Tag Archives: Video

get_iplayer is command line program which is able to interface with the BBC’s iPlayer service, return a play list of ALL available content, and fetch any particular files/shows that are requested. its probably in your repo, if not head over to and grab it now!

This software is a celebration for all who believe in open source and freedom on the internet. However, sadly the BBC has closed the door on get_iplayer from streaming programs directly (without first downloading)… forcing people to install and use the ghastly flash player for direct streaming.

Invoke the program without arguments and get_iplayer will print a list of hundreds of available files.

$ get_iplayer

But it would be easier to read it if it was saved to a text file…

$ get_iplayer > ~/iplayer.txt

What about radio content?

$ get_iplayer --type radio > ~/iplayer_radio.txt

Look through the lists for what you want, and and then use the ‘–get’ option along with the program ID and your download will begin.

$ get_iplayer --get 12955

and yes, you can ask get_iplayer to download multiple files with one command, just seperate each shows ID with a space.

Ingeniously, get_iplayer tricks iPlayer into thinking an iPhone is making the request, and serves up the files right away. for this reason, the feeds arent exacly high definition, but still very watchable.


This is SO cool, even if its usefulness is somewhat limited. VLC, and also Mplayer support video output in the form of ASCII characters which can be viewed through a terminal window, tty,or even a remote session via ssh.

The main use i can imagine for this is if you run a NAT/torrent workhorse without X server,you could ssh to it and actually check media files.

To activate in VLC, go to Tools>Preferences>Video and then select ASCII from the outputs drop down. Colour ASCII is also available.”