"It’s all in the database" →

The Magical Floating iPlayer

Here’s a (Leopard) multi-tasking tip to view any iPlayer stream on your desktop while you are ‘working’ on that important document or presentation:


Using Safari’s Webclip feature to view the iPlayer content as a Dashboard Widget. First you need to enable Dashboard’s ‘devmode’ - this allows you to float a Widget on your desktop outside of Dashboard. You only need to do this once, devmode will be enabled permanently.

  • Open Terminal and copy/paste these 2 lines:
  • defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES
    killall Dock

Get your iPlayer programme:

  1. In Safari goto the iPlayer page with the programme you want to watch.
  2. Click File > Open in Dashboard… - a purple toolbar will appear.
  3. Click the iPlayer’s ‘Play’ button to ‘clip’ the iPlayer.
  4. Click the ‘Add’ button - Dashboard will open and load the iPlayer Webclip.
  5. Begin dragging the iPlayer Webclip - click and drag the top edge.
  6. While dragging the Webclip, press F12 - this exits Dashboard.
  7. Release the mouse button - iPlayer will now float on your Desktop.

Now you can get on with your work while ‘unmissing’ your favourite programme.

  • iPlayer Webclip will float above all your windows.
  • You can run multiple iPlayer Webclips.
  • Close the iPlayer Webclip by holding the option key and clicking the ‘x’.
  • To change the look of the outer frame, click the ‘i’ in the bottom right corner.

If you are using Tiger the Dash Clipping widget should let you do the same.

April 20th, 2008