Useful iPlayer addition

I currently have 2 laptops, an iMac, a PS3, an Xbox 360, Cheryl’s laptop, and Cheryl’s PS3 all capable of playing content from BBC iPlayer. If I want to view HD content I have to download it using the desktop app. This is available on the computers and laptops regardless of the operating system, which is very nice as I have Linux, Mac, and Windows installations at the moment.

My improvement comes from a situation I have found myself in a couple of times since Cheryl and I got the iMac the other day. I can download HD content on here, but if I do then I have no way of playing it on my TVs. The iMac has a nice 27 inch screen, but the dining chairs aren’t anywhere near as comfortable as the sofa.

When I’ve downloaded the HD copy of some media it would be great if I could connect to my BBC iPlayer installation on any of my other devices and stream that content over my local network. The DRM can all be handled in the same way it is by the app on the PS3 or whatever. It’s just a locally-hosted copy of the exact same file. They could even make it so that you can only stream the content from within the iPlayer app if they wanted.

I don’t want to pirate anything, I just want to be able to play media I’ve downloaded on one device on another. This would be possible if I did illegally download a copy of the media, I shouldn’t be punished for being honest.

iPlayer downloads in Linux

After reading an article on The Register this morning about iPlayer downloads being circumvented by Linux users I did a quick search and found this page. There was a comment on there by Andrew Williams with a Firefox bookmarklet to help make things easier. It still relies on having a User Agent Switcher extension installed to get the correct address.

I decided to go one step further than that.

I discovered that even when viewing the site with your regular User Agent you can gather enough information to build the URL needed for the iPhone version. I spent a fair while working on an improved iPlayer bookmarklet which you can drag and drop into your Bookmarks Toolbar Folder.

When you’re viewing a video in iPlayer you should click the iPlayer bookmarklet. It’ll change the title for the video to a command that you can copy and paste into your terminal. It’ll even name the file for you. 🙂