Well, I’ve been reading about all the flury of podcasting on the net, and I got the bug to figure out how to get some of my favorite radio shows onto my phone. See, I have a phone that can store about 32 megs of data in a flash card and it can play MP3’s with RealPlayer. This is good enough for a simple radio show, so I don’t need to carry around an IPod. Here is how it went…
First, I located the shows I wanted to hear online. Just about all the NPR radio shows are in RealAudio format. If you are listening live, you can get them in Windows Media or Real Audio, but all the archives are RealAudio. Now, the other interesting bit is that these shows are all in a streamed form of RealAudio. You cannot just downlod the .RAM file and then convert it. Wow. These free radio shows that I pay for with my tax dollars, cannot be downloaded!
Ok. That was a show stopper, until….
I was talking to the local audio guru here and he mentioned a piece of software called Total Recorder. This software is great. Essentially, the software inserts itself into the kernel and captures all of the audio before it gets played out your sound card. It even has other nifty features like scheduling and being smart about recording only when there is audio available. The software was $12, it worked when I tried it, so I bought it.
So now, I turn on Total Recorder, play the show I want, and then then save the MP3 when I notice that the show is done. Usually, a show ends up being about 9 – 10 megs. I then send the file to my phone via Bluetooth, and I’m done.
Let me tell you. Even thought this is a bit more work than I want, I really enjoy hearing what I want when I’m driving home. If the past is any indication. This kind of experience will only get easier and better.