My wife asked me to see if I could get a copy of a BBC Radio 4 program into MP3 for her boss, the program was on the freedom of information act, called A Right to Know, you can listen to it here. The BBC make most of there radio content available under “Listen Again”, where you can stream it using Real Player, so I don’t feel too bad about ripping it.

There are plenty of Windows & MacOS apps to do this kind of thing, but I run Debian Linux, so here’s what I did:

  1. Get the contents of the RAM file, this is usually just a RTSP URL, do a wget or something similar, then pass the rtsp url to mplayer:
  2. mplayer rtsp://rmv8.bbc.net.uk/radio4/tue2002.ra -ao pcm:file=right_to_know.wav -vc dummy -vo null
  3. Now that you have a wav of the show, you really want to convert to something a bit more compact, like mp3: lame -m m right_to_know.wav right_to_know.mp3 –tt “Right to Know” –ta “Michael Crick, BBC Radio 4”

    the “-m m” says create a mono MP3, which should be more compact & perfectly adequate for spoken word.

Thanks to http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050130184054216