I am very cross with the BBC for disabling the indispensable (to me) iplayer-dl which allowed you to rip radio programmes on Iplayer to MP3 format. I used this a lot, most notably for re-runs of programmes on 6 music. There seems to be no viable alternative (update: Radio Downloader still works). For example today I really wanted to listen to Adam and Joe’s Christmas programme. It wasn’t possible to download via iplayer-dl. I downloaded it on my iPhone and tried to play in the car but it wouldn’t cache the file. I tried to stream it over 3G whilst travelling but this is not permitted by iPlayer. I tried to download the podcast but you cannot download anything over 20Mb on 3G.
Giving up on the whole programme, I decided to get the podcast instead. Stopping at a service station I logged into “The Cloud” Wifi, free for O2 customers. This wouldn’t let me download MP3s from “The Cloud”. Switching to free Wifi offered by the services let me stream MP3s but there’s no option to download podcasts for offline listening. I did have a good wee at the services though.
The best I can do now is download the podcast via my PC and sync it to my iPod. Or find a torrent of the Adam and Joe MP3 and do the same. While I’m on the subject, why do iPlayer only keep programmes for 2 weeks? This seems unnecessarily restrictive.
I do fear that the future is less open, trapped by a three-way lock-in of media providers like the BBC, desperate control freaks like Apple and the increasingly squeezed Internet providers. Considering we pay for the BBC’s output through the license fee, this does all seem unnecessary. And just let the bloody iPhone have a file system so we can offline stuff with ease.