Also, just to add: the BBC hosts content across three content delivery networks 
(CDNs).  One in-house (Bidi) and two third party (Akamai and Limelight).  This 
creates redundancy and a geographical spread.  Even though Bidi is the BBC's 
own offering, and used exclusively for UK-based users, they wouldn't want to 
rely on it alone.  So the other two, Akamai and Limelight, also host content 
for UK viewers.

The ability to exclude (or only include) certain suppliers within GiP downloads 
was, I believe, introduced to permit the fastest possible downloads.  If users 
find that they're downloads from, say, Limelight are far slower than those from 
akamai or Bidi, they can block them.  By default, GiP will do something to 
determine one to use from all three, although I'm not sure what.  It could be 
random, it could be based on the order returned by the BBC's media selector 
service, or there may be a specific priority list.

All that being said, there appears to be something blocking GiP from accessing 
Bidi.  Maybe it needs authentication now, maybe it's just broken.  Who knows.  
Either way, blocking Bidi requests should never lessen the effectiveness of 
GiP, because it has two other suppliers to choose from.  Bidi is a relatively 
new effort from the BBC, and before it came along, GiP only had access to two 
and there was never a problem.

Note: this is all supposition; I don't work and have never worked for the BBC, 
nor have I ever actively contributed to GiP's code.


James Scholes

On 26/04/2021 at 3:58 pm, George Muter wrote:
> I've just tried this out on a couple of Fawlty Towers episodes currently
> available. The first with the exclude-supplier bidi command and the second
> without it. What surprised me was that the first, which did exclude the 403
> errors, downloaded at 170mb/s whilst the second without the bidi command
> downloaded at 25 mb/s for the same quality video. I'm just a simple user but
> am I right in assuming that bidi refers to bi-directional? In which case is
> something being lost in the download - reliability??
> Regards
> George Muter
> -----Original Message-----
> From: get_iplayer <> On Behalf Of
> James Scholes
> Sent: 26 April 2021 20:12
> To: get_iplayer-request <>
> Subject: Re: Failing to download msg
> The message explicitly says to ignore it if the program is downloaded
> successfully.  If for some reason you are closely monitoring the output of
> GiP and it's getting in the way, you can exclude the CDN that is generating
> the errors:
> get_iplayer --exclude-supplier bidi ...
> ... which doesn't prompt the error in my very basic testing.  You can also
> add that to your preferences or presets, although the syntax for doing that
> easily escapes me at the moment.
> Regards,
> James Scholes
> On 26/04/2021 at 1:15 pm, Chris Brady wrote:
>> Yes - I get these all of the time. CJB
>> On 26/04/2021, fred.d <> wrote:
>>> I've noticed an increase over the past few months in getting the 
>>> failed to download messages see sample after this message, which is 
>>> the last error then success.
>>> Initially before Christmas it was every so often. Jan and Feb it 
>>> moved to repeat once or twice on most of the downloads with a few not 
>>> an issue but all download OK. In the last couple of months it's been 
>>> every file fail message twice then downloads OK. Today I had a couple 
>>> with 5 fails then downloads OK.
>>> I appreciate that the program says ignore the message if it downloads 
>>> and my downloads are successful...
>>> However I was wondering if anyone else is getting the same level of 
>>> response as I am and if so, does anyone actually know why the 
>>> frequency might be increasing.
>>> Asking partly because I just like to know these sorts of things but 
>>> also partly because if it's something to do with my setup I'd like to 
>>> get it back to "normal".
>>> I haven't changed the config options for about 2 years so I'm 
>>> presuming it's more likely changes at the remote end. I could 
>>> speculate but I'm wondering if anyone knows.
>>> Ta.
>>> ------
>>> ERROR: Failed to download URL (3/3):
>>> ff_abr_full_sd/dcfde3-p07kvctj/vf_p07kvctj_a
>>> 8cac489-bdda-483f-ae0d-27d3d7ddf42b.ism/pc_hd_abr_v2_hls_master.m3u8?
>>> at=Ww262mGZ7a1dc6a235e548cffcab8cc34065bf98ee8f60005c0e34bc71240
>>> ERROR: Response: 403 Forbidden
>>> ERROR: Access to this resource was blocked by the BBC
>>> ERROR: Ignore this error if programme download is successful
>>> INFO: Downloading tv: 'Silent Witness: Series 5 - 06. Faith, Part 2
>>> (p032kkx2) [original]'
>>> INFO: Downloaded: 658.19 MB (00:49:54) @ 21.49 Mb/s (hvfxsd1/bi) 
>>> [audio+video]
>>> _______________________________________________
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