Podcasts where file is under 10MB
April 7, 2020 9:39 AM   Subscribe

My current computer setup means that podcasts of an average sort of size (say 15MB to 45MB) take two or three hours to download and fail several times whilst downloading. Can you recommend podcasts of a smaller file size, say under 10MB, but still lasting half an hour or longer? I'm not too worried about sound quality as long as it's intelligible. Not politics, fiction or humour (though a bit political or a bit humorous is fine). Thanks.
posted by paduasoy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
One somewhat complicated option is to get a remote account on a computer that has fast internet access, log in to that computer, download podcast files to it, re-sample them to much lower quality smaller files, and then download them to your home from the remote computer. (I did this often when living with very limited internet access for a while in the pre-podcast era.) If you've got a list of individual podcasts or podcast episodes you wish you could listen to, a lot of that could be scripted. It'll be a easier to do with a computer that has a keyboard, but could potentially work on a phone or tablet.

If that sounds worthwhile, I'd be happy to help with examples and an account to try it out. If it sounds like more trouble than it's worth, feel free to ignore me and look elsewhere. (I guess that's always good advice, actually.)

I'm afraid I don't actually have any answers to your specific question. Every podcast I can recommend has far larger files than they actually need. Best of luck!
posted by eotvos at 10:30 AM on April 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

10MB for half an hour is 44kilobytes a second. That's pretty low nowadays, but it's just about okay for speech. I don't know if anyone serves podcast files at that bitrate or lower anymore. The BBC offers its podcasts (such as this one) in 64kbps and 128kbps.

One thing you might try is manually converting a podcast file online. On that BBC podcast, try clicking "download", then right click on "low quality" (high quality will work too, it just might take longer to convert) and select "copy link". Then, paste that link into an online converter like this one, which lets you select a bitrate. I just tried it with 32kbps and it managed to fit a 45min podcast into 11MB. 24kbps would make it much smaller (though it would sound quite tinny). This is still a pretty manual process and not nearly as convenient as it might be, but it will work right now.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:42 PM on April 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

Back in the day when we connected to the internet via modem, it was very handy to use a download manager program to download files, in order to automatically resume failed downloads without having to babysit the whole process. I remember using a shareware program called Getright, which worked pretty well, but it was so long ago I'm not sure if that's still a good choice. Upon some cursory googling I found a page on Wikipedia comparing the features of download managers, which seems like a good resource if you're interested in pursuing this option.
posted by zixyer at 2:42 PM on April 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

Radio New Zealand provides downloads in both .mp3 and the slightly-more-compressed .ogg format if your player accommodates it. Their Sunday Morning program, for example, is broken up into individual files per radio segment but the sub-10MB ones are probably less than a half-hour in length.
posted by XMLicious at 5:18 PM on April 7, 2020

I subscribe to a ton of different podcasts. I did a quick scan of the mp3 sizes vs. duration and the only podcasts that were sub 10mbs, were clocking in at under 10 minutes of duration with a few exceptions...and those few exceptions were like 13 or 14 minutes.
posted by mmascolino at 7:24 AM on April 8, 2020

There are many, many Old Time Radio shows on this site http://www.radioechoes.com/, where the half-hour programmes are about 6-7MB (with commensurate sound quality).
posted by TristanPK at 9:22 AM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

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