get_iplayer currently broken...

Vangelis forthnet northmedia1 at
Wed Jan 13 11:32:32 PST 2016

Sadly, from ca. 16:00 GMT today (13/01/2016),
GiP is belly up :-(


1. TV cache via the schedule feeds can't be refreshed
(Radio cache refreshes normally).

The reason for the TV cache refresh failure is that URLs
of the following pattern:<channel>/programmes/schedules/this_week.xml<channel>/programmes/schedules/last_week.xml

do not fetch expected schedule feeds, but the message posted already:

> This service is currently undergoing a period of downtime for essential 
> maintenance.
> Please be advised that the programme information service
> which is currently available at this URL
> will soon be replaced by a new service from the BBC,
> at a new set of URLs.
> Please contact the following email address for further information:
> 'programmes-devel at'

Refresh of the TV cache was erratic, at best, during the
last few days, now not working at all.

2. Download attempts fail completely,
even with the "--pid" method

This is because GiP loads URLs of the following template:<pid>.xml<pid>.rdf

to retrieve the vpid string (that grants access to
available streams) and grab other available metadata;
those URLs now also return the above message...

Over on the iPlayer site itself, using Firefox,
both TV & Radio do seem to play OK;
the TV programmes's vpid string is, I believe,
buried deep inside page source, the default
stream delivery method on desktop browser
is AdobeHDS.

For radio, the JSON playlist is being used
by the embedded player, which is of the template:<pid>/playlist.json

that seems to load more reliably, but it does
sometimes return (at least from my location)
the infamous "downtime" message...
Again, default stream delivery
for audio is AdobeHDS.

The "--playlist-metadata" switch was "ignored" in 2.94
(and removed in 2.95dev) in this commit:

"--playlist-metadata" was supposed to

> Force use of playlists (XML and JSON) for programme metadata
> instead of /programmes data endpoints

however, after reverting the commit on my local
copy of GiP 2.94 and issuing

perl --type=radio --pid=b06vf205 --playlist-metadata --modes=flashaac 
 --force --raw -v

the script only tried the long-gone XML playlist :

INFO: pid found in cache
11363:  Greg James - Greg has the latest Chart Update, BBC Radio 1,

INFO: 1 Matching Programmes
INFO: iPlayer metadata URL =
INFO: Getting page
ERROR: Failed to get version pid metadata from iplayer site

ERROR: Could not get version pid metadata
ERROR: Could not get programme metadata

and not the JSON playlist that appears to still work...

If the XML/RDF metadata pages are gone for good
(possibly to be replaced by Nitro URLs), this will
constitute a major setback to GiP - the JSON playlists
(not available for all VOD as I recall) could prove a stopgap,
but their future may also be short (given that they, too,
produce the "replacement" notice).

Another case where the existence of a "--vpid" switch
in GiP could've proved a lifesaver; I can find manually
the vpid (right-clicking the embedded player, via page
source, via JSON playlist etc.), the mediaselector/5 URLs
do still function normally, so stream access is still feasible
in this emergency, alas not for GiP.
Time to get back to composing manually rtmpdump/ffmpeg
commands... and AdobeHDS.php is of invaluable help, too!

As tellyaddict (tvfan) advised, better keep an eye
on the support forums for any developments:
No point in "me, too" posts either here in the
list or the forums, though...

Let's hope this thing is just
a temporary mishap on the beeb's side...


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