Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Unpodcastables

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Update: Cor blimey gov'ner, would you Adam and Eve it? The iPlayer Downloader now works with listen again audio - in other words, it downloads the MP3 file without the conversion headaches or real time capture delays. When did that happen and where was my telegram? Thanks Lawrence, you're a genius!

If you're a Mac user and enjoy listening to radio shows via the BBC's iPlayer you'll know there's still no application available for OS X which allows you to download rather than record the audio streams, and on a flakey wifi connection this makes capturing them in their entirety problematic.

I've come to the conclusion that there never will be so I've taken to experimenting with the WINE-based CrossOver Windows emulation software instead. This works surprisingly well for simple Windows software and games and requires no knowledge of Terminal commands or the WINE emulation layer which forms its backbone.

When you 'install' it (pretty much by double prodding its icon) and run through the unsupported software installation wizard, a new 'bottle' is created. Bottles are simply fresh Windows setups minus the desktop environment; applications integrate with your OS X dock and run alongside your native software. You can get by with a single bottle, or setup a new one for each individual piece of software if you have reason to believe they may conflict.

I had Flashget up and running within a minute, and soon after was able to begin downloading a Real Audio 'listen again' radio show to my pseudo c:\ drive (located at /Users/Username/Library/Application Support/CrossOver/Bottles/winxp/). You can find the link to RTSP streams by opening an iPlayer playback window and right-clicking in your browser to view the source code. Search for '.ram' and copy the web address into Flashget. The download manager will automatically interpret the file, decipher the actual address of the Real Audio stream contained within and begin to download it.

Once you've transferred a .ra file you'll need to convert it to the mp3 format using something like Audacity or Switch. These are available for either platform so get whichever version you like, install the Real Audio player and LAME encoder so you have the necessary codecs in place and begin converting.



Woohoo a WINE convert. I'm able to run quite a lot of stuff with WINE.

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