For discussion - signed-only programmes displayed in match list won't download without explicit version

Rob Dixon rob.dixon at
Thu Feb 23 13:05:56 EST 2012

On 23/02/2012 15:54, dinkypumpkin wrote:
> On 23/02/2012 14:49, Rob Dixon wrote:
>> OK, but it seems counterintuitive that if I enter
>>   get_iplayer Horizon
>> without specifying any specific version, I get
>>   328: Horizon - 2009-2010: 4. Who's Afraid of a Big Black Hole?, BBC ...
>>   329: Horizon - 2011-2012: 7. Playing God, Audio Described, Audio...
>> but then I use
>>   get_iplayer 329 -g
>> and it tells me
>>   WARNING: No programmes are available for this pid
>> So I have to notice that the listing is of a signed version and say so
>> when I ask for the download, when get_iplayer knows the version is has
>> displayed is a signed one all along! The fix I made was just to modify
>> the URL if the programme selected from the match list happened to be
>> signed.
> It's not counterintuitive given the default behaviour. To be fair, that
> default behaviour isn't explicitly referenced in the help screen, a
> situation which I can remedy when I have a moment. I should also point
> out that if you always want signed programmes when they're available,
> just use --prefs-add to make --versions=signed a permanent setting, or
> add it to your options file directly.
> As to whether the default behaviour should be changed to automatically
> fall back to an alternate version if the default version isn't
> available, some questions immediately arise: If both audiodescribed and
> signed versions are available, which one do you download? What if the
> user wants audiodescribed but only signed is available? It seems to me
> like this is a place where the user needs to explicitly declare a
> preference based on availability, as shown in the search output listing.
> FWIW, such a fallback mechanism would affect a tiny number of programmes
> (26 out of 905 in today's count), so the utility would be limited.
> If you want to pursue this, I would suggest surfacing the issue in a new
> thread on this list to see if any other useful input emerges. If you
> take it as far as proposing a patch for get_iplayer, your fix referenced
> above is not the way to go. All you've done is silently force an
> override of the expected behaviour, which isn't a good idea. The task
> you're trying to accomplish should be done earlier in the processing,
> e.g., by manipulating the version list based on cache contents.

The situation is that I want the default version if it is available,
otherwise signed will do. Audiodescribed is too intrusive to be useful.
I have a PVR list set up to download Horizon programmes which fails at
present if it hits a signed one. Perhaps the download should degrade
from default to signed to audiodescribed, with the --versions option
allowing a different list to override that. For now my patch is the only
way to get things working without intervention.

(Looking at --helplong again, perhaps that's what it does already if I
say --prefs-add --versions=default,signed. I must test that.)

Most of all I want get_iplayer to download programme 330 if it says in
the match list that there is one instead instead of telling me that it
doesn't exist. If it won't download a programme without specifying
--versions then I think it shouldn't list it in the matches either
unless I do the same thing.

Cheers and thanks for a comprehensive answer.


More information about the get_iplayer mailing list