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GetIPlay

A totally unofficial UI for get_iplayer, the unofficial tool for accessing BBC iPlayer TV and radio programmes. GetiPlay is built using QT for Sailfish OS smartphones.

As of version 0.3-3 it should work without the need to install any separate packages, but may not work outside the UK. It's so far only been tested on an Xperia X. Please share your experiences in the comments.

Install direct to your phone via OpenRepos.

The source is available on GitHub.

Neither BBC iPlayer nor get_iplayer have any involvement with this. Programmes should only be downloaded in accordance with copyright etc. Be aware before downloading on a limited data plan that that some programes (especially videos) have quite large filesizes.

Scroll down for posts and downloads about GetiPlay, the unofficial Sailfish OS app for accessing all things BBC iPlayer.

Getiplay

10 most recent items

29 Jun 2018 : Going QML-Live #

In my spare time I've been developing a QT app called GetiPlay. It's a simple app that allows you to download audio and video from BBC iPlayer, for use on Sailfish OS phones. The traditional approach on Linux devices would be to use get_iplayer in a console, but for all of the progress that's been made on mobile devices in the last decade, console use still sucks. Given I spend so much time listening to or watching BBC content, slapping a simple UI over the command line get_iplayer was an obvious thing to do.

The app has been developing nicely, using the QT Creator for C++ and the UI written in QML. Historically I've not been a fan of QML, but as I grow more familiar with it, it's been growing on me. For all of the things that I find weird about it, it really does give great performance and helps build a consistent UI, as well as promoting loose coupling between the UI and underlying functional logic.

A big downside to QML is that there's no preview, so the development process follows a consistent cycle: adjust code, build code, deploy code, test, repeat. The build and deploy steps are loooong. This impacts things in three serious ways: it makes development slow, it makes me sleepy, and it incentivises against making minor tweaks or experimentation.

Is It Worth the Time?
 

Nevertheless, there's always a trade-off between configuring and learning new technologies, and just getting things done using those you're already using. The ever-relevant XKCD has more than one pertinent comics covering this topic.

 
Automation

The UI for GetiPlay is straightforward, so I was quite content to use this lengthy, but (crucially) working approach until yesterday. What prompted me to change was a feature request that needed some more subtle UI work, with animated transitions between elements that I knew would take a couple of hundred cycles round that development loop to get right. Doing the maths using Randall Munroe's automation matrix, I needed to find a more efficient approach.

So this morning I started out using QML Live. This is a pretty simple tool with an unnecessarily bulky UI that nevertheless does a great job of making the QML design approach more efficient. You build and run the app as usual, then any QML changes are directly copied over to the device (or emulator) and appear in the app immediately. Previously a build cycle took between 40 and 100 seconds. Now it's too quick to notice: less than a second.

QT Creator IDE and QML-Live

Using a quick back of the envelope calculation, I'll perform a UI tweak that would previously have required a rebuilt around 20 times a day, but probably only every-other day, so let's say 10 times a day for the next six months. So (10 * 365 * 0.5) / (60 * 24) = 1.27 days I can save. I spent about half a day configuring everything properly, so that leaves a saving of 0.77 days, or 18 hours. Not bad!

QML-Live certainly isn't perfect, but it's simple, neat and has made me far more likely to try out interesting and experimental UI designs. Time configuring it is time well spent, even if that extra 18 hours is just about the same amount of time I wasted dithering over the last two days!

Comment
29 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay v0.6-1 released #
Another exciting GetiPlay update. This new version has improved aesthetics, the ability to directly download a programme using the PID or URL from the BBC website, configurable skip/replay buttons in the media player. It also fixes the issues experienced on Jolla One and Jolla C devices refreshing with multiple connections by allowing the number to be limited to one or two (in which case, there don't seem to be any more failures generated). Get it from the - usual - places.
20 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay v0.5-2 released #
A few more updates to GetiPlay, including a bundle of bugfixes; getting it working across multiple devices (Jolla One, Jolla C, Xperia X); using different graphics resolutions for different devices; persistent tab selection across executions. Plus, did I mention bugfixes? As always, get it from the - usual - places.
13 Jun 2018 : Another GetiPlay release: 0.4-2 #
This is a bug-fix release, to add in dependencies that should have been there from the outset. This ensures the app will install and run on more devices. Get it from the - usual - places.
12 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay 0.4-1 released #
The latest version of GetiPlay is now available. This version has built-in media players for video and audio, including the exciting and innovative '10 seconds back' button. Get it from GitHub, OpenRepos, or this site.
12 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay now actually plays, too #
For some time now I've been meaning to add a proper media player to GetiPlay. Why, you may well ask, bother to do this when Sailfish already has a perfectly good media player built in? Well, there are two reasons. First, for TV and radio programmes, one of the most important controls you can have is 'jump back a few seconds'. I need this when I'm watching something and get interrupted, or miss an important bit of the narrative, or whatever. It's such a useful button, it's worth writing a completely new media player for. Second, it's just far more seamless to have it all in one application.

So I finally got to adding it in. Here's the video player screen.
 

The QT framework really does make it easy to add media like this. It still took a good few days to code up of course, but it'd be a lot quicker for someone who knew what they were doing.

I'm also quite proud of the audio player, with the same, super-useful '10 seconds back' button. It also stays playing no matter where you move to in the app. Here it is, showing the controls at the bottom of the screen.
 


If you'd like to get these new features in your copy of GetiPlay, just download the latest version from OpenRepos, grab yourself the source from GitHub, or check out the GetiPlay page.
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10 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay 0.3-3 released #
This is basically a bug-fix release. Earlier versions had dependency problems, preventing them working on a clean Sailfish OS phone. This version, hopefully, gets all that stuff right, so it should install working out-of-the-box. Thanks to Robin Weston for working with me to get it sorted.
Get it from GitHub, OpenRepos, or this site.
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6 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay v0.3-1 released #
Another GetiPlay release, check the blog post for the details.
6 Jun 2018 : Huge GetiPlay release 0.3-1 #
I'm really pleased to release version 0.3-1 of GetiPlay, the unofficial interface for accessing BBC iPlayer stuff on Sailfish OS. This latest version is a huge update compared to previous releases, with a completely new tab-based UI and a lovely download queue so you can download multiple programmes without interruption.

Immediate info about every one of the thousands and thousands of TV and radio programmes is also now just a tap away.

Install yourself a copy from OpenRepos, grab the MIT-licensed source from GitHub or visit the GetiPlay page on this site.
 
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16 May 2018 : GetiPlay update v0.2-6 #
The latest GetiPlay for Sailfish OS phones is now up on OpenRepos. This update has the latest get-iplayer (v3.14, which is always one of the most exciting version numbers to hit!) and I'm hoping will get the perl dependencies right (after literally years of trying). The code is on github.
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Download

  • GetiPlay GetiPlay
    Version 0.31 (16 Jun 2018) for SailfishOS.
    GetiPlay is a simple user interface for the get_iplayer command line utility for Sailfish OS devices. It allows TV and radio programmes to be downloaded from the BBC iPlayer listings.
    Download: binary, source, screenshot.

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