This week: Radioplay HMS Surprise on BBC Radio (worldwide)

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This week: Radioplay HMS Surprise on BBC Radio (worldwide)

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Edited: Aug 20, 2010, 6:45am

Just happened to see that the radioplay "HMS Surprise" is being repeated as an "Afternoon Play" on BBC Radio 4. Part 1 and 2 are already online for "listening again" (part 1 will go offline in 5 days, part 2 in 6 days, part 3 is on today).
Can be listened to from anywhere in the world and even recorded, if you use a program like No.23 recorder (shareware) or Audacity (freeware). Both grab the signal from your soundcard while the show is playing.

Aug 20, 2010, 9:19am

Thanks for the info - the program is just starting now as I write this. I wanted to listen to this when it came up previously but missed it!

Aug 22, 2010, 5:51am

I am just now listening to programme one and all three are listed now. Many thanks for the for the listing. I try to listen radio 4 but hadn't come acroos an ad for this, their afternoon is my morning.

Aug 24, 2010, 5:19pm

Thanks! Managed to record all three parts - listened to the first two tonight. Works pretty well on radio, although I don't know how easy it would be to follow if you don't know who everybody is. They miss out most of the nautical detail, of course.

Aug 24, 2010, 5:28pm

BTW - further to the things mentioned above, there's also a very nifty free program called Radio Downloader (Windows only, sadly) that makes it a lot harder to forget to download the BBC shows you were watching out for.

Aug 25, 2010, 5:32am

There is also get_iplayer. It uses perl and is pretty portable. I run it on linux but it should run on OSX or Windows as long as all the right support programs are present.

Get version 2.78 from

Aug 26, 2010, 8:40am

Thorold, does the Radio Downloader use the EPG data of radio stations? If so, how do BBC broadcasts show up?

My Phonostar software uses EPG data, but unfortunately BBC do not write the radioplay titles into their EPG title field and fill the info field with generic info on the Afternoon Play series. So those HMS Surprise ones only showed up as "Afternoon Play" with no further detail info. I only found out by clicking through to the BBC site to find out what was on offer. This way I still miss good BBC stuff, because the wishlist option/autorecord option of Phonostar looks for keywords that are in the EPG, not on the website...

Aug 26, 2010, 11:04am

>7 GirlFromIpanema:
Not quite sure - I think it takes information from the website but not the EPG. You get a list of all current shows, whether there are episodes available or not, and have to click through or subscribe to see the list of current episodes. If you subscribe it records all episodes of the show until you tell it to stop. So I wouldn't have seen "HMS Surprise" in my list, unless I had subscribed to Afternoon Play. I don't think it does keyword search at all.

Edited: Aug 26, 2010, 4:48pm

Aha. So your software as well as mine won't see detailed infos for a show unless the BBC changes the way it feeds the EPG. If you only see "Afternoon Play" in your software, then it looks up the EPG, because the website schedule has detailed info:
Example today:

Afternoon Play
7 days left to listen
Comedy by Simon Brett about a couple living - or perhaps imprisoned - on the Costa del Sol

And this is what shows up on the on the EPG at
27.08. | 15:15 - 16:00
Hörspiel & Hörbuch
BBC Radio 4 "The Afternoon Play"
Dramas which delight and surprise.

Incidentally the BBC seem to be the only station that fills the EPG in this way. All other stations I listen to, German or otherwise, put the specific show info in the EPG, not the generic series info**. No need to click through to the websites. Might be worth a letter to the BBC, maybe? After all, they do have the info available, they just don't give it to us ;-). I'll check with first for the technical details.

Aug 27, 2010, 5:03am

You'd have to ask the program author - it looks more to me as though it's grabbing the programme details direct from the website, because the hierarchy of the website works in much the same way. When I call up the available episodes for a show, they appear like your first example.

Aug 28, 2010, 2:29am

So your program has the info available, you just have to click to get there? Then it's probably my program looking in the wrong place, because I have to go to the BBC website to see details. I'll check with the programmers, because BBC is the only station where I only get the generic schedule instead of info on the episode.
Or maybe not --my hard drive is filling up with loads of BBC radio plays. It's probably better not to know what is on :-D.

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