Subtitles, Round 2

dinkypumpkin dinkypumpkin at
Tue Sep 24 15:50:08 EDT 2013

Now this this can of worms has been opened, I decided to mix metaphors 
and take the bull by horns and iron out some subtitles-related issues 
raised in the last couple of days.  I've posted a patched version of 
get_iplayer here:

The patch against Git HEAD is here:;subtitles.patch

With this patch, subtitles should be formatted as they would be in the 
Flash player on the iPlayer site (incl. explicit line breaks), with one 
exception.  When there is a change of speaker in a subtitle, a leading 
hyphen is prepended to that speaker's dialogue.  The first (or only) 
speaker in a subtitle does not get a leading hyphen.  The old subtitle 
format is geared to broadcast use and employs colour changes to indicate 
speaker changes.  The diabolical new format doesn't do that as far as I 
can tell, and the iPlayer site's Flash player has always ignored speaker 
changes.  Given that, there is no point in attempting to add colour 
support to get_iplayer subtitles.  The leading hyphen seems like an 
acceptable compromise.

It would be helpful if anyone interested in getting subtitles sorted 
would have a go at testing this.  The may be other format variations 
lurking in iPlayer that I would never come across.  Please do it soon - 
I want to resolve this so I can get another release out.  You don't need 
to download a programme to check subtitles.  These are repeatable test 
commands that will download only the "raw" subtitles file and convert it 
to SRT:

get_iplayer --subtitles-only --subsraw  --force --overwrite --pid=<pid>

get_iplayer --subtitles-only --subsraw  --force --overwrite --get <index>

If you check subtitles during playback and find big chunks of dialogue 
missing, first check the raw subtitles files before blaming get_iplayer. 
  I have found several programmes with missing dialogue.

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