Audio journals, foreign language and MMS streams

For my last birthday, my wife bought me an iAudio 5 digital mp3 player. It also plays ogg vorbis and WMA files. It has an FM radio, and will record from a built-in microphone. I’ve placed a few albums from my personal collection on it, but I don’t listen to them much. I’ve found that I use it to record audio journals, since I’m too busy to write much of one at home anymore. I learned Dutch when I served an LDS mission in the Netherlands 12 years ago. I like to keep my language skills somewhat fresh, so I subscribe to the Liahona in Dutch, a magazine from the LDS church. Reading Dutch and listening to audible Dutch aren’t the same thing.

Twice a year, the LDS church broadcasts “General Conference” to its members througout the world. The broadcast is translated into several languages, including Dutch. I went to the website where the audio recordings are kept, and downloaded them (using SDP from, and placed the resulting WMA files on my iAudio 5, and listen to native Dutch speakers translation of the conference.

Sidenote: It’s not easy to download the WMA audio recordings from the website because they’re made available using Microsoft Media Server (MMS) protocol. This means that people usually have to be in front of their computer to listen to the music as it is streamed from the server. Fortunately, some programmers have figured out how the MMS protocol works, and they’ve written clients to download the stream into a WMA file, place it on a portable player, and enjoy the program. SDP is a free client that can download the MMS streams. It’s available from

Update: Read The Grumpy Editor’s guide to audio stream grabbers. The article covers streamripper, mplayer, wget, ogg123 and arecord.