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Messages - Ed

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31
Geek Speak / Screenscraping - A technique to find the vpid
« on: July 03, 2017, 09:29:06 PM »
When I am completely stuck, I use the following website to look up url's for the 'Listen Again' programmes on the radio iPlayer:

  http://www.iPlayerConverter.co.uk/convert.aspx

I can use ffmpeg.exe to download high quality streams from these url's (higher bitrates than I typically get from using programs such as get_iplayer, e.g. 320 kbps and 384 kbps streams).

It used to be trivial to use iPlayerConverter.co.uk because all it needed was the 8-digit PID (Programme ID) included in the Listen Again page's url.

But recently iPlayerConverter.co.uk changed over to using the vpid instead of the pid. I thought it was still trivial to get the vpid because, when you play the 'Listen Again' radio show, you can right-click on the playing window in the browser, and a pop-up window opens and displays both the PID and the VPID.

Now, however, the iPlayer has disappeared behind a pay-wall, and you can't play the show, so can't right-click on the playing window. (Yes, I know no money changes hands, but the technology being deployed against us is nonetheless what's known in the trade as a 'paywall'.)

Yes, it is still trivial to get the vpid. You can still play the show in older browsers: if you play it in Internet Explorer 8, the newer javascript on the iplayer website is ignored by the browser, which only understands older forms of javascript. So the show plays, and the player window appears, and can be right-clicked.

And in any browser, you can view the page source and do a 'find' search for "vpid" to find it.

I thought it would be better to write a short batch file routine to extract the 8-digit vpid from the page automatically, using just the ordinary PID. So here it is. The only contribution made by the user is to insert the PID (replacing the example PID shown as a row of 8 zero's).

This is a demo script, really, because it can readily be adapted to extract any desired information from a .html web page (that is, an ordinary webpage, one which does not use xml). The javascript runs in Internet Explorer, and downloads the target webpage specified, as a text string, which it then searches: using a javascript technique called Regular Expressions to specify the text to be extracted. It then displays any matching text found.


Click 'Select' to highlight the code, then copy-and-paste it into a plain text file with the file extension .bat instead of .txt (e.g. vpid.bat). Then open the .bat file (using, say, Notepad.exe), and replace the 8 zero's with the actual 8-digit PID of the target iplayer page. Then double click the .bat file to run it.



Code: [Select]
@echo off

::  *** Get the VPID : BBC Radio on-demand ***

::  ** Programme ID **
SET PID=00000000

::  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  ::

::  *** User Variables ***
    SET temp_dir=C:\\Users\\dg\\AppData\\Local\\Temp

::  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  ::

