Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New location for This American Life Mp3s

Summary: The episodes can be found by going here:

http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/EPISODENUMBER.mp3




Up until mid 2006, This American Life (a popular and awesome radio show on NPR) had "streaming" mp3 files of their archived shows on their website. They had struck a deal with iTunes/Audible.com to sell the shows for download - so they didn't have any great incentive to make free podcasts/.xml feeds available.

Then some enterprising Internet user created an unofficial .xml feed of their archived shows, so that you could download the "streaming" mp3 files to your ipod. It's worth noting of course, that it's almost impossible to make a mp3 file streaming only. All you can do, is make it difficult to download.

And so, for much of 2006, you could either manually download the shows from this address (http://audio.wbez.org/tal/SHOWNUMBER.mp3), which no longer works, or you could use the ultra-nifty unofficial podcast (http://www.redjar.org/radio/tal/archive/).

This American Life's lawyers (or someone there) didn't seem to like this, and sent the podcast guy a cease and desist letter. Stop it, or else. While his unofficial podcast feed went down, their directory structure/naming scheme persisted, and so savvy Internet users were still able to download all the old TAL eposides with a few issues of the "wget" command.

In October of 2006, This American Life announces that they're going to offer free podcasts of their 2 most recent shows. All the old shows will still be available for free, streaming online, or for podcast purchase from the Itunes store/Audible.com

It seemed like a happy compromise.

The only problem was, in the process of doing this, they replaced their streaming mp3 links with a sneaky flash plugin - which made is particularly difficult to figure out where the files are kept - at least by doing a "view source" in the browser...

Today, I wanted to load up my ipod (since I'm flying to New Jersey later) with the TAL episodes that I missed over Xmas... the old method of using 'wget' didn't work, so I fired up wireshark - a packet sniffer - and discovered that TAL has moved to a new directory structure..

I'm happy to share this useful tidbit of info.

This American Life episodes may now be downloaded at http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/
EPISODENUMBER.mp3

Clearly, someone over there has a sense of humor.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

it restores my faith in america that someone is working so hard to access these radio shows. well done.

Anonymous said...

never heard of this show but now i am sort of hooked. Thanks.

An Acrobat said...

Thanks for the link--but is this different than grabbing the free podcast via iTunes? (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist?id=181471774&forceArtistPage=1)

Anonymous said...

thanks, this is great.

Hey, public radio ought to belong to the public, and information wants to be free.

fuck'em lawyers.

notathief said...

wow i love you man ... great work. peeves me no end for ages that you can't go and get an older show. have an 8 hour road trip (one way) i'm making and now i can get my tal fix all the way there and back if i want!

just want to say thanks!

Anonymous said...

so can i somehow save these quicktime episodes to my itunes library?

Anonymous said...

thanks there -- it's August already and the link formulation still works!

Shawnessy said...

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

thanks!

Anonymous said...

http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/188.mp3

rayhigh said...

Awesome! Thank you, this still works!jf

Anonymous said...

Sorry about my ignorance, but the thing starts playing when I paste in the link and enter the relevant episode number. What do I do to save it?

Anonymous said...

To the guy above me: simply go to File -> Save Page As

This works in firefox, anyway.

Anonymous said...

thanks a bunch!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Still works 6/14/08.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a million. I tried time and again to sift through the page source. I never thought of sniffing out the packets. Good work!

Stephanie said...

oh my gosh thank you so much for the info about the "this american life" website. i just found out about this show from a friend and now i'm hooked.

Anonymous said...

You're the best! Thanks! I'm going to share this with people who otherwise would not have listened to public radio.

Lindsey said...

Still working at of 9/10 - Thanks!

Anonymous said...

still works 10/12/08

Anonymous said...

You da man! Thanks! (Worked 10/24)

Anonymous said...

worked 12/09/08

Anonymous said...

Worked 2/19/08. Thx

Anonymous said...

Worked on 3/11/09

Question: I saved the MPEG to my Desktop...how do I get it into itunes so that I can put it on my ipod. Or, is there another way to get it on the ipod?

Anonymous said...

Didn't work on 5/6/09. :( Unless I'm doing something wrong...

Anonymous said...

not working 5-22-09 :(

Anonymous said...

correction: it seems to work for older episodes, but not the current one..

Clarebear said...

Not working June 2, 2009

Anonymous said...

Worked fine for me on 6/9/09 using Foxfire. Thanks!

Blogger is a Stinking Heap of Pig Dung said...

Holy patchoulie! Yes, this works! Thank goodness for insane compromises!

-danny

Anonymous said...

07/29/09 and it works perfectly with Firefox. Thank you!

Jonathan said...

Thank you very much. I've been using the Jo Mama method since I received a tip from a friend this past March only to find its origin today. Thank you

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for an episode, so thanks for this post.
like someone commented above, public radio should be public/free. i agree

Gemma said...

