It seems that I am not the only blogger mentioning that BBC is actively sabotaging other means of accessing iPlayer material. Rich Jones also has a post on the topic. We both mention the git page (that does sound awful):

While Rich is the type of person who could persuade me to completely leave microsoft tyranny and make the jump to Linux (I am seriously considering ubuntu and have been for ages), he isn’t very forthcoming on the secret of how to fix the get_iplayer code.

hyc makes an excellent comment to the Good news, Bad news post that:

get_iplayer is just a perl script, there’s nothing Linux-specific about it. It runs on Windows the same as it has before. And it’s all just a wrapper around rtmpdump anyway, so it’s not like using rtmpdump is actually a different alternative.

Point taken, I’ve tried updating rtmpdump, but not sure how to make it function with get_iplayer.

And as I keep saying, I am a bit too lazy and not willing to make the time to figure all this out.

Which takes us to Prometheus. jjl says at the github site that:

The original get_iplayer code is a mess. I initially began to gradually refactor it but encountered severe problems, largely owing to lexical scoping and variables being shared through scopes.

I gave up and started rewriting it instead. The original script is still there as ‘get_iplayer’ and i reverted it to the last version that Phil released.

Prometheus is the next generation of get_iplayer. It won’t steal fire from the Gods, but it may enable you to use get_iplayer on a non-bbc-supported platform.

One doesn’t even need to code to figure out that get_iplayer’s code was a mess.

It seems to me that one should be able to patch in the new version of RTMPdump and “hey, presto” get_iplayer is back to its old self. Which may be a gross simplification of the situation, but…

The real upshot was that I neglected to mention Prometheus in the Good news, Bad news post, which was a gross error.

Anyway, for those not totally versed in this issue, Rich mentions the Beeb’s blog post “BBC iPlayer Content Protection Enhancements”. With a title like that, you know the blog post has to be ill conceived (as was the idea to add “Content Protection Enhancements”). The comments to the post show the problems iPlayer end users are facing.

I’ll toss in the problem that UPnP device users are facing in that they can’t play the material on their devices (the cinematube in my case).

Of course, there is also the workaround that you attach your computer to your TV…


Posted 14/05/2010 by lacithedog in BBC, BBC iplayer, British TV, get_iplayer, iplayer

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