Monday, January 09, 2006

Probably the best $7.50 I've spent in a while

Over the weekend I found this site: OTRFTP Server.com. They have "over 32,000 old time radio shows and counting". I don't know how many of you might be interested in radio shows from the 30s, 40s & 50s, but I was terribly interested.

Back when I was a wee tot, one Christmas I received a record player* and three albums of "Old Time Radio Shows". They were Blondie, Dick Powell as Richard Diamond, and Inner Sanctum Mysteries.

Blondie was okay, but I loved the Richard Diamond and Inner Sanctum albums. The episodes on Richard Diamond were 'The Stick Pin Caper' and 'Juice Bar'. Inner Sanctum had 'Til Death Do Us Part'. I have no idea how many times I listened to those two albums and in my entire 37 years those were the only episodes of either of those shows that I'd ever heard.

Until this weekend.

I shelled out the $7.50 to buy one credit which allowed me to download 1 GB worth of old radio shows (approximately 150 shows) solely because they had 90 episodes of Inner Sanctum and 52 episodes of Richard Diamond available. I grabbed them all, much to my son's dismay because he wanted to play "Command & Conquer: Generals" on my computer and usually I don't do much with it during the weekend. Instead I subjected him to Old Time Radio. He's probably better for it.

After I got them all downloaded I dropped them into iTunes and sorted them out so their names were fixed, etc. I found that there were some files that were named slightly different but were actually the same program. Irritating. Still, it gives my 'collector genes' something to play with for awhile.

So far the quality is pretty decent, considering the age of the recordings. The episodes of Richard Diamond – written by Pink Panther creator, Blake Edwards – range from 1949 to 1953 and the Inner Sanctum's episodes range from 1941 to 1954. Of the two, the Richard Diamond episodes sound consistently better, but to be fair I've only listened to three of the Inner Sanctums and four of the Richard Diamonds. I'm hoping to find some programs "out there" that will allow me to tweak the sound quality a bit and hopefully improve the ones that aren't so good.

If you are interested in giving this place a shot, and are on a Macintosh, I highly recommend the donation-ware FTP program Cyberduck. If you are on a Windows PC... um... I'm sure there are ways for you too.

Also, if you have any suggestions of old radio shows that you liked, let me know.

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* To you youngsters out there, a "record player" was similar to a CD player only it used needles and heroin to make the music happen. We also had to wind our watches back then or time would stop. You punks have it so easy now.

4 comments:

The Retropolitan said...

Richard Diamond is awesome -- love Dick Powell. You might try The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, and, of course, THE SHADOW.

Derek Knight said...

and try AudioSoap. Or just give them to me, I'll run 'em through my double super secret cleansing process.

Harry "broadcastellan" Heuser said...

You'll probably enjoy The Adventures of Sam Spade, The Saint, and the Suspense program as well.

Collin said...

Retropolitan: I'll certainly check them out! Thanks for the suggestions.

Derek: Mmmm. Okay.

Harry: Okay, I'll try those out as well. I actually read a bit about 'Suspense' a few days ago and it sounds pretty good. Thanks!

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