ECHO ^<html^>                                                                                                                    > %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO ^<head^>                                                                                                                   >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO ^<title^>Download BBC iPlayer HTML page and extract Text^</title^>                                                         >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO ^<SCRIPT language="javascript" type="text/javascript"^>                                                                    >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO // Target HTML file's URL address                                                                                          >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO    var url = "http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/%PID%" ;                                                                     >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO window.open('','_self'); // This prevents the browser window prompting before closing                                      >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO var http_request = false;                                                                                                  >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO function makeRequest(url) {  // URL = iPlayer page                                                                         >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   http_request = false;                                                                                                    >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   try {                                                                                                                    >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO     http_request = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP");                                                                    >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   } catch (e) {                                                                                                            >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO     try {                                                                                                                  >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO       http_request = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");                                                               >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO     } catch (e) {}                                                                                                         >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   }                                                                                                                        >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   if (!http_request) {                                                                                                     >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO     alert ('Giving up - Cannot create an XMLHTTP instance');                                                               >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO     return false;                                                                                                          >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   }                                                                                                                        >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   http_request.onreadystatechange = alertContents;                                                                         >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   http_request.open('GET', url, true);                                                                                     >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   http_request.send(null);                                                                                                 >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO }  // Close FUNCTION                                                                                                       >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO function alertContents() {                                                                                                 >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   if ( http_request.readyState == 4 ) {                                                                                    >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO     if ( http_request.status == 200 ) {                                                                                    >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO        var fso  = new ActiveXObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject");                                                         >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO        var fh  = fso.CreateTextFile("%temp_dir%\\%PID%.html",true);         // Create Text File                            >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO        var fh1 = fso.CreateTextFile("%temp_dir%\\%PID%_vpid.txt",true);     // Create Text File                            >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO        var fh2 = fso.CreateTextFile("%temp_dir%\\%PID%_vpid_2.txt",true);   // Create Text File                            >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO        // Save contents of HTML page to text file as a String                                                   // line 50 >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO           fh.WriteLine( "<base href='http://www.bbc.co.uk'>" );             // Add BBC domain's href address               >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO           fh.WriteLine( http_request.responseText );                        // Add HTML contents of target webpage         >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO           // alert ( http_request.responseText );                                                                          >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO        // Use RegEx [Regular Expression] to find data in responseText (HTML)                                               >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO           // Input String (HTML from target URL)                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO              var input = http_request.responseText;                          // Input                                      >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO           // Define the Pattern                                              // Pattern                                    >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO           // 8 literals + 8 chrs (mixed letters and digits) + 1 literal      // Example: "vpid":"b006bm2h"                 >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO              var pattern = /"vpid":"[A-Z0-9]{8}"/gi;                                                                       >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO           // Create OUTPUT string holding ALL matches                                                                      >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO              var str1 = input.match(pattern);                                // Match String with Pattern                  >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO              // alert ( str1 );                                                                                            >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO           // Save the data to a text file -                                                                                >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO              fh1.WriteLine( str1 );                                          // %PID%_vpid.txt                  // line 70 >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO           // Adjust the data -                                                                                             >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO              // Replace some text                                                                                          >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO                 var str2 = fso.OpenTextFile("%temp_dir%\\%PID%_vpid.txt");   // Open a text file                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO                 var str3 = str2.ReadAll();                                   // Read file's contents into a variable       >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO                 var str4 = str3.replace(/^"/g, "").replace(/^:/g, ": ");     // Replace all quotes and semicolons          >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO              // var str4 = str3.replace(/^"/g, "").replace(/^,/g, "\n");     // Replace all quotes and all commas          >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO              // Split the data into sections seperated by the specified symbol                                             >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO                 var str5 = str4.split(",");                                                                                >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO                 // alert ( str5[0] ) ;                                                                                     >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO                 // alert ( str5[1] ) ;                                                                                     >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO              // Save the adjusted data to a text file -                      // Save to %PID%_vpid_2.txt                   >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO                 fh2.WriteLine( "pid:  %PID%" );                                                                            >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO                 fh2.WriteLine( str5[0] );                                    // Save only the FIRST (discard str5[1])      >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO     } else { alert ('There was a problem with the request') };                                                             >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO   }                                                                                                                        >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO }     // Close FUNCTION                                                                                                    >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO ^</SCRIPT^>                                                                                                                >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO ^</head^>                                                                                                                  >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO.                                                                                                                           >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO ^<body onload="makeRequest(url);setTimeout('window.close()',4000)"^> ^</body^>                                             >> %temp%\temp.htm
ECHO ^</html^>                                                                                                                  >> %temp%\temp.htm

::  The function setTimeout gives TEMP.HTM enough time to access the Internet
::  before the scripts in it run (which need the data drawn from the Internet)

::  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  ::

::  *** Run temp.htm ***
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" %temp%\temp.htm

::  *** Open file : VPID ***
START ""  "C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\Notepad.exe" "%temp_dir%\\%PID%_vpid_2.txt"






32
Help / Re: get_iPlayer trouble....
« on: July 03, 2017, 03:25:31 PM »
I have started a new thread in the main forum, which might assist you -

  https://forum.beebotron.org/index.php?topic=66093.msg66363


I can't specifically address the point about get_iplayer, but there have been some big changes on the BBC website in the last week, which the get_iplayer developers will not yet have had enough time to solve.



33
Geek Speak / How to listen to iPlayer without signing-in
« on: July 01, 2017, 02:17:12 PM »
As I thought this topic would potentially have quite wide interest, I've started it in the main forum at -

  https://forum.beebotron.org/index.php?topic=66093.0


34
As of July 1st, any attempt to listen to the BBC Radio iPlayer is met with a refusal, unless you are signed-in to a BBC account.

To listen without signing in, there are various options.



If you are running any version of the Windows operating system, edit the HOSTS file.

