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SURVEY: How/Why do you use get_iplayer?

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I'm interested to hear how and why you use get_iplayer. Share your story!


I found GIP a couple of years ago after I found I had little time to watch terrestrial TV and found that BBC Iplayer was deleting programs for no apparent reason( well before the shows expired), which was really annoying when watching a series. I like the fact I am not restricted to a 30 day schedule as I do not have a lot of free time, but I do enjoying watching series in one go when time allows.
GIP is a great tool and the support has been fantastic over the last week since the BBC changes. the new version 2.90 certainly seems to have addressed the problems. Well done all involved in fixing it.


I've always used get_iplayer to take pressure off my mainstream TV recorder: a 1TB Virgin Media Tivo box. Tivo's great, but it's not a good way to store programmes longterm (because obviously, it fills up and there's no convenient way of offloading them to another device or medium).

There's a lot of Cbeebies programmes that my 4-year old likes to watch again & again, so they end up clogging up the Tivo. Get_iplayer allows me to download these sort of shows and store them on my home server, to be viewed through our WDTV box or Xbox.

I also use get_iplayer for other shows that I know I won't get round to for some time.

I occasionally download radio shows to play on a USB stick in the car - that's a great way to catch up on stuff I've missed.

Finally, get_iplayer recordings are safer - they can be backed up! My last Tivo box failed and was replaced by Virgin Media - but all the recordings were lost.

Keep up the good work everyone involved in this - it's a tremendously useful & powerful tool.


Quote:<div class="d4p-bbp-quote-title">Quote:</div>I’m interested to hear how and why you use get_iplayer. Share your story!

I've been recording and distributing Radio long before the internet. I used to send it over a multiplxor to the USA during low utilisation so that colleagues/ex-pats in USA could listen to it. Then I used wireshark(ehtereal) to capture from browsers when it was real-audio, then came the Psion Wavefinder Dab, that could record many station at once and I used that for a while, then programs like applian and radio downloader, but in 2007, a colleague showed me get_iplayer, and I've been hooked since, running it in windows and linux virtual machines in the cloud, placing the shows on dropboxes.
I still as a backup record the radio 4 stream from early to late, save as mp3 (100MB per hour) and archive off to the cloud, for a rainy day, when I retire.
Get_iplayer has improved my perl and general coding immensely, something I'd given up in 1999.


I found G_IP after becoming frustrated capping radio programmes off 6 Music to listen to in the car when I used to do a nightmare commute along the M56. I like the company of a voice and good music while I drive but I couldn't bear the FM radio offerings and don't have DAB in the car so I listened to mp3s of the digital station instead. I had been using a Panasonic HDD/DVD box but offloading VOBs onto DVDs and transcoding was a pain in the arse. An Aver capture card on my PC was an easier method of getting the shows but I found it prone to failure and I didn't like leaving my PC on all the time. So this downloading business simplified things a lot.

I hardly watch TV at all and I rarely catch trailers or read TV listings so I tend to miss out on the few programmes I could be bothered watching. I do sometimes get wind of interesting stuff after it's been shown [usually on BBC Four] so G_IP is a great way of grabbing documentaries to watch when I can find the time. Programming the PVR to sniff out key words has been brilliant, though, and I have had quite a few surprises pop up in the "in tray". I hope to get that feature back at some point. It has been a wonderful asset.

Thanks to all those who have worked to create this resource and maintain it as the land shifts around it. I hope things settle soon but your efforts at this time are much appreciated.


it is the best of course !!!

big thumbs up to everyone who have been contributing to this :)


Quote:<div class="d4p-bbp-quote-title">Quote:</div>I’m interested to hear how and why you use get_iplayer. Share your story!
My internet connection is marginal for streaming, so the ability to download is a huge improvement over being forced to stream, plus it gives me flexibility regarding which device[s] I choose to use.
Finally I find the Web PVR Manager a great boon - being able to mark a series & automatically download each episode as it becomes available ensures I don't miss anything.


I used to use the BBC-provided desktop client under Win XP. But it was an Adobe AIR application, and it seemed to me that it often broke whenever Adobe updated AIR. Then there'd be a few days or weeks' delay while the BBC tried to fix their app. That was all bad enough, but I often had to completely uninstall and reinstall AIR to get some version of the BBC client to work, or - even worse - try to force a specific older combination of AiR & BBC client back into use then try not to have either one of them auto-update. It used to drive me mad.

As well as that, like many others I found the desktop client would mysteriously delete programmes I'd downloaded but not yet watched, sometimes only a few hours after I downloaded them. I noticed that the BBC were for ever producing new clients for yet more devices, without attending to the fundamental flaws in the existing products. BBC support for users was dire.

So, for TV I just gave up and watched streamed stuff... but data didn't stream reliably, even if I tried to watch programmes at 1am or 2am or so. For radio programmes I found RadioDownloader and was happy... until the BBC asked its author to remove it.

