums General Software [TUTORIAL] How to install get-iplayer (for downloading BBC radio/TV programmes)

  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated May 22-12:41 am by mikey777.
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  • #32279

    I’ve written this tutorial in response to a thread I started at https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/difficulty-setting-up-get-iplayer/
    That thread concerned difficulties I experienced with setting up get-iplayer in antiX19.1 and they remained unsolved. Finally I was able to
    crack the problem and would like to share the following, as it may be useful for other forum members.

    Installing get-iplayer
    This tutorial will give you the use of get_iplayer on antiX and any Debian-based distro. The command line interface (terminal) is used to download the currently available TV or radio programmes from the BBC. If you live outside the UK, you may experience difficulty with getting this to work. Key material for this tutorial was sourced and adapted from https://github.com/get-iplayer/get_iplayer/wiki/unix

    Follow these steps:

    1. Install dependencies:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install libwww-perl liblwp-protocol-https-perl libmojolicious-perl libxml-libxml-perl libcgi-pm-perl atomicparsley ffmpeg

    Perl is also a dependency. However, it should be installed by default on your system; check using
    sudo dpkg --list If, by chance it isn’t installed, then install it.

    2. Download the latest get-iplayer release to the working directory:
    sudo wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/get-iplayer/get_iplayer/master/get_iplayer

    3. Install the get_iplayer script
    sudo install -m 755 ./get_iplayer /usr/local/bin

    At this stage I like to reboot.

    4. Get BBC TV or BBC radio listings
    For a complete list of BBC programmes available for download, use the following commands:

    For TV: get_iplayer “.*”
    For Radio: get_iplayer “.*” --type=radio

    You can then browse the list by scrolling up or down, using the slider button to the right of the terminal.
    You can narrow your search by simply typing the name of the programme or programme-series for either radio or TV. For example, to see what’s available for the Horizon TV-series, type get_iplayer horizon.

    The output from terminal shows:

    $ get_iplayer horizon
    get_iplayer v3.24, Copyright (C) 2008-2010 Phil Lewis
      This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details use --warranty.
      This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it under certain
      conditions; use --conditions for details.
    3221:	Horizon: 2016 - The Mystery of Dark Energy, BBC Four, b0761llv
    3222:	Horizon: 2020 - Addicted to Painkillers? Britain’s Opioid Crisis, BBC Two, m000dbpf
    3223:	Horizon: 2020 - Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting, BBC Two, m000dl6q
    INFO: 3 matching programmes

    5. Downloading a chosen radio or TV programme
    Let’s suppose, that from the Horizon example above, you wish to download the episode “Addicted to Painkillers”. You will need the programme number (3222) or a keyword from the programme’s title (e.g. painkillers).

    So to download the TV programme ‘Horizon’ type the following in terminal:
    (i) either use the programme number:
    get_iplayer -g 3222
    (ii) or, type in a keyword from the title:
    get_iplayer -g painkillers
    NB. The latter option will download all programme titles containing the keyword “Painkillers”.

    For downloading radio programmes, again type the radio programme number or key word, e.g.
    get_iplayer -g --type=radio 34067
    get_iplayer -g --type=radio gardeners

    These commands will, by default, download the highest quality of recording available. If you wish to download a lower quality, you can use additional commands with the above command-line. For details of this see https://github.com/get-iplayer/get_iplayer/wiki/modes

    The advantage with get_iplayer, is that the downloaded programmes may be stored on your device indefinitely. This is an advantage over downloading programmes directly from the BBC website, where they can only be kept and played for a limited period – I think this is around 30 days.

    Hoping this is useful.
    Good luck and enjoy 🙂

    Problems you may experience & fixes.
    1. Not all programmes available are listed in terminal.
    For example, only those programmes for programme numbers 7420 to 8306 are listed.
    The fix for this is as follows: in the terminal toolbar (I’m using LXTerminal) go to Edit, Preferences, then Display. Go to the second line in the window, entitled Scroll-back lines: change this from 1000 (default) to say 10,000.

    2. Not all programmes listed will download.
    Sometimes a programme may be listed, but is no longer available. There’s nothing you can do about this.

    • This topic was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    • This topic was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    • This topic was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by mikey777.

    Thanks for this tutorial. It seems services were blocked by BBC particularly when you are downloading TV/Radio Programmes. Could you review please?


    If you are outside the UK, services will be blocked by the BBC – it will only work in the UK as mentioned at the start of the tutorial.

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