Add the following line (blocks the script which forces you to sign-in):

  127.0.0.1   ssl.bbc.co.uk

  Note: How to edit a HOSTS file - Edit HOSTS file




Listen to the live stream, using Winamp (or any media player of your choice), with one of these URLs -

  http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/bbcmedia_radio4extra_mf_p

  http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/bbcmedia_radio4extra_mf_q

  http://www.radiofeeds.co.uk/bbcradio4extra.pls




Listen to the live stream, using VLC Media Player, with one of these URLs -

128 kbps stream:
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/high/llnw/bbc_radio_four_extra.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/sbr_med/llnw/bbc_radio_four_extra.m3u8

320 kbps stream:
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/sbr_high/llnw/bbc_radio_four_extra.m3u8
http://as-hls-uk-live.akamaized.net/pool_6/live/bbc_radio_four_extra/bbc_radio_four_extra.isml/bbc_radio_four_extra-audio%3d320000.m3u8

VLC media player is here:  http://www.videolan.org/vlc/




Download one of the live streams, using the program FFMPEG.EXE, with one of these commands (at a command prompt, or in a batch file) -

Code: [Select]
  ffmpeg -v 16 -stats -i "http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/bbcmedia_radio4extra_mf_p" Out.mp2
Code: [Select]
  ffmpeg -v 16 -stats -i "http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/bbcmedia_radio4extra_mf_q" Out.mp2



Listen to an on-demand Listen Again programme (but not the live stream), using Internet Explorer 8.

Because IE8 uses an old version of javascript, it does not recognise the newer forms of javascript used in iPlayer. It in effect ignores them, and so the audio stream plays normally.

Just turning off javascript won't work. The iPlayer refuses to stream any audio if the browser has no javascript support at all.


To listen in this way in Internet Explorer, you must use a url in this format:

  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mbztt

(because the trick won't work if you use a url in the older format: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/b01mbztt).




Here's how to download an on-demand programme from the Listen Again service, to listen to it off-line -


FFMPEG command line from Greasemonkey script

These instructions are for use in Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10. There are links below to obtain the software mentioned.


A.  To obtain the command line -

1. Open the Firefox browser (must have the Greasemonkey extension installed, and the iPlayer greasemonkey script installed).

2. Open the iPlayer page which plays the radio show, using Firefox. After a few moments, an FFMPEG command line will be displayed immediately below the area where the radio show plays.


B.  To run the command line -

3. Create a batch file (a plain-text file with the extension .bat or .cmd).
4. FFMPEG.exe must be copied into the same directory/folder as the batch file.
5. Copy-and-paste the command line into the batch file.
6. Modify the file extension specified on the command line: change it from .mp3 to whatever you want (see below).
7. Run the batch file.


Software required -

FFMPEG.exe (Static build recommended)
https://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/

Firefox 39
https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/39.0/win32/en-US/Firefox%20Setup%2039.0.exe

Greasemonkey extension for Firefox 39
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/

Greasemonkey script 'BBC iPlayer video download', for Firefox 39
https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/8161-bbc-iplayer-video-download/

Addendum :  You might need to replace the .js file installed by the current version of the installer with an older version of that file (version 3.6.3) to get the script to work in Windows. Here's a link to v3.6.3:

BBC iPlayer video download v 3.6.3 -
https://www.mediafire.com/?awx3o4v2l49yceg

In Windows 7, the .js file is in this folder -
C:\Users\%Username%\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<ProfileName>\gm_scripts\BBC_iPlayer_video_download


Notes -

The above procedure can download a file in various formats, including (for radio): .mp3, .mp2, .m4a, .ts

For instance, .MP2 files have a 384 kbps stream, of better audio quality than the MP3 stream.

  •    M4A   : Variable KBPS rate, up to 200 kbps; 48 kHz; Stereo; MPEG-4 AAC LC
  •    MP3   : Fixed  128 kbps rate; 48 kHz; Stereo; MPEG-1 layer 3
  •    MP2   : Fixed  384 kbps rate; 48 kHz; Stereo; MPEG-1 layer 2
  •    TS     : Fixed  384 kbps rate; 48 kHz; Stereo; 16 bit per sample
  •    WAV  : Fixed 1536 kbps rate; 48 kHz; Stereo; Signed 16 bit PCM

  •    M4A is downloaded if the command line specifies an output file with the extension .M4A
  •    MP3 is downloaded if the command line specifies an output file with the extension .MP3
  •    MP2 is downloaded if the command line specifies an output file with the extension .MP2
  •    TS is downloaded if the command line specifies an output file with the extension .TS
  •    FLAC is downloaded if the command line specifies an output file with the extension .FLAC
  •    WAV is downloaded if the command line specifies an output file with the extension .WAV

By default, the Greasemonkey script adds .mp3 to the command line; but you can replace that with any of the above alternatives (or some other). I recommend replacing it with .mp2 because of the superior bitrate.