Get_iplayer has given me the freedom not to watch or listen to anything on a streaming connection, and not to have to put up with the BBC's lousy application (which I suppose may have improved, I've no idea), or their lousy user support. I've also greatly benefited from the ability to search for arbitrary words and phrases in the radio.cache and tv.cache files, finding many programmes I didn't know existed.


Being extra-UK, we value the BBC's opening up its fine music programming to the world.
Public broadcasters fill an appreciable function by maintaining podcasts and streaming of fine music; not many commercial broadcasters would touch the market with the proverbial, in this hypermarketing universe.
We're rusted-on listeners to BBC3 via the iPlayer.
When our dodgy rural wireless connection won't behave for streaming, we turn to get_iplayer to fill the gaps.

I enjoy using the terminal over html browsers and similar GUIs, being legally blind, and couldn't praise the get_iplayer documentation more highly.
I belong to a self-help group similar to yours that enables flexible delivery of the Australian ABC TV iPlayer clone, iView.
We are very much quieter than get_iplayer (of necessity with a much more territorial ABC management than the BBC appears to be), run a more diverse range of clients - probably because the hounding by ABC management has led to smaller, less visible groups - but continue to scrape the ABC web indices very usefully to help many in the same way your group does.
More power to your arms!


I use it to record (mainly) comedy / drama for playing in the car / on my Windows Phone. In fact, for exactly the same reasons as my cassette recorder in the good old analogue days. As I type, I sit next to a tape stack (nostalgia) with some Burkiss Ways from the first time round. While I agree with the importance of Copyright (without that, artists and authors don't get paid), the fight for reasonable home recording was won in the analogue days in the UK (say "thank you, Lord Sugar") and I disagree that the advent of digital makes any significant difference. I am a licence fee payer, in the UK. If I can record digital TV and radio via my PVR under the TV, why not on my other media system (which happens to be a PC)?

get_iplayer is a great functional replacement for RadioDownloader. Both invaluable for series record. Plus I can timeshift into the car when I don't like the live schedules. BTW, has anyone else noticed the nonsense of scheduling comedy/drama (eg BBC 7 (Radio 4 Extra is a rubbish branding exercise)) on the hour and half hour? Why is this nonsense? If I want to listen to the end of the programme, I am either late for work or sat in the car for 25 minutes! Timeshift by get_iplayer solves that as well.


I used to use the Radio Downloader and then found g_ip after a recommendation.

Like others I have found that standard PVRs are more limited in space, although my Humax has custom firmware and now has a 2tb disk. That's OK, but there are sometimes more programmes than tuners!

Second driver for me was how to fill the gaps when I was going on a three week holiday. I also wanted some in-car material since a driving trip in NZ takes a looong time at their speed limits.

Finally, I am a bit of a completist when it comes to series. If I miss the first I usually don't bother with them, but I HATE missing one in the middle or the last in a series.

Now all I need is the ability to do the same on some of the other on-demand sites and I really will be get lost while paddling in the data-streams.

P.S. Can anyone eplain why BBC TV feeds are well topped and tailed while Radio feeds can have as much as 5 minutes of padding. It surely can't be as simple as volume of feeds. The producers/engineers could do it in 2 minutes after air-time.



I live in the UK, but my blind 91 year old mother lives 6,000 miles away in Capetown.
In her time she was an avid reader and used to narrate books, as a volunteer for Tape-Aids-For-the-Blind.
Now that the tables have turned and, as she can no longer read, we have supplied her with a fantastic, though rather expensive, little box called a "Victor Reader".
It takes an SD memory card and enables her to easily navigate through her classical music, podcasts, audio books and radio programs.
Using a combination of iTunes, to aggregate podcasts, Get_iPlayer for radio programs and a variety of sources for audiobooks, I am able to upload the lot to DropBox on a weekly basis.
Then I am fortunate to have a very helpful nephew in Capetown who downloads and transfers everything from DropBox to a spare SD card that he then swaps out with the exhausted one from the previous week.
This system has been running smoothly for the past 3 years and is an absolute sanity saver for my mother.


I use get_iplayer to download radio programmes (R4,R4x,R3) from overseas and convert
them in to mp3 - to listen to while out and about.

I only started this usage this year when the wma stream naming convention stopped
being predictable so my NetTransport system was no longer useful.

Big Thanks to all involved in maintaining get_iplayer and this site!


These are the reasons why I use Get_iPlayer:

1) I am hooked on knowledge programmes and the BBC (in my opinion) offer the best knowledge programmes. So I wanted to watch them again at a later point. My first Humax offered the option of transferring recorded programmes to a hard drive via USB, but the software never worked!

