Cool content, bad format

Sherlock's headSo, I’ve been digging around on the “cult” section of the BBC’s website, and I’ve been finding all kinds of great stuff there.

Today’s happy discovery is that they have a bunch of Sherlock Holmes stories up, written by some great British SF (and SF-ish) writers, including Jon Courtenay Grimwood (who I talked about earlier) and Paul Cornell (who wrote the excellent British Summertime). I’ve also read other works by two of the other authors, who tend to work more in what used to be called horror: Kim Newman and Christopher Fowler. The last author’s name, Dominic Green, rings no bells, but assuming I dig the story I may have to search out some other stuff.

These stories are presented both as text (paginated, and in the helpful ‘print friendly’ format) and as readings. I do a lot of listening to audiobooks, and ‘radio play’ style content, on my MP3 player while I drive, so I always love to find this kind of stuff.

Sadly, the readings are presented in streaming Real Audio.

So, in order to get this content onto my MP3 player I would need to:

1) Find a way to capture the stream to a local file (which would probably violate the BBC terms of service or something)

and then

2) Convert the RealAudio to MP3 (which would probably require me to violate a bunch of Real’s agreements and misuse some of their patented code)

Surely that’s a pain in the ass. Why BBC, why do you make me jump through these hoops? I mean… um… why do you make it so that I would hypothetically have to jump through these hoops. Yeah. That’s it. That’s what I mean.

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