I developed this solution on my laptop, which happens to be running the Firefox 39 browser. The solution will probably work in other versions of Firefox; but if it doesn't (some add-ons only work on particular Firefox versions), be aware that you can always force it to work - by installing Firefox version 39.

If you are running Internet Explorer, don't uninstall IE. On Windows 7, there are no problems arising if you also install Firefox. The most that might happen is all urls start opening in Firefox (which is easy to fix): both browsers co-exist happily on my laptop, and have done for years.


Read this article (by Andrea Lazzarotto) for further information -
https://andrealazzarotto.com/2015/02/20/how-to-download-bbc-iplayer-videos/

I only understand Windows! But Andrea develops this software in the Linux operating system. So Andrea's webpage has information for anyone wishing to download from iPlayer using a computer running on Linux.




Andrea's solution is the easiest way to get the necessary url. But if it doesn't work for you (even when you replace the latest version with version 3.6.3), you can get the necessary url from the following site:

  http://www.iplayerconverter.co.uk/convert.aspx

To get the vpid which that site needs (an 8-digit text string):

  1. Open the iPlayer page for the radio show, in Firefox.
  2. Without playing that show, right-click on that page, and select 'View Page Source'.
  3. Search (on the toolbar: Edit > Find) the resulting text for the phrase: "vpid"

The vpid is also available, but only for the most recent broadcasts, from the station's xml page (where it is described as the "version_pid") -

  http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/availability/radio4extra.xml




Alternatively, once you have the vpid you could simply modify the following url (a HLS stream) (by substituting the 8-digit vpid for the 8 zero's), without needing to use the iPlayerConverter.co.uk site -

http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/vpid/00000000/mediaset/audio-syndication/proto/http

That url, once it includes the 8-digit vpid, will work successfully as the url to use with ffmpeg.




Alternatively, you can get a working url from the following Beebotron page (a HLS stream):

  https://beebotron.org/listings/radio4extra/hls/

  Warning -  The Beebotron DASH links do not work with this method
                  (FFMPEG can't download the audio stream from a DASH url in this format).

Note that a HLS stream is an mpeg stream. The .bat file should only be used to download a stream in the .mp3 or .mp2 or .mpeg or .ts format. It might throw a wobbly if you use it to download in .mp4 or .m4a or .aac format.




Here is a 2-line batch file (name it, say, download.bat) which can be used with ffmpeg to download from iPlayer, using the url obtained by any of the above methods (put ffmpeg.exe in the same folder as the .bat file) -


  SET url=

  ffmpeg  -v 16  -stats  -i  %url%  output.mp2



Copy-and-paste the url address into the batch file, so that the SET command looks like this example -

SET url=http://aod-hls-uk-live.akamaized.net/usp/auth/vod/piff_abr_full_audio/dc7feb-b006bm2h/vf_b006bm2h_8c83614a-8af7-4054-a60c-13241d62d475.ism/mobile_wifi_main_sd_abr_v2_uk_hls_master.m3u8?__gda__=1499036530_28808d5a86fb76d13d26039fc83f8cc5

This .bat file should cope with any stream which is a HLS stream (but won't work with any type of DASH stream). HLS streams often have the term 'hls' included somewhere in the url (but not always).

Note that a HLS stream is an mpeg stream. This .bat file should only be used to download a stream in the .mp3 or .mp2 or .mpeg or .ts format. It might throw a wobbly if you use it to download in .mp4 or .m4a or .aac format.




This is the URL address of the xml page for a radio programme available on the 'Listen Again' service (replace the 8 zero's with the 8-digit vpid):

http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/select/version/2.0/mediaset/mobile-phone-main/transferformat/hls/vpid/00000000


The xml page displays 6 links (all .m3u8 playlist links) (and all of them HLS links), ALL six of which will download the target "Listen Again" radio show (using ffmpeg.exe and the file download.bat, above).

Note: In each url, replace all occurances of the character & with ^& to make the url work in a .bat file.

ALL six give a 384 kbps stream when an .mp2 stream is requested, even though the page says they are only 128 kbps or 320 kbps links. ALL give an .mp2 stream when that stream is requested, even though the page says they are only mp4/aac links. Presumably both effects are a consequence of these being *playlist* links (i.e. behind the scenes - hidden from us - they give branching access to a wide range of differing streams, branches which ffmpeg can follow without additional input from you!).

