Archives For November 30, 1999

This simple tutorial shows how to install get-iplayer and use it to download TV and radio programmes from BBC iPlayer/BBC Sounds for offline playback.

get-iplayer is a free and open-source app for Windows, macOS, and Linux. With it, you can searches and downloads your favorite BBC TV / radio programmes. Then play locally and legally in 30 days.

NOTE: For legal reason, you need a TV licence to download BBC TV/radio programmes! And, you have to delete them after 30 days of legal play!

Install get-iplayer in Ubuntu/Linux Mint

The project release page offers Windows and macOS installer. For Ubuntu and its based systems, it refers to a PPA repository, which so far supports Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 22.10.

1. First, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:m-grant-prg/utils

Type user password (no asterisk feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

2. Then, run command to install the app package:

sudo apt install get-iplayer

For old Ubuntu and Linux Mint, run sudo apt update first to refresh package cache.

Use get-iplayer to download TV programmes

This is a command line tool! After installing it, run following commands at any time in a terminal to search and/or download your favorite programmes.

  • To search for something, use command:
    get_iplayer 'keyword here'

    NOTE: get_iplayer can only search for programmes that were scheduled for broadcast on BBC linear services within the first 30 days! Those present more than 30 days can be downloaded directly via PID or URL

  • To start downloading a programme, use command:
    get_iplayer --get NUMBER_HERE

    Replace NUMBER_HERE with the number in the search result. And, you can download more programmes at same time via multiple numbers. For example:

    get_player --get 2708 3501 3680
  • You may also download directly via an URL address, for example::
  • Or use PID, which is usually the random characters in URL address:
    get_iplayer --pid b04n9p9c

    Also, it supports downloading via multiple PIDs: get_iplayer --pid id1 id2 id3 ...

The tool also has many other command line options, run man get_iplayer in terminal to read more.

Uninstall get-iplayer

To remove get-iplayer from Ubuntu/Linux Mint, open terminal and run command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove get-iplayer

Also, remove the Ubuntu PPA repository by running command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:m-grant-prg/utils

That’s all. Enjoy!

Get-iplayer is a command line tool for downloading TV and radio programmes from BBC iPlayer. The tool features:

  • Downloads TV and radio programmes from BBC iPlayer
  • Allows multiple programmes to be downloaded using a single command
  • Indexing of most available iPlayer catch-up programmes (not BBC Three, Red Button or iPlayer Exclusive)
  • Caching of index with automatic updating
  • Regex search on programme name
  • Regex search on programme description and episode title
  • Filter search results by channel
  • Direct download via programme ID or URL
  • PVR capability (may be used with cron or Task Scheduler)
  • HTTP proxy support
  • Perl 5.10.1+ required, plus LWP, LWP::Protocol::https, XML::LibXML and Mojolicious modules
  • Requires ffmpeg for conversion to MP4 and AtomicParsley for metadata tagging
  • Runs on Linux/BSD (Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenBSD and others), macOS (10.10+), Windows (7/8/10 – XP/Vista not supported)

Install get-iplayer:

It’s quite easy to install the latest get-iplayer 3.10 Snap package via Ubuntu Software:

You can also open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run following command to install the snap:

snap install get-iplayer

For those who prefer traditional .deb package, a PPA repository is available for Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 17.10, and higher.

Usage / examples:

  • List all TV programmes with long descriptions:
    get_iplayer --long ".*"
  • List all radio programmes:
    get_iplayer --type=radio ".*"
  • List all TV and radio programmes with “doctor who” in the name:
    get_iplayer --type tv,radio "doctor who"
  • List all BBC One programmes:
    get_iplayer --channel="BBC One" ".*"
  • List Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra programmes with “Book at Bedtime” in the title:
    get_iplayer --type=radio --channel="Radio 4" "Book at Bedtime"
  • Record TV programme number 208 (index from search results) in HD, with SD fallback if HD not available:
    get_iplayer --get 208

     [default is to download best available]


    get_iplayer --get 208 --tvmode=best
  • Record TV programme number 208 and download subtitles in SubRip (SRT) format:
    get_iplayer --get 208 --subtitles
  • Record multiple TV programmes (using index numbers from search results):
    get_iplayer --get 208 209 210
  • Record a TV or radio programme using its iPlayer URL:
  • Record a TV or radio programme using the PID (b01sc0wf) from its iPlayer URL:
    get_iplayer --pid=b01sc0wf