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Quicktime automatically plays your shows in Safari. Can I just download them?

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I can't save the download of your show on Safari. When I purchase the download, Quicktime opens up, and the show starts playing, but when I try to save it, I get an icon on the desktop, and when I click on it, iTunes opens, displaying the show's run time as 0:00. What am I doing wrong?

I miss OT a lot. It's the best thing going on radio. Thanks.

Michael Kelly


There are two things at work here: the BitPass access to the archive of the Online Tonight and David Lawrence Show catalog, and the settings you've chosen (or were selected for you, most likely) as to how your browser handles all rich media - audio, video and so on.

Let's start with a bit about the show files themselves. Each night, Monday through Saturday, when I do a live 3 hour show, I automatically record each of those shows as an MP3 file. That MP3 file is uploaded to my servers shortly after the show ends at 10pm Pacific time.

In addition, I create a script that manages the purchasing of and access to the nightly shows via Bitpass. People purchase a BitPass to gain direct download access to the shows, either piecemeal at 25 cents per hour, and 50 cents per 3 hour show, or via a monthly or yearly access subscription of $7 per month or $60 per year.

You can, as you've been doing, access each show's audio via the show's blog entry here on the site. Just click on the "shows" tab above to get a complete list, or check the front page of the site for the latest shows. Visit the individual show's page and you'll see links just below the hour-by-hour description of the show's guests and topics that let you purchase the shows' audio.

There is another BitPass option as well, called DavidLawrenceUnplugged, which automatically sends you the file every night, and pulls it into iTunes so that it's waiting for you in the morning. BitPass also manages this, and the rates are exactly the same: $7 per month or $60 per year.

This method is quick, clean, and the files don't come anywhere near your browser - they just arrive in the middle of the night, just like podcasts, and via RSS. You might want to think about that as an option.

But let's get you squared away with the manual method, setting Safari up to not jump the gun and start playing the show's files.

First off, right clicking (or CTRL-clicking if you don't have a Macintosh-compatible two-button mouse or trackball) on the links on the show's access page won't work, because those links are not to the actual MP3 file, it's to the BitPass script that I talked about creating for each show. So, when you go to save that link's target, your saving the script itself. That's no good.

And choosing to save the MP3 file that's playing in your browser won't work until you've allowed the entire file to download into your browser's cache. In the case of my shows, that could be a few minutes, depending upon your Internet connection speed. Once it has been transferred, you can choose to save it from the Quicktime playback screen in your browser - just drop down the menu to the right of the playback timeline and choose Save Source As...

From what you describe in your question, Quicktime is correctly set to be your MP3 player software for your browser, Safari. This does NOT mean that if you double click on an MP3 file on your desktop that it will play in the Quicktime Player - you properly have it set to open iTunes.

The problem is that, until your Quicktime settings are proper, Safari will automatically start playing the show. So here's how to fix that.

Read on... (more ahead)

This is an adjustment you need to make in Quicktime itself - via the System Preferences.

Open System Preferences, then Quicktime Preferences, and choose the Browser tab.

Make sure the top selection on that screen, Play Movies Automatically, is unchecked - you want them to download, not automatically play.

Also, do check the bottom selection on