(That level of sophistication is something you only get with ffmpeg.exe - a well established leader in its field, with ten years plus of substantial development effort behind it. Don't expect to duplicate these results with any other program.)


The six links differ only in that 4 of them give a faultless download, while 2 show errors (and of those 2, each throws different errors) -

  Faultless:  (http)    akamai_hls_open
                 (https)   akamai_hls_open_https
                 (https)   af_akamai_uk_hls_https
                 (https)   af_limelight_uk_hls_https
 
  Errors:    (http)     af_akamai_uk_hls
                (http)     af_limelight_uk_hls


So the secure connections (_https), and the open connections (_open), fare best. The faults occur on UK connections (_uk) that are NOT secure (don't use https, i.e. no _https), which is perhaps a consequence/indication of heavier traffic on those links.

Easily the worst performance is Limelight's UK connection over http (af_limelight_uk_hls) - which lost so much data, on some occasions, that the radio show was actually incomplete.

In my tests, the very best performance (perfect download) was given ONLY by the two _open links:  akamai_hls_open and akamai_hls_open_https.

I expect the two _open links to work internationally, i.e. for listeners outside the UK. (All six links work for listeners within the UK, or who connect to iPlayer through a proxy node that's within the UK.)






This is the URL address of an alternative xml page (replace the 8 zero's with the 8-digit vpid):

http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/select/version/2.0/mediaset/apple-ipad-hls/vpid/00000000

This xml page displays 3 links (all .m3u8 playlist links) (and all of them HLS links), ALL three of which will download the target "Listen Again" radio show (using ffmpeg.exe and the file download.bat, above).

Note: In each url, replace all occurances of the character & with ^& to make the url work in a .bat file.






35
Geek Speak / Download 384 kbps LIVE stream
« on: June 30, 2017, 03:41:58 PM »
It is trivial to download the LIVE stream for Radio 4 Extra, because the url never changes (and the Beeb make no attempt to obfuscate that url).

To download the 384 kbps live stream, run a .bat file (a plain text file with the extension .bat instead of .txt) containing these two lines -

Code: [Select]
  set ffmpeg=C:\Program Files\FFMPEG\ffmpeg.exe

  "%ffmpeg%" -v 16 -stats -i "http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/bbcmedia_radio4extra_mf_p" R4Extra.mp2


To get the ffmpeg.exe program, see this link: http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/

The program does not need installing. Just put the .exe file in the directory you specified in the .bat file.

If you prefer a lower bitrate, a 128 kbps stream is available instead: in the .bat file change .mp2 to .m4a so that ffmpeg gets the m4a stream instead (it's actually a variable bitrate, centered on 135 kbps).

If you prefer the mp3 stream, change .mp2 to .mp3 so that ffmpeg gets the mp3 stream instead (which is a fixed bitrate of 128 kbps).


These are the two live stream urls for Radio 4 Extra (either of which can be used in the .bat file):

  http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/bbcmedia_radio4extra_mf_p

  http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/bbcmedia_radio4extra_mf_q



36
The ultimate guide to Callan is at https://h2g2.com/entry/A4487457

According to my spies at The Callan File, it was in 2012 that Radio 4Extra originally transmitted their adaptation of the first Callan novel, A Magnum for Schneider (retitled Red File for Callan) (Monday 17th September 2012).

An audiobook, not a dramatisation, it is actually Mitchell's 1969 novelisation of his own screenplay for the Callan pilot, which had aired on ABC's Armchair Theatre in 1967.

37
I have become increasingly annoyed by the number of times this month I've opened a listen-again page on BBC iPlayer, only to find that the programme has either its start or end missing.

As you know, programmes are added by an automatic system, based on the scheduled broadcast time. If the broadcast actually starts early on Radio 4 Extra, the start will be missing on iplayer; or if it ends late, the end will be missing on iplayer.

I'd like to urge everyone to complain whenever this happens. Only complaints will get this problem remedied.

I'd suggest you base any complaint on a request for a return to the former system, of putting up on iPlayer a 36 minute extract - including the end of the previous show, and the start of the next. Under that arrangement, the iplayer NEVER used to miss off part of the show.

