Inexpert user question

Christopher Woods (CustomMade) christopher at
Mon Aug 15 13:30:33 EDT 2011

Afraid I can't help with every question you've asked, but I'll address these

> I'm using the latest version (v2.79 for Windows with a patch 
> from somewhere which was recommended on this forum). I can 
> find the programme that I want OK, then I run:
>  >get_iplayer --get [programme number]
> It finds the programme I want and downloads it but then 
> continues to download a number of other programmes as well 
> seemingly at random. I can crash get_iplayer to stop this but 
> what is going wrong?

I tend not to use get_iplayer in this manner, preferring to use

get_iplayer --pid=xyxyxyxy

along with other flags (like --raw and --force) in order to give me the raw
file without any transcoding. I can then do with those as I wish.

> The other problem is that the radio programme download is as 
> a .m4a file rather than .mp3. I have a program to convert 
> these files but how can I set it to download as .mp3.

iPlayer material is natively AAC; they also used to - VERY POORLY -
transcode to MP3 for some devices but they now only serve AACs. This I am
happy with, because their own MP3 encodes really were dire. Your raw
download will be an AAC file, possibly wrapped as an .FLV file if you
specify the --raw flag. I use FLVExtract to read out the raw AAC files and
then if I wish to rewrap as an .M4A file to make it seekable on my iRiver
H340 or in foobar2000 I use YAMB (Yet Another MP4Box GUI).

If I wanted to transcode to MP3, I'd use Frontah (with LAME in its working
directory and a VBR preset chosen in the Frontah GUI); easy way to batch
automate multiple transcodes and have a very granular control of the quality
level. Shevek (from this list) has also done work on a forked version of
get_iplayer which downloads AACs, converts to M4A files and tags with
AtomicParsley -
for the last message of that thread (read back for installation

if you load tagged M4A files into Frontah (my personal choice only) it will
respect those tags and retag accordingly when you transcode. Just another
(albeit more longwinded way) to achieve your goal.

You *can* automate this transcoding (and retagging should you wish) with a
combination of MP4Box, ffmpeg and AtomicParsley specified on the command
line when you invoke get_iplayer; some far cleverer people than I have
already done all the legwork, just search this mailing list's archives for
the answers. Funnily enough, when I searched "get_iplayer infradead
transcode MP3" ... One of my posts came up on the first page. 8)

There has been work on custom compiles of get_iplayer which can
automatically transcode to MP3 on a per-download basis;
for that thread (March this year). 

Here's another good start point for your searches:

Anyone who can directly address the AAC-to-MP3 transcoding with a better
answer -- please do!

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