Friday, March 24, 2006

Danger: Addictive temptations from the BBC

I'm becoming a frothing mad lunatic fan of the BBC Radio 4 show In Our Time. I want to buy a T-shirt.

Damnedly, you can't download all the old programs to put them on an iPod. Here's the archive -- full of untouchable goodies for online access only. What am I supposed to on my commute, listen to mere NPR? (I used to like NPR, but now it's fit only to wrap the fish. I've seen the light.)

Maybe it's time for me to get some use out of 'Audio Hijack Pro'. Surely such misuse can't be immoral given the need to elevate my mind.

Let's not even glance at Radio 4's science archives or their history selection. Arggghhh.

Update 3/27/06: I can say that, theoretically speaking, Audio Hijack Pro (AHP), works very well for transferring the archival streams to an iPod. I suggest capturing as 'mono' with a bit rate of 64 kpbs. I use bookmarkable AAC so I can readily return where I left off.

The result is about the same size (20MB) as a podcast. It won't show up in the podcast menu on the iPod (since it's not), but it's easy to create an 'In Our Times' playlist that includes both the shows delivered via podcast and those delivered via AHP. You need the RealAudio client, which is now tolerable.

Read the section in the AHP documentation for tips on configuring capture from RealAudio; you'll do much better than flailing about. Using AHP properly you can set all the tags up in advance, including autonaming the saved file with the title tag using the %name% variable. You can also set the time to 45 minutes and auto-stop on silence. When you're done turn 'record' off and then drag and drop the file onto the "In Our Times" iTunes playlist icon you created.

AHP is slighly flaky. It caused problems on my iBook when the laptop went to sleep with AHP running. Just restart after use.

Theoretically speaking, it's quite easy to build up a a library of a large number of these sessions and catch up on years of IOT one commute at a time. Zoroastrianism is quite good, for example. Actually they all are. I'm awed.


Anonymous said...

Hello, feel the same way about IOT. Used AHP for about a year to capture for my 45 min bike ride into Perth western australia.

John Gordon said...

Wow, that sounds like a great bike ride.

I'm thinking I need to buy an IOT t-shirt or something.