I recently found a new BBC page for reporting technical errors with iplayer -

  https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/faqs/forms/?eid=comment_appreciation&mid=contact

38
As an update, I'm posting here what seems to be a new page on which feedback about iPlayer problems/faults can be posted :

https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/faqs/forms/?eid=comment_appreciation&mid=contact

39
Paul Temple and the Margo Mystery with Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury will begin its latest repeat on Monday 24th April next, at the usual times.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007t1kg

40
Radio Programmes - Info \'n\' Reviews / The Frankie Howerd Show
« on: April 11, 2017, 06:03:06 PM »
Sorry, I didn't stop to think. I should have explained up front that these episodes are from my own collection. It's not some third party who made them!

With a friend, I did some restoration work on various 1970s radio series. He contributed some recordings, and I contributed some. One result was a slightly less incomplete set of Frankie Howerd shows. My friend offered some web space to make them available on line.

For those who are interested, one discovery I made related to Hello Cheeky (Barry Cryer, John Junkin, Tim Brooke-Taylor), aired 1973-79. I came across a complete collection of off-air recordings - every edition that was broadcast - in high quality:

  ftp://seagoon.ixp.jp/archive/hello_cheeky/

These, too, are safe to download. I've been through them all. They actually are real mp3 files.

The collection is one I recognise. It originated in the archives of a fan club, the Goon Show Preservation Society.

You'll probably know the BBC mostly only repeat editions of the 1973 series. The show is one they regard as politically incorrect, so I doubt we'll ever hear the 1974-76 editions on 4 Extra. Too many jokes about Irishmen, West Indians, and so on.

Pretty tame stuff, actually. Barry Cryer puts on a West Indian accent, and phones up Tim or John, pretending to be a Welshman (or pretending to be Nicholas Parsons!), to complain about the previous item.

See also:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hello_Cheeky

41
Geek Speak / Re: Download High Bitrate TS files
« on: April 07, 2017, 01:30:20 PM »
Here are some updates, relating to my previous posts in this thread.


When using Firefox 39 with the GreaseMonkey add-on (to download on-demand files from the 'Listen Again' service), I've discovered from experience that the optimum file extension to use, in the FFmpeg command line, is .mp2 (instead of .ts or .mp3), as it has several advantages:

1. Using the .mp2 extension downloads a 384 kbps stream, whereas the .mp3 extension only downloads a 128 kbps stream.

2. Using the .ts extension downloads exactly the same 384 kbps stream as using the .mp2 extension, but the file size is very much bigger (because of drawbacks with the .ts format).

3. An .mp2 file has various advantages compared to a .ts file: you can play it in Winamp; you can add ID3 tags to the file; and the file size is 10% smaller.

For those who do wish to use the .ts format, it is possible to play it in Winamp. Open Winamp's preferences (press CTRL and P simultaneously) and go to: Plug-ins > Input.  Click on in_dshow.dll (the DirectShow decoder), then click 'Configure', and then add ;TS to the end of the Extension list.


Andrea, the Italian bloke who writes the .js (javascript) script for Firefox, named "BBC iPlayer video download", develops it on a Linux machine, so doesn't offer any support for using it on a Windows system.

The latest version of his script doesn't work in Windows 7. You will need to use an older version. So here is a link to an older version (version 3.6.3) that does work in Windows:

https://www.mediafire.com/?awx3o4v2l49yceg




AMENDED on 11 July 2017:
Corrected the bitrates for the .mp2 and .ts streams, to show those currently provided by the BBC's radio iPlayer. For live streams (the DASH streams), the bitrate remains 320 kbps; but for on-demand streams (the HLS streams), the bitrate of the audio is 384 kbps.





42
Radio Programmes - Info \'n\' Reviews / Re: The Frankie Howerd Show
« on: April 03, 2017, 09:20:59 PM »
Took a quick look at the Mediafire link you mention. It says:

Quote
The website is safe, but the downloads are possibly unsafe. These files are posted by users, so some may have viruses. I'm not saying all have viruses, but some do.

Naturally enough, I've not included any viruses. :)

Actually, I think that only .exe files (i.e. executable files) carry viruses. I have heard of Microsoft Word .doc documents containing macro viruses. But I don't know that .mp3 files, or other media files, can even carry a virus. I think only programs, not data files, can have them.

43
Radio Programmes - Info \'n\' Reviews / Ooh, well, missus...
« on: March 29, 2017, 02:55:50 PM »
As there's genuine interest in Frankie's radio career, I can happily confirm that at least the following recordings survive, from the 1966 series and from the 1973-75 series.

