This article has been archived and is no longer being updated. It may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate due to the passage of time.

If you live in the UK and watch TV the chances are that you have made good use of the BBC’s fabulous iPlayer.  This product lets you catch up on TV shows from the last couple of weeks via streaming and download time limited copies if you have connection issues.  The only thing you cannot easily do is download a copy of a TV show to keep permanently or play using a different program.


Get_iplayer is a open source free program that lets you download TV and Radio programs from iPlayer and saves them in a format that can be kept and played by most  media players.  It is not supported by the BBC but the BBC has chosen not to use encryption or otherwise try to block it.It  is available for Linux, Mac OS and Windows and is highly automatable allowing automatic downloading, file renaming and downloads based on searches and many other things. The news that some will dread is that it is mainly  a command line tool – it is really not that difficult to use but this will dissuade some people.

Personally I use it to download radio series that I know I will want to re-listen to and to download children s TV that it is inevitable that my daughter will want to watch just as they are removed from online access.  With a little setup time to put in all her favourites I can be assured that if its on the TV I’ll have a copy of it when she wants it.

If you want to keep copies of your favorite shows get_iplayer is a venerable, legal and highly recommended way to do so.


This article was first published on 28 July 2014 and is no longer being updated. Information may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate due to the passage of time.