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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Time-shifting internet radio

Time-shifting of radio programs via the web is great. Back in grad school, esp during the first couple years when I didn't have a TV and concomitantly discovered NPR, I sometimes rushed down the hill from campus to catch "All Things Considered."

We discovered the virtues of time-shifting after getting a Tivo as a wedding present. But in the past year, I've been doing it more with radio than with TV (that's partly due to the fact that we're holding out w/o cable, and so the Tivo's been sitting idle). Usually it's, as before, to catch ATC after work. But now it doesn't matter when I get home from work. I just go over to, navigate to ATC, and listen to the day's show. It's become esp convenient since we got an Airport Express a couple months ago, so that now I set up the laptop on the dining table or the kitchen counter, and listen as the Real Audio is streamed wirelessly through the laptop speakers.

Really the Airport Express should allow me to wirelessly stream that audio back to our stereo, but annoyingly Apple has it set up so that you can only do that wireless audio stream through iTunes. Seems like there are some tricks to get around that, such as RogueAmoeba's Nicecast--see this MacRumors forum for details. That would be nice not only for NPR but also for BBC Radio. I may try to set something like that up...or just wait and hope that future firmware upgrades of Airport Express will open it up.

The other option is to use something like RogueAmoeba AudioHijack to capture the Real Audio streams as mp3 files, and then import them into iTunes. I do have BitCartel's iRecordMusic application which is supposed to allow me to do this. It worked great in it's former incarnation as RAW on our Powerbook; I used it to record quite a few BBC Radio 1(xtra) programs. But I haven't gotten it to work smoothly on our new iBook. And anyways, this seems like a hassle and a waste. First, to set up the recordings (though these applications do have scheduling capabilities--if I figured out how to use them, I could have ATC (and Gilles, and Benji B) waiting for me on my hard drive when I got home). And second, I'd end up with all these extra files on my hard drive and in my iTunes library.

Before I went off on the time-shifting stuff, I'd intended to post a couple ATC features. I'll put them in a separate post.

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