HOWTO Download sysadmin sitcom from Father Ted creator

Graham Linehan, the stone freaking genius behind Father Ted (literally the funniest TV show I've ever watched — sitcom about disgraced priests living on a remote Irish island) has created a TV show about sysadmins called "The IT Crowd." I was lucky enough to do some small consulting on the show and EFF was even invited to provide stickers to decorate the set with.

I've been drooling to watch the show for months now. Channel 4 UK, the show's network, did this incredibly visionary thing: they put the first two episodes online two weeks before the show aired to drum up buzz for the show. And having done this visionary thing, they completely screwed it up by only making the shows available as streaming Windows Media files, which I can never get to play right on a Mac (Microsoft has stopped updating its Windows Media Player for the Mac, and never shipped one for Linux; VLC and Mplayer aren't very good at playing Windows formats, especially when streamed). Basically, they made this show available on the Internet to drum up a buzz, then took extreme countermeasures to prevent a sizable portion of its intended audience from watching it. I spent about four hours over the past two weeks trying to find a way to watch this video so I could write about it here.

Luckily, the show has been ripped and put online already. I started Torrenting it from links found on The Pirate Bay yesterday (thanks for the tip, Jamie!), and now Digg links to a blog-post with links to dozens of torrents, streams and direct download sites.


(via Digg)

Update: Thanks to everyone who pointed out that Flip4Mac can decode some Windows Media files. Unfortunately, it didn't work for these files for me."