After a couple of years of using uncountable tools, and despite their ever-expanding list of podcasts etc. I think I’ve finally hit the perfect combo for downloading those Radio4 “listen again” RealPlayer files or entire streams from the BBC and converting them to mp3 (and ogg).
You will need two tools:
Both of these apps are Windows GUI tools, easy to use and free (shareware).
You can copy and paste .ram URLs into Net Transport and it will download the .rm or .ra files for you. You can also schedule downloading from a stream so that you can, for example, get the breezeblock.
Once the download is complete, you can then open the downloaded RealPlayer file or files in Switch and convert them into mp3 or ogg, which you can then happily transfer over to your iPod or other mp3 player. Brilliant.
A word of warning – I’ve been using Switch for a couple of days, and it’s worked fine, but it does have a 14-day trial period after which the “advanced” features are turned off. The documentation states that this includes converting files from the following formats: .DSS, .SRI, .ACT, .RCD, .REC , and .SHN. Fortunately I’ve never heard of most of these so it shouldn’t be a problem, but if I run into any difficulties after another couple of weeks, I’ll let you know.