Tag Archives: a history of the world

A History of the World in 100 MP3 files

The BBC’s series a history of the world in 100 objects which I mentioned previously has finished.

You still can’t easily download all the MP3 files from the website in a useful way, eg. as a ZIP or tarball, but I processed their RSS feed to get the raw URLs and with a simple shell loop and wget you can grab them easily.

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A History of the World in 100 MP3 files

Radio 4 is running a brilliant series called A History of the World in A Hundred Objects. However should you wish to download this series so you can listen to it a convenient place and time, how should you do it? Certainly not through the over-complex official website that’s for sure.

But with some shell script you can grab the MP3 files and listen to this wonderful educational series at your pleasure:

i=1
e=100
y=2010
m=1
d=18
while [ $i -le $e ]; do
  date=$(printf "%04d%02d%02d" $y $m $d)
  for x in a c; do
    for y in 1000 1005; do
      wget -nc http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/ahow/ahow_$date-$y$x.mp3
    done
  done
  i=$(($i+1))
  d=$(($d+1))
  if [ $m -eq 1 ]; then
    endm=32
  elif [ $m -eq 2 ]; then
    endm=29
  elif [ $m -eq 3 ]; then
    endm=32
  elif [ $m -eq 4 ]; then
    endm=31
  fi
  if [ $d -eq $endm ]; then
    m=$(($m+1))
    d=1
  fi
done

Update

A reader has pointed me to the full list of MP3 (podcast) files available from the BBC.

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