MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips


Tool photo.

I've been trying to figure out how to listen to "This American Life" on my iPod, without having to buy the episodes on (too expensive). I tried Radio Recorder ( and AudioHijack (, both of which allow you to record RealAudio streams, but I have bad luck with RealAudio — the stream hardly ever plays from start to finish, leaving me with an incomplete program.

Hopefully, I'll never have to open a RealAudio file again now that I've got a RadioSHARK. This is a real AM/FM radio that plugs into your computer's USB port. (It gets its name from its shark-fin shape.) You tune the radio and schedule a recording by using the application that comes with the RadioSHARK. The application saves files as huge AIFFs or much smaller AACs — your choice.

Now I'm able to record "This American Life," "Science Friday," and "Fresh Air" and listen to them while I work out at the gym.

RadioSHARK is great to use live, as well. Like TiVo, you can pause live radio, rewind, and — if you've got enough of a program stored in the buffer — fast forward, too.

Available at Amazon, the Griffin website, and in various retail stores.