I've recently been looking at a perl script called get_iplayer.pl
To give you some background, the BBC offers the iplayer service online. Normally it would involve downloading and installing a Windows client program, selecting the TV/radio programs you want to watch/listen to and then playing the programs with either the inbuilt media player or (horror of horrors) Windows Media Player.
Now, I don't use Windows so therefore this is a pain. Why should I be excluded simply because I use the operating system of my choice (Ubuntu 8.10)?
An enterprising individual called Phil Lewis has created a perl script which basically does all the groundwork for you. It has been an absolute godsend since it can run as a cron job, and remembers what you downloaded. The perl script mimics the Jesus phone (iPhone) by downloading the H.264 stream and saving it to your hard disk.