Amen to that. Rather than rave ad nauseam about the BBC and the cult of Mac, I’ll keep this down to a short shout-out to my favourite (free!) software discovery of 2011:
Get iPlayer Automator!
For Mac. Obviously. Windows users, I do believe that there is a version for you but its interface is terribly un-user-friendly, prompting the hosts of its download page to note: “Life is, as usual, more complex for Windows users.” So you’ll just have to switch to Mac ;)
I love the fact that what could otherwise be a very dry, utilitarian, download page for the Mac version instead opens astutely and more humanly with a mission statement. Curiously, this reminded me of the famous TED Talk by Simon Sinek, in which he explains how inspirational leadership attracts followers when it is able to communicate articulately WHY it does what it does….not just WHAT it does or HOW it does it:
“The goal of Get iPlayer Automator is to allow iTunes and your Mac to become the hub for your British Television experience regardless of where in the world you are.”
It has done just that for me, living in Canada as I do, the BBC’s world-class content agonizingly out of reach of my download jurisdiction until now. Not only does it allow me access to a plethora of quality TV and film, the software has been somewhat life-changing for me in that I can now enjoy as just many radio programs in my car, courtesy of my iPod touch. Load up and listen, it has simply transformed my driving experience.
The interface of the Mac version of Get iPlayer Automator has a simple elegance, and installation of the software is absolutely straightforward. I’ll leave you with instructions for use. You can download it here. Feel free to leave a donation for the designer via PayPal :)
- Open the software, and allow it a short while for it to perform a cache update. This is when it checks for new source data, scads of daily content from the BBC.
- In the search bar, type in the name of the program you wish to download. The BBC iPlayer website will have all the information you need.
- Select it and hit ‘Add To Queue’
- You can repeat steps 2 and 3 to queue up more programs.
- Hit ‘Start’, the green button in the top left corner. Downloading should begin immediately and work its way through the queue.
- The ‘Preferences’ menu offers a nifty, time-saving feature: ‘Add Completed Downloads to iTunes’. Boom.