Frankie Howerd Show - 1966-08-07 - The Post Office Queue [2009-09-26]
http://www.mediafire.com/file/ufa4ggzqm518jcz/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1966-08-07_-_The_Post_Office_Queue_%5B2009-09-26%5D_%5B-e%5D.m4a

Frankie Howerd Show - 1966-08-07 - The Post Office Queue [2015-10-04]
http://www.mediafire.com/file/4cgl5ntwy8i5maa/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1966-08-07_-_The_Post_Office_Queue_%5B2015-10-04%5D_%5Bb0021gnl%5D_BAD_START.flv

Frankie Howerd Show - 1973-06-10 s01e01 - Illustrious Memoirs Chapter 1
http://www.mediafire.com/file/tsf8xzbag5iza8v/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1973-06-10_s01e01_-_Illustrious_Memoirs_Chapter_1_%5B-b%5D_%5B-e%5D.m4a

Frankie Howerd Show - 1973-06-10 s01e01 - Illustrious Memoirs Chapter 1
http://www.mediafire.com/file/9fq3squ7tb2we0s/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1973-06-10_s01e01_-_Illustrious_Memoirs_Chapter_1.mp3

Frankie Howerd Show - 1973-06-17 s01e02 - At the Races
http://www.mediafire.com/file/khgdu4f4jki587k/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1973-06-17_s01e02_-_At_the_Races_%5BBlacklegs%5D_%5B-b%5D_%5B-e%5D.m4a

Frankie Howerd Show - 1973-06-17 s01e02 - At the Races [EDITED] [2015-10-11]
http://www.mediafire.com/file/g35jswsfa2fesj9/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1973-06-17_s01e02_-_At_the_Races_%5BBlacklegs%5D_%5BEDITED%5D_2015-10-11_%5B27%2730%27%27%5D.flv

Frankie Howerd Show - 1973-07-01 s01e04 - Trip to Russia
http://www.mediafire.com/file/gx3d0uvzqlrsxzs/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1973-07-01_s01e04_-_Trip_to_Russia_%5B-b%5D_%5B-e%5D.m4a

Frankie Howerd Show - 1973-07-01 s01e04 - Trip to Russia
http://www.mediafire.com/file/oldaz4dwxfxaif7/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1973-07-01_s01e04_-_Trip_to_Russia.mp3

Frankie Howerd Show - 1974-10-27 s02e01 - In the Police
http://www.mediafire.com/file/to4fqh62jhuvm4h/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1974-10-27_s02e01_-_In_the_Police_%5B-b%5D_%5B-e%5D.m4a

Frankie Howerd Show - 1974-10-27 s02e01 - In the Police
http://www.mediafire.com/file/8cu2zr9uulipvzj/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1974-10-27_s02e01_-_In_the_Police.mp3

Frankie Howerd Show - 1974-11-03 s02e02 - The Queen's Visit [2015-10-18]
http://www.mediafire.com/file/fh5ce2n49z8409s/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1974-11-03_s02e02_-_The_Queen%27s_Visit_%5Bb00n3pqb%5D_2015-10-18_%5B27%2717%27%27%5D.flv

Frankie Howerd Show - 1974-11-17 s02e04 - Flight to Morocco
http://www.mediafire.com/file/2arl3lgka0r7u6a/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1974-11-17_s02e04_-_Flight_to_Morocco_%5B-e%5D.m4a

Frankie Howerd Show - 1974-11-17 s02e04 - Flight to Morocco
http://www.mediafire.com/file/7jg84bb3b7c5hzm/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1974-11-17_s02e04_-_Flight_to_Morocco.mp3

Frankie Howerd Show - 1974-12-08 s02e07 - In Court
http://www.mediafire.com/file/5abqykd55hrzswv/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1974-12-08_s02e07_-_In_Court_%5B-b%5D_%5B-e%5D.m4a

Frankie Howerd Show - 1974-12-08 s02e07 - In Court
http://www.mediafire.com/file/d43c8dzg6485c3f/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1974-12-08_s02e07_-_In_Court.mp3

Frankie Howerd Show - 1975-11-02 s03e06 - Cyril the Squirrel [2015-10-25]
http://www.mediafire.com/file/lxwv9c9t9h555ng/Frankie_Howerd_Show_-_1975-11-02_s03e06_-_Cyril_the_Squirrel__%5Bb0025w23%5D_2015-10-25_%5B28%2705%27%27%5D.flv

Howerd's Ways - The Radio Times of Frankie Howerd [2015-05-02]
http://www.mediafire.com/file/u0c3gqjsmdcc87a/Howerd%27s_Ways_-_The_Radio_Times_of_Frankie_Howerd_%5Bb01gvvy2%5D_2015-05-02.flv


44
Radio Programmes - Info \'n\' Reviews / The Frankie Howerd Show
« on: March 28, 2017, 10:09:34 PM »
Frankie Howerd: BBC Radio Collection

Radio 7 used to air, more or less at random, various episodes of The Frankie Howerd Show (Radio 2, 1973-75), that had been released on cassette in the 1990s as two double-cassette box sets, i.e. 8 episodes in all.

