This American Life - Taking the kids
June 14, 2006 2:20 PM   Subscribe

My kids like listening to the stories on TLA when we happen to catch it in the car. I was going to grab a few off of for an upcoming road trip. Kind of a subset of this question ( Any suggestions?
posted by jbradley to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Google talmp3. Use the cache of the geekymedia sites for the mp3s.
posted by jeribus at 2:27 PM on June 14, 2006

This American Life recently converted it's archives to streaming MP3s. If you crack open the M3U file in any text editor, you can see the path to the source MP3. From there you can download every single episode.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:28 PM on June 14, 2006

URL is where # is the episode number (e.g., 9.mp3)
posted by nathan_teske at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2006 [2 favorites]

I think the poster was asking for episode recommendations, not ways to avoid paying WBEZ for downloads of their fine content.
posted by reverendX at 2:45 PM on June 14, 2006

Ooo oo ooo, my favorite This american life are modified to be ones I would have loved when I was younger:

Babysitting (I think act three is being made into a movie)
30 acts in 60 minutes (kind of like TAL on speed)
A little bit of knowledge (The first story had me and my sister all teary eyed... just thinking about it makes me sigh)

I haven't listened to the entire episode of Fisaco! but the Jack Hitt Story that is in that has to be one of the funniest TAL's I've ever heard.

If you go to the TAL website they have a list of favourite episodes you can check out.
posted by kechi at 2:47 PM on June 14, 2006

hmmm, that first sentence should read:

This american life (modified to be ones I would have loved when I was younger)
posted by kechi at 2:48 PM on June 14, 2006

I've been using this site to download the mp3s recently. It makes things a little easier than poking around on the site for the episode number and pasting it in.

The first suggestion is probably nicer, as it doesn't bog down the WBEZ server, but it doesn't contain the newer episodes.
posted by chimmyc at 2:58 PM on June 14, 2006

I think the poster was asking for episode recommendations, not ways to avoid paying WBEZ for downloads of their fine content.

WBEZ gets the American public's money via government contributions to public radio. WBEZ gets membership contributions. And WBEZ is already giving away free streaming. The WBEZ website makes it clear it's an administrative issue, not an economic issue preventing direct MP3 downloads:
Allowing download of those files would require us to PAY contributors for each download, as we do when we sell a CD or a show on Audible. Doing this would be an administrative nightmare, and we can't afford it.
Basically, they don't want to track every download, and their contract doesn't allow them to cover it all in a single fee, so they don't offer download links. But they're paying the same bandwidth costs if you listen to it streaming or download it, so there's no reason to feel bad about downloading MP3s. If you continue to suffer from this irrational guilt, you can always make contributions to the station while you download the MP3s. You just can't tell them why you're making the contributions, because that would make them legally liable.
posted by scottreynen at 3:16 PM on June 14, 2006

Response by poster: small note: from Kechi's recommendations - the title is 20 Acts in 60 Minutes . Bonus points for reading the question. Thanks!
posted by jbradley at 3:39 PM on June 14, 2006

"The House at Loon Lake" is a great one. Kind of spooky.

"Music Lessons" and "Christmas and Commerce" are great ones too. They both feature stories by David Sedaris.

How old are the kids (trying to keep in mind age-appropriate content)?
posted by Famous at 4:07 PM on June 14, 2006

If they've ever been to summer camp I'll bet they'd love Notes on Camp (episode 109). It's one of my favorites.
posted by MsMolly at 4:17 PM on June 14, 2006

Squirrel Cop - no matter how many times I hear it - makes me laugh out loud. I think the title of that episode is called First Days - or something like it and I seem to remember them all being good.
posted by Wolfie at 4:26 PM on June 14, 2006

Response by poster: Update: Kids are 8.
posted by jbradley at 4:53 PM on June 14, 2006

I highly second 'Fiasco' and 'Music Lessons'; two of my all-time favorites. Absolutely hilarious and great for kids.
posted by kayzie at 5:14 PM on June 14, 2006

Whoops, I did mean 20 acts in 60 minutes

(a bit of a derail)
Another one of my favorite audio files is from David Sedaris's Dress your family in corduroy and Denim (It's not on this american life). It's called 6-8 black men and is Sedaris's take on holiday traditions in other cultures. It gets me rolling on the floor laughing everytime I listen to it.
posted by kechi at 5:34 PM on June 14, 2006

Amen to Squirrel Cop- it was my first exposure to TAL. I was running an errand to Home Depot, and ended up sitting in the parking lot for 10 minutes listening to this story, laughing so hard I was crying. It still never gets old.

It is in the First Day episode.
posted by Steve3 at 9:32 AM on June 15, 2006

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