Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Saving BBC iPlayer content on a Mac using (Get iPlayer Automator)

Get iPlayer Automator - I can't get past thinking that it's a strange name for an application.

Thing is, for Mac users who want to record and save audio and video from the BBC iPlayer this does the job. Probably not legal actually, so best you don't do it.
But if you do, then I hear it has a few simple issues to negotiate. Also, it is one of the least Mac-like applications you'll get - not very slick or polished but it can be made to work.

Download from:

update May 2015 - you may like to try this link, 
The first link will work but I found it difficult at first to find the download link on the page.

The idea is to tell the application what url(s) you want to download and then tell it to go and download.

Sometimes it crashes. Normally that is enough to put people off using it. But it has only crashed on my 'friend' when he was adding the target url. (the programme url in the BBC iPlayer). It has not crashed on the download.

The best way to download a BBC programme is to:
1. Open iPlayer and navigate to the programme you want. Do not start or play the programme.
2. Open the "Get iPlayer Automator" application.
3. Click on the Use Current Webpage button. This is halfway down the application on the left.
4. Press the Start button in the toolbar.

The programme will download.

The next conundrum is the file's location.

Use Spotlight on the Mac, Cmd-Space and enter the name and there you are.

This method may not work outside of the UK as the BBC probably block the iPlayer to those DNS addresses outside of the UK. In which case you will need to configure the Proxy and add the urls another way via the Add to Queue button.

Update May 2015 - Still looking good

I looked again at this and downloaded the latest version 1.8.5 onto a newer laptop. It kept failing. I noticed by looking in Preferences on the General tab, that it was trying to save to a folder that wasn't present. I clicked on the Choose... button, created a new folder, and it worked nicely.

By the way, I was a bit critical of the look of the application before. It's much improved.


  1. Sadly this method no longer works, not surprising as this article was written in 2012. Just thought I would give people a heads up as I had to download this myself to find that out. Thanks anyway!

  2. After further investigation it looks like a later version of iPlayer automater does the job!

    Take it easy!

    1. Thanks for the Comment. I also downloaded the latest version and tried. Interestingly it failed to work until I created the folder that was in the Preferences-> Download Path. Then it worked fine.

  3. Thank you