How to download iPlayer radio shows on Vista

A friend’s son was on Radio 3 recently, and she asked if I knew how to download from the iPlayer. I didn’t, but it turned out to be easier than I thought:

  1. Download and install mplayer for Windows
  2. While this is happening, go to and look up the relevant show
  3. Click the show link to download a .ram file
  4. Open the .ram file in Notepad, and you’ll get a link beginning with rtsp:// – copy everything up to the .ra
  5. Once mplayer is installed, open a command window in the mplayer directory
  6. Enter:

    mplayer -cache 2048 -bandwidth 9999999 “rtsp://” -vc null -vo null -ao pcm:fast:waveheader:file=monkeys.wav

    Replacing monkeys.wav with whatever filename you like, and the rstp link with the previously copied link from the .ram file.

  7. This will – surprisingly quickly – download the show and convert it to a .wav.
  8. I’m on Vista, and the Program Files(x86) directory is protected from new files, so I found monkeys.wav in Users\me\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files(x86)\MPlayer for Windows\ – your mileage may vary.
  9. Convert the wav to an mp3 with Lame, and you’re done.

I can’t take credit for much – most of this was lifted directly from a Linux guide, and turned out to be directly applicable.

Obviously BBC radio is copyright the BBC, and I don’t endorse stealing content, but I don’t have any problem with archiving family appearances, or downloading a show to listen to later on your iPod.