2) In 2011 I volunteered to take part in an online survey by the BBC as they were working on offering sister version of iPlayer which enabled you to access programmes/clips from years gone by. Nothing saw the light of day and the BBC didn't bother to tell me why, so I decided to see if there was a way of doing it myself and I found Get_iPlayer.

3) Randomly my Humax skips whilst I am viewing a recorded programme, the fault could strike at any time and thanks to Sods law it usually happens at an important part. Thanks to Get_iPlayer I never worry about having to miss out.

4) Sometimes with no indication as to why, my Humax fails to record. It lists the programme as recorded, but fails to play. So if it happens to a programme of a series, it's a nightmare! But, often Get_iPlayer has saved the day because it enabled me to download a back up.

5) I have little time to watch things live nor watch the recordings. I got my first Humax in 2008 and since 2010 I've always had programmes that I've not had time to watch and were recorded 2 years ago! Should those recordings have a fault I can use the backup I have thanks to Get_iPlayer.

6) Due to the BBC broadcasting so many programmes that I want to watch, I have to set my Humax to record more than one show at the same time, thus I am not able to use the option of recording a programme 2 mins in advance and 2mins after the programme has ended. Quite often the signal is sent to my Humax to late or too early, so I often miss the beginning or end of a programme. Thanks to Get_iPlayer I never have to worry about missing anything.

7) It’s hard to explain, but I have a thirst for knowledge and a terrible memory. If Get_iPlayer didn’t exist I wouldn’t be able to satisfy my hunger for knowledge. Thanks to Get_iPlayer I can access my archive and seek out the information I require if I can’t find what I am looking for on Google. (In other words, I remember something I saw on a BBC programme and either seek out further info from my archive at a later date or pass on the knowledge I have gained to others. By going back to the recording, I can do both these things and be accurate.)

8) I pass no judgement on others but I am of the opinion you should pay for things. For example, I download music for free and then buy the music I want to keep. I have brought BBC programmes that I really wanted to keep, but even if the DVDs are on offer it’s expensive, and extremely expensive when you remind yourself that you’ve already paid for it via the Licence Fee.

Sorry, I know this reply is a bit long, but this help explains why Get_iPlayer is so valuable to me. If I could pay for the service I honestly would! I often feel guilty because I know a lot of hard work has gone into Get_iPlayer and I’ve given nothing back in return due to having no knowledge of code. The only way I can think of paying you guys back - without you guys getting into trouble with the BBC - is to donate money to a charity of your choice.

Thank you for your hard work, I sincerely appreciate it.


Similar to other here, I used to record many BBC comedy shows weekly to cassette, but moved to Radio Downloader once I found it, for a mixture of convenience and mobile/car devices also went digital.

Once RD went, I moved to GiP, as recommended by those active on OHG Messageboard, and rely on it daily...


I use it to record mainly comedy and SF radio. Just now and again to record TV, but that's only to catch up with something I failed to put on my regular PVR, no sense of archiving.
My broadband's not all that good, so listening to general iPlayer can involve lots of annoying pauses because for no obvious reason the darn thing just does not cache.


A couple of reasons from my side:

- I am in a rural area, and my "broad"band is not that quick - sometimes not even fast enough to stream radio. So, it's much easier to queue things up and listen to them later. It's effectively impossible to stream TV....

- I do a lot of travelling - and over the last few years they have slowly and carefully removed everything interesting from the BA inflight entertainment system! So, get_iplayer means I can have some decent entertainment in flight, and also a bit more variety when at my destination...

Thanks again for the work on this, very much appreciated....


I do quite a lot of traveling and love the "fire and forget" way the PVR functions. I can come back and catch up and/or haul along copies of my favorite series and radio shows without having to worry about getting online.


i use it to listen to bbc radio 3 classical station, as u know classical programmes are long, and I only get a chance to really sit down and listen once every couple of weeks, so it's great to be able to download the programmes to listen to later. Espcially since my internet connection is poor anyway, and listening online live is useless as it starts and stops all the time. thanks for this great tool to make our lives enjoyable!


I've been using get_iplayer to download radio programmes (mostly R4 and R4X) since the demise of Radio Downloader. Because I work away from home, sometimes for more than a week at a time, I can often find it hard to download from iPlayer within the 7 day window. So, I download stuff, and listen to it at my leisure either on my iPod or on one of Squeezebox radios.
I also quite often download programmes for my elderly mother, who has no Internet access.

Until the recent BBC changes I largely used the web PVR front end. Over the past week, though, I've been learning to use the CLI version to grab stuff by PID. Interestingly, this has prompted a change in what I download, and I am now use g_ip to download some TV programmes to watch while I'm staying away during the week (where no or poor WiFi usually means I can't access iP itself for live streaming).

Thank you very much for continuing to support g_ip, and for being so quick in fixing the BBC's most recent breakages.
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