notnac edited this page Aug 17, 2018 · 48 revisions

Windows installation

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Before you begin

  • Windows 7 is the minimum version supported by the get_iplayer developer - Windows XP and Vista are not supported. get_iplayer may install and run on Windows XP or Vista without problem, but you must test it yourself.
  • Windows 7 is the minimum version required by the bundled version of ffmpeg. ffmpeg is required to convert downloaded files to MP4 and to add metadata tags. You must install a compatible version of ffmpeg (typically in C:\Program Files\get_iplayer\utils or C:\Program Files (x86)\get_iplayer\utils) in order to use get_iplayer on Windows XP or Vista.


Windows users should install get_iplayer with the provided installer. Download the latest version from:

The installer includes all necessary dependencies: AtomicParsley, ffmpeg and a customised version of Strawberry Perl. This is the only supported configuration of get_iplayer on Windows. If you use any other version of these tools, your installation of get_iplayer is not supported.

Before installation, close all running instances of get_iplayer, including any Web PVR Manager server window that is open.

Double-click the installer to launch it and follow the wizard steps. The installer is not signed, so you will first be presented with the Windows UAC prompt to allow it to make changes to your system. An "All Users" installation will be performed, with get_iplayer installed into C:\Program Files\get_iplayer (C:\Program Files (x86)\get_iplayer on 64-bit Windows) and Start Menu shortcuts created for all users.

Command-line interface (CLI)

  1. To start the CLI go to get_iplayer -> get_iplayer on the Start Menu. In the Windows 8 Start screen, click the get_iplayer tile. The CLI will launch in a console window. The working directory of the console window will be your home directory (%HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%). You may also open a normal command prompt (cmd.exe) and run get_iplayer commands there.

    NOTE: Do not launch get_iplayer.cmd (in the installation directory) directly from Windows Explorer. The batch file will quit immediately after updating the programme cache. You must run get_iplayer from the Start Menu or in a command prompt window for it to work properly.

  2. Upon launch, get_iplayer will update its programme index cache if necessary. If yours is a new installation, the update will take longer than usual since get_iplayer will be building a full 30-day cache. When updating has completed, you will see a cursor waiting at a command prompt. The prompt will look something like C:\Users\jbloggs>. Type your get_iplayer commands at the prompt, then hit Return after each one to run it. See the documentation for examples of get_iplayer commands.

  3. The default location for recorded programmes is the iPlayer Recordings folder on your Windows desktop. If get_iplayer cannot locate your desktop folder, it will download into your working directory. If you wish to use a custom location, set it in your get_iplayer preferences. For example:

     :: single directory for TV and radio
     get_iplayer --prefs-add --output="D:\get_iplayer"
     :: separate directories for TV and radio
     get_iplayer --prefs-add --output-tv "D:\get_iplayer\tv" --output-radio "D:\get_iplayer\radio"        

Web PVR Manager (WPM)

The WPM is installed along with the CLI.

  1. To start the WPM go to get_iplayer -> Web PVR Manager on the Start Menu. In the Windows 8 Start screen, click the Web PVR Manager tile.

  2. The WPM server will launch in a console window and your default browser will be opened to this URL:


    If the WPM does not open in your browser automatically, click the link above or enter the address in your web browser.

  3. After the WPM has opened in your browser, select the programme types you wish to index (e.g., BBC TV, BBC Radio), then click the Refresh Cache button. A new tab or window will open that shows the cache being refreshed. If yours is a new installation, the update will take longer than usual since get_iplayer will be building a full 30-day cache.

  4. Stop the WPM by closing the console window where it is running.

Run PVR Scheduler

The scheduler is installed along with the CLI.

  1. To start the scheduler go to get_iplayer -> Run PVR Scheduler on the Start Menu. In the Windows 8 Start screen, click the Run PVR Scheduler tile. The scheduler will launch in a console window.

  2. Upon launch, the scheduler will run your PVR list and then wait 4 hours before running it again. This will continue until you stop the scheduler.

  3. Stop the scheduler by closing the console window where it is running.


  • The installer will append the installation directory to the value of your system PATH environment variable. You can thus invoke the CLI from any command prompt (e.g., one launched from the taskbar) with any working directory by entering your get_iplayer command at the prompt and hitting Return. The Start Menu shortcut described above is installed for convenience.

  • The path for the embedded Perl distribution (perl subdirectory in installation directory) and the path to the included atomicparsley and ffmpeg utilities (utils subdirectory in installation directory) are not permanently added to %PATH%. They are temporarily prepended to %PATH% only when get_iplayer batch scripts are running. If %PATH% is already quite large (>=2048 chars), e.g., because of other software packages that did not properly update %PATH% on install or uninstall, you may experience problems launching get_iplayer, perl or external programs. You may encounter error messages similar to "get_iplayer.cmd is not recognized as an internal or external command". You may also encounter similar problems if your PATH environment variables contain invalid or corrupted file paths or mismatched quotes. First, try rebooting your machine. If that does not help, you will need to clean obsolete and invalid entries from your PATH environment variable settings. Run echo %PATH% from a command prompt to check the value. This should affect few users.

  • When you launch get_iplayer or the Web PVR Manager, you are actually invoking a batch script (.cmd file) that wraps the Perl script that comprises the application. The batch script is required to set up the runtime environment for the associated Perl script. Any other method of launching get_iplayer or the Web PVR Manager is NOT SUPPORTED.

  • Do not launch get_iplayer or the Web PVR Manager with 'Run as administrator'. It will open the get_iplayer console window in C:\WINDOWS\system32, which is a system directory where you should not be working. It should not be necessary to run the CLI or WPM as an administrator.


Check for updates with get_iplayer -> Update -> Check for Update on the Start Menu, or use the following URL:

Updates can also be tracked with a feed from the GitHub repository:

Upgrade to future releases by downloading the latest installer package and running it as described above. There is no need to uninstall the previous version of get_iplayer before installing a new version. You can simply install over the previous version. However, if you prefer to uninstall and re-install, that should work as well.


To uninstall get_iplayer, go to get_iplayer -> Uninstall on the Start Menu. You can also uninstall get_iplayer from Control Panel.

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