rusl.net
youtube-dl iview workaround
2020-07-12

youtube-dl seems to be having compatibility issues with ABC iview today. Here’s what it looks like when you use the standard iview URL for a movie:

terminal-fail.jpg
youtube-dl can’t find the stream source.

I’ve found a workaround by searching through the source code of the iview page for a specific URL that we will pass directly to youtube-dl. Here are the instructions for using Safari web browser, but you can use any browser that displays html source code.

Firstly we need to enable access to the Develop menu in Safari by going to Safari menu > Preferences, then click on the Advanced tab and tick the box at the bottom of the window called “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.

safari-advanced.jpg
This enables the Develop menu, from which we can view the source code of a page.

Navigate to the iview page for the movie you’d like to watch. The URL format will look something like “https://iview.abc.net.au/show/two-hands”. View the source code for the web page with Develop menu > Show Page Source. Now search the source code for the string “d_canonicalUrl”. After “d_canonicalUrl” you’ll see the URL for the video. Ignore the backslash at the end. In this case it’s “https://iview.abc.net.au/video/ZW2359A001S00”.

source-code.jpg
The URL to the right of “d_canonicalUrl”.

Now proceed to use youtube-dl to great success:

youtube-dl "https://iview.abc.net.au/video/ZW2359A001S00"

See my previous post for general instructions on the use of youtube-dl.