Tag Archives: recording

How to download (for offline playing) BBC TV or Radio iPlayer programmes using get_iplayer [an alternative to Radio Downloader]

July 2015 Update: Please read this article FIRST.

First, the sanity clause:
I am NOT a Lawyer – and therefore not an expert on the legality (or otherwise) of downloading material that the BBC make freely available for subsequent offline viewing or listening. However, I have paid my TV licence to the BBC and consider that downloading BBC material for offline playing once – as if I had watched it at the time of original transmission – followed by subsequent deletion (not retention) is fair use and my right as one of the folk who have contributed to the BBC for the original production of this material.

Reading further, is your acknowledgement and acceptance of the same principles and you confirm that BBC material obtained as a result of this article is for your own, temporary use. Furthermore, you acknowledge that the author of this article is NOT the author of the applications listed and that this article only points to products and information that already exist freely in the public domain.  

I am indebted to Matt Robinson, who wrote the original Radio Downloader and who therefore brought a little sunshine into my life, by allowing me to listen to the previous night’s Zane Lowe on my Walkman while I commuted to work.

It appears that Matt has now received a “Cease and Desist” order from the BBC which is so sad – as it follows on from the unnecessary approach the BBC took with Lawrence Gripper – when they had previously been more than happy for him to promote them via his Windows Phone app (however, fear not BBC News fans, an alternative called “Paper Boy” is on the way!).

So, the search was on to find an alternate way of downloading (for offline listening) BBC Radio programmes.

Step forward, David Woodhouse and his brilliant get-iplayer


Now, get_iplayer is an extremely feature rich application which runs on Windows and Linux. In addition, it can be run in either command mode or via a Windows interface.

More technically advanced readers will probably find the command mode to their taste – but I prefer to use the Windows interface, which is not immediately intuitive if it is your first time of using this application.

So, follow these steps to iPlayer programme download and offline listen/viewing nirvana:

1. Download and install get-iplayer.

2. Once installed, run Get_Iplayer:


3. If get_iplayer is working and correctly installed, it will give you a screen that looks like this:


4. Wait for step 3. to finish and drop back to a prompt and then select the Web PVR Manager:


5. This should open a get_iplayer Search interface (in your default browser) that will search the catalogue that it downloaded in step 2. [It is a good idea to re-run step 2 in order to update the current programme catalogue on each separate occasion that you want to record something].

6. For TV programmes, just do a search and select “record” in the little box next to the programme that you want to record. This will open up a new page and you will see that programme being locally downloaded to your PC.

Note: that what gets downloaded has NO DRM – so in theory, you can keep it as long as you want – as long as you have purchased a UK TV licence I guess (I am not a Lawyer).

7. For Radio Programmes,


1) Put a tick in the box for BBC Radio

2) Put the name of the Radio Station in the “Channels containing” box.

3) Click “Apply Settings”


(I am indebted to Ed Savage for working this bit out for me!)


1) Put a matching word from the title of the Radio programme (that you are searching for) in the “Search” box.

2) Click “Search”

3) Click “Record”



If the search doesn’t find the programme you want to record, try:

a) Locating the radio programme you want to record in here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/radio# and copy the link (url).

b) Put that url into the Web PVR Manager Quick URL box and then press “Record” – which is the second one along after “SEARCH”

8. You will then see a new web page open in your browser which will show the download status and other technical info about the media being downloaded:


Look out for “Download complete” and you are done!

Please additionally feel free to comment on this article with your tips and tricks for getting the most out of get-iplayer.