Although get_iplayer was dropped by its author around 3 months ago, until recently it had continued to work. But a change on iPlayer a couple of weeks stopped it working. Luckily, several people have taken it upon themselves to continue to maintain the code. One of these seems to have turned into a project to entirely rewrite it (which seems rather unnecessary), but another has successfully fixed the problems caused by the recent changes.
So get_iplayer v2.78 is now available, which is fantastic news. There is also a Windows installer which gets all the necessary supporting applications, although I’ve never tried this (don’t have any Windows machines any more).
I’ve also noticed that the iPlayer Downloader app Christine Caulfield built on top of get_iplayer has also been removed. This is a shame, because it’s very much my favourite way of using get_iplayer. But the good news is that if you substitute the latest version of get_iplayer into the package, it still works.
SmallNews 2.1 is available for download. This has two changes since v2.01:
- Added the option to create an iPad-optimized PDF file
- Fixed a bug which prevented ePub working on MacOSX 10.5 (Leopard)
I’ve been using my iPad to read the news for over a month now and have observed a couple of things.
- Yes, it a very nice device to read news directly from the newspaper web sites, and for a while I did this instead of using SmallNews. However, I found I was reading a lot less of each day’s newspaper, as it lacked the page-turning experience of a real newspaper, and I was constantly getting distracted by other links on the page. So I went back to using SmallNews.
- iBooks is OK, but it’s not a very good newspaper reader. There’s just something about it which doesn’t feel right for reading newspapers. So I have switched to using GoodReader (only 59p/99c), which is a great PDF reader.
- None of the existing PDF sizes created by SmallNews were quite right for the iPad screen – they all worked, but none of them were perfect. So I added another option to generate an iPad landscape-optimized PDF.
So there are now 4 different PDF versions available. This is clearly getting a bit silly, so in the next version I am going to change the way the PDF formats are chosen, allowing you to specify page size, font size, number of columns, etc, with the option to choose from a list of presets.