A little research in the BBC Genome revealled that these are the episodes as they appeared in the two box sets (oddly, the BBC sleeve notes were in error: according to the BBC Genome the following are actually the episodes included) -

Frankie Howerd Show - Side 1 - 1966-08-07 - [The Post Office Queue]
Frankie Howerd Show - Side 2 - 1973-06-17 - Illustrious Memoirs [At the Races]
Frankie Howerd Show - Side 3 - 1974-11-17 - Illustrious Memoirs [Flight to Morocco]
Frankie Howerd Show - Side 4 - 1975-11-02 - [Cyril the Squirrel]

Frankie Howerd Show 2 - Side 1 - 1973-06-10 - Illustrious Memoirs [Chapter 1]
Frankie Howerd Show 2 - Side 2 - 1973-07-01 - Illustrious Memoirs [Trip to Russia]
Frankie Howerd Show 2 - Side 3 - 1974-10-27 - Illustrious Memoirs [In the Police]
Frankie Howerd Show 2 - Side 4 - 1974-12-08 - Illustrious Memoirs [In Court]

Some of these episodes can currently be listened again to (.flv or .mp3) at -
https://www.mediafire.com/?c16rt8ron12jj

45
I was disappointed that Barry Cryer's Christmas Selection Box - once again! - was not aired at Christmas on Radio 4 Extra. It originally aired on BBC Radio 7 in 2009.

Anyone interested in hearing Barry Cryer's Christmas Selection Box, Part 1 can listen to it here -
https://www.mediafire.com/?9le47f4nbd83x87

Anyone interested in hearing Barry Cryer's Christmas Selection Box, Part 2 can listen to it here -
https://www.mediafire.com/?hgp54zb3jnk7d54


Part 2 includes the 1976 Christmas Special from Hello Cheeky, a pantomime written by Barry Cryer and John Junkin called Cheeky Whittington and His Magic Ballpoint (1976-12-25).

Part 2: Six more festive favourites from the jovial host -

  After Henry
  Christmas Eve with The Shuttleworths
  People Like Us
  Dead Ringers
  Hello Cheeky (Cheeky Whittington and His Magic Ballpoint)
  Hancock's Half Hour


More Christmas favourites from Radio 7 are here (as .flv rather than .mp3):

  https://www.mediafire.com/?t53v5ywqnff7b

Includes -

And Yet Another Partridge in a Pear Tree - Sat 1440 2011-12-24
Barry Cryer's Christmas Selection Box - Part 1 - Sat 0900 2011-12-17
Barry Cryer's Christmas Selection Box - Part 2 - Sat 0900 2011-12-24
David Jason's Comedy Christmas - Radio 2 - Sun 1800 2011-12-25
Hamish and Dougal - Hogmanay Special - Sat 1430 2011-12-31
Hancock's Half Hour - 1956-12-30 - The Diary - Wed 0800 2011-12-28
Hancock's Half Hour - 1958-12-25 - Bill and Father Christmas - Wed 1900 2011-12-21
ISIRTA - 1970-12-31 - Christmas Pantomime - Sat 1400 2011-12-31
Just A Minute - s05e16 1970-12-22 - Stuffing Your Christmas Bird 2011-12-26
Old Harry's Game - 2010-12-23 - Christmas Spirit - Fri 2230 2011-12-23
Old Harry's Game - 2010-12-30 - Ring in the New - Fri 2230 2011-12-30
Steptoe and Son - 1976-12-25 - Away for Christmas - Sat 1400 2011-12-24
Take It From Here - 1954-12-23 - Sun 0800 2011-12-25
The Scarifyers - Special - Mr Crowley's Christmas - Sun 1830 2011-12-25
The Scarifyers - Special - The Curse of the Cult of Thoth - Mon 0050 2011-12-26
The Scarifyers - Special - The Yule Lads - Sun 1835 2011-12-25


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