THAAAANKYOU

Anonymous said...

this link has been such a boon, thank you. however, as of today (10/12/09) it doesn't seem to be working for any episodes after #243 (i started over at #1 many weeks ago and have been re-listening to every ep in consecutive order), any idea as to where the last few dozen eps have gone? thanks again--

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. :)

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OMG--Thank you SOOOOO much!!! You are TOTALLY AWESOME!!! (works as of 5 Dec 2009)

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why the show episode numbers seemed so random on itunes.. perhaps to make it difficult to find a particular one?

duke ferris said...

thank you!!! you just made me a hero in my wife's eyes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, you've just made a UK listener very happy.
january 22nd 2010

Anonymous said...

Works

02-01-10

Will said...

Thank you very much for the trick. I just wrote a C# program to download all the episodes (1-399). It seems like the only episodes missing are #5 and #8.

Anonymous said...

hoping y'all are willing to donate a buck or 5 to the show before downloading all shows... they're awesome for making shows avail via free podcast, but if you appreciate the show toss a few bucks their way! its the least you can do :)

Anonymous said...

this is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

this worked for me for such a long time using firefox.. now i have to use Opera and i can't download, it will only play the audio through quick time! any suggestions??

Anonymous said...

Just donated some cash to TAL, hope you guys do too if you like their shows.

George Peterson said...

If you haven't already seen this, I have some options for downloading all the episodes and renaming them appropriately at my site

http://www.dirtygreek.org/journal/journalId/2006

Anonymous said...

CURRENT: OCTOBER 2010 !

Here's a way to get a bunch of episodes with one command. You need Linux or a Mac. Sorry windows. I downloaded 44 episodes like this today.

for i in {100..416};do wget http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/podcast.thisamericanlife.org/podcast/$i.mp3;done

note: I don't know the numbering scheme below 100, try to figure it out. 416 is their latest episode. Get 'em before they change it up. Your welcome and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

You can also use the DownThemAll addon to FF and manually enter the link to download just one episode or a range of episodes with the [x:y] batch operator in place of the single episode number where y >x and all episodes from and including x to and including y are downloaded.

Anonymous said...

Get em 'all as of Jan 2011!

for ((i=1; i <= 424 ; i++))
do
curl -O http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/podcast.thisamericanlife.org/podcast/$i.mp3
done

Anonymous said...

As of 21 May 2011, into the Terminal on Mac OSX you would type:

for ((i=1; i <= 434 ; i++))
do
curl -O http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/$i.mp3
done

Obviously change the numbers in the first line if you don't want ALL of them

Anonymous said...

What are the legalities of this? Is this legal?

Alpha Zaius said...

I just did
curl -O http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/[1-450].mp3

Works too!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the link.

Unknown said...

go ahead and download em, but it's underfunded public radio. If you like it, kick a paltry $5 to them so they keep making them.
http://services.chicagopublicmedia.org/site/Donation2?df_id=6662&6662.donation=form1

Anonymous said...

still works 1/30/12

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this tip.
As of March 2012, it still works.

You can also download the streaming audio, using RTMPDump:
http://rtmpdump.mplayerhq.hu/

For example, to download episode 423, run RTMPDump with the following parameters:

rtmpdump.exe -r "rtmp://wbez.fcod.llnwd.net/a3989/o35/thislife/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/423.mp3" -W "http://www.thisamericanlife.org/play_music/player.5.9.swf" -o "423.flv"

The downloaded file will be in FLV format, which can be played with VLC.

To extract the audio from the FLV file, you can use "FLV Extract" from http://moitah.net/.

You can use the GUI version (FLVExtract.exe) or the command line version (FLVExtractCL.exe), like this:

FLVExtractCL.exe -a "423.flv"

This will create the file "423.mp3".

Unknown said...

Ok, it now seems like they've changed their site and when I go to http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/EPISODE.mp3, it immediately starts playing in quicktime. Firefox and IE both do this. Is there an easy way around this? I'm in windows... Thanks in advance!!

Anonymous said...

6-10-2012 Still works...thanks soooo much for working this out. I use Firefox with the Downloadhelper extension which makes it a breeze to bring in any ep I want. Awesome!

Anonymous said...

9/27/2012 still working

Anonymous said...

01/23/13 still works!
I love this!!

Anonymous said...

01/23/13 still works!

Anonymous said...

Don't work (21 July 2013)
party's over

Anonymous said...

09/02/2013 and it still works!

Anonymous said...

A few episodes are missing-- they took down episodes 57 and 79 because they had contributions by Stephen Glass. (They removed these not long after they removed the Mike Daisey one, 454.) But I really want to hear 57 and 79.

Does anyone have these two episodes and willing to share?

Anonymous said...

It still works in 12/2013.
But not for nothing, maybe the show is worth a buck. Didn't mom tell you to not steal from the not-for-profit?

Unknown said...

12/9/2013 Still works. Thanks!

If you use Windows, you can use the command line program TaggerSharp to fix the MP3 tags so that the files organize correctly on your phone or MP3 player. (for example, add the "Podcast" Genre tag. Here's the line I use after the CURL.EXE line in the script:

taggersharp.exe "%COUNT%_This_American_Life.mp3" "--Track=%COUNT%" "-g=Podcast" "--Album=This American Life" "--AlbumArtists=This American Life"

http://sourceforge.net/projects/taggersharp/