Wednesday, July 17, 2019


How about a story?

How about a long story about a long walk?

How about the best long story about the most interesting of all long walks?

You can grab it.

It's the BBC audio presentation of J. R. R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" (LOTR).

I bought this on cassette tapes when it first came out. It's still available, at various prices, in various conditions, on CD or even on tape, if you want to spend enough time digging around on or elsewhere.

But CD? Tape?

When I gave up the apartment I had lived in for 18 years and 11 months and moved out of the U.S., I had a little cassette player that I had bought after my $2000 stereo system died. It was one of the last in the world it seemed. I had bought it as insurance, and before moving I wanted to digitize my tapes while I could, but the player decided not to work any more either, so I had a box of tapes, useless, and now long discarded (donated to the local "Friends of the Library").

So what then?

A few weeks ago I decided to search around online because why not?


I grabbed the whole 13-hour series. Twice. Thirteen hours worth of BBC-quality dramatization, performed by real talent. Such as...

Michael Hordern as Gandalf
Peter Woodthorpe as Gollum
Ian Holm as Frodo
John Le Mesurier as Bilbo
Robert Stephens as Aragorn
All the way down to Shagrat and Gorbag

I found this on SoundCloud, and another full copy at the Internet Archive. I downloaded both to be sure I got it everything at the best quality available. (I have only one working ear, and that used to be my bad ear. Life, it can bite.)

The quality is not the best, when listened to online, through my browser (boo). But. I found that the sound quality is excellent off the downloaded mp3 files when played through the VLC media player that I use, even for me (yay) with seriously degraded hearing (nother boo). The total file size for both sets together came to 974 MB, about half that if you choose only one set. The SoundCloud files are larger, and so might be better quality.

Recommended for anyone who may have read the book, and who thought that the movie series was pretty good. Compared the the BBC's work though, the movie series is complete crap. Comic book level crap. This is the actual real adult-level deal.



LOTR at SoundCloud: 'Lord of the Rings Full Episodes for Radio'
LOTR at 'Lord Of The Rings by J R R Tolkein' [sic]

The Daily Dot: 'The simple way to download anything from SoundCloud'
Two SoundCloud download options from The Daily Dot
(1) This worked for me: 'SingleMango'
(2) Didn't try this one: 'KlickAud'
General LOTR info
Review of the BBC series
'The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)' at Wikipedia
VLC media player

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.


Just as an unrelated teaser, I also found 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' a year or two back, and grabbed those audio files as well, while they were available. Stellar production. Now mostly forgotten. Very little walking in the story, but much intelligence. Douglas Adams


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See if that helps.
Me? Still wondering if monkeys really have more fun.