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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

15 Sep 2019 : Sailfish app updates - Scintillon and GetiPlay #
Not just one but two new versions of my Sailfish apps are now available for download. GetiPlay has been updated to version 0.9 and now uses the latest ffmpeg and AtomicParsley utilities under the hood, which will hopefully lead to better audio and video rendering. There's also now an i486 version available for the first time. Scintillon has also seen an update to version 0.3. This latest version has Italian translations provided by the brilliant Francesco Vaccaro of Jolla-IT fame. Thanks Francesco!

 

10 Sep 2019 : GetiPlay 0.8-1 released #

Version 0.8-1 of GetiPlay is now available, refreshed with the latest version 3.22 of the amazing get_iplayer and updated perl modules. After some recent glitches, this will now work again with the iPlayer catch-up service for downloading BBC TV and radio programmes to your Sailfish OS device (probably UK-only I'm afraid). Install the binary to your phone from OpenRepos, or get the source from GitHub.

 

24 Mar 2019 : GetiPlay 0.7-1 released #
Here's the changelog for the just-released version 0.7-1 of GetiPlay. More details below, from OpenRepos or github.

Sun Mar 24 2019 David Llewellyn-Jones <david@flypig.co.uk> 0.7-1
  1. Correct iterator errors when deleting media files and items from queue.
  2. Correctly trim logfile and prevent UI performance degradation over time.
  3. Correct an incorrect RPM configuration.
  4. Remove cyclic dependences in QML.
  5. Fix various other QML errors.
  6. Add scroll animation when clicking on tab to jump to the top of the page.
  7. Allow control using the lockscreen media (MPRIS) controls.
  8. Improve the button layout on the queue item info screen.
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24 Mar 2019 : GetiPlay 0.7-1 released #
I've just rleleased the latest version of GetiPlay (v0.7-1), an unofficial iPlayer app for Sailfish OS that lets you download and watch BBC TV and radio programmes. More details on the GetiPlay page, install the binary from OpenRepos, or get the MIT-licensed source code from github.
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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!

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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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Download

  • GetiPlay GetiPlay
    Version 0.9 (14 Sep 2019) 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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