BBC Radio 4 Collections
April 24, 2011 6:14 AM   Subscribe

BBC Radio 4 now has a dedicated online program library! Rather than hunting through the site, you can now browse by subject and/or program from one main 'Collections' page. It's not all of the output by any means, but there's plenty there to keep you going, such as the philosophy archives from Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time", or various mathematics programs from different series. There's much much more as well.

I know a lot of these things have been referred to in previous posts, but it's nice to see all these programs aggregated into one place, and with some basic browsing features added. IMHO, this apparently small change is a huge step forward in usability for the BBC site; saves you having to dig around for stuff you know is there somewhere. I was thinking the next step should be to have these available as mp3s - let the Internet take care of hosting ...
posted by carter (11 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for this - you're right that it'll be a lot easy to browse rather than going through the xty pages of eg "factual" programmes by A-Z.
posted by paduasoy at 6:26 AM on April 24, 2011

Thanks for putting this together. I've gone through all the "In Our Time" available in iTunes. The rest can be played online, but i want to listen to them as podcasts in my car. If anyone knows how to do this without recording them myself, let me know!
posted by nightwood at 7:57 AM on April 24, 2011

It's a shame there's no 'Comedy' section. Among many others, I'd love to be able to listen again to the spoof call-in show 'Down The Line'.
But I see that it's just been resurrected, and a couple of new episodes of DTL are available for a very limited time - it's well worth a listen.
posted by Flashman at 8:11 AM on April 24, 2011

"Get iPlayer Automator is a useful tool for automatically downloading shows from iPlayer (including radio) and converting them to iTunes-compatible podcast format.
posted by Morbuto at 8:15 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Morbuto- that looks to be exactly what I was looking for- thanks! Will check it out when I get home!
posted by nightwood at 9:52 AM on April 24, 2011

This is awesome. Thanks!
posted by tickingclock at 9:57 AM on April 24, 2011

I thought that kind of info had been on the R4 site for years in some form or other.

shame there's no 'Comedy' section.

Try here for currently available R4 comedy. Unlike (a subset of) the factual stuff, the comedy shows won't be available indefinitely, but what is available right now should be listed there.
posted by philipy at 12:05 PM on April 24, 2011

I had begun to believe that I was the only one to love In Our Time as I do. It's like a visit to a perfectly calm, rational, engaged world that's miles deep with knowledge and civility. There's the occasional dull patch (four shows on the history of the Royal Society?), but overall it's a gem. I've been folding laundry and doing dishes to it for about two years now and I feel like a better person for it.
posted by argybarg at 12:55 PM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

Unfortunately, the iPlayer automator only can see those episodes that are already available via iTunes. It's great that there's a huge archive to access, i just wish they hadn't crippled the access.
posted by nightwood at 6:54 PM on April 24, 2011

I've just finished listening to The History of the World in 100 Objects.

Absolutely wonderful.
posted by jrochest at 11:45 PM on April 24, 2011

Michael McKean thanked Metafilter for this post.
posted by grubi at 6:49 AM on April 25, 2011

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