Monday, January 15, 2007

How to Download and Play Real Audio Streaming Media

I recently wanted to listen to a BBC 7 radio show that I'd missed, but with three kids and two jobs there's not a lot of time in my life for sitting about in front of my PC with headphones on.

So I had to find a tool which allowed me to download an rtsp file to my hard drive and from there another tool to convert the resultant .ra file into .mp3 format for putting on a disc or mp3 player for listening to in the car. This, for anyone interested, is how you do it.

Step 1: Saving the Real Audio File

First right mouse click on the Real Audio link you want to download and save the file to your hard drive.

Second, open the saved file in Wordpad or similar. All it is is a text link to an .ra file, generally with a rtsp protocol (e.g.rtsp://server/coolplay/play.ra). Copy the link to your clipboard (CTRL-A then CTRL-C)

Next download a copy of Streambox VCR Suite 2.0.

Open the latest version of Streambox in the suite, and select 'Paste in URL' from the Edit menu. Check the download location is one you want and then hit OK to start the file downloading. All being well you will see the file download in the progress bar and log window and, quite quickly, the complete .ra file is on your hard-drive.

Step 2: Converting the ra file

To make your ra file into an mp3, simply download any of the Real Media to mp3 converters currently littering the Freeware market.

I used this one which was incredibly straight-forward, but there are others around.

If you download the program I did, then to convert your newly saved .ra file to .mp3:

Open the program, click on Add Files, select the real audio tracks you want convert and then click Start.

Apart from that all you might want to do is check the settings, where you can decide on bitrate (don't bother making it huge as .ra files aren't brilliant quality to start with) and the sample rate (44100 Hz is the correct setting).

Couldn't be easier...
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Blogger Scott Liddell said...

"Shock as normally drivelsome area man says something useful."

4:15 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Oh ha ha - away and plagiarise some more thoughts of your witty friends for that UK Onion thingy...

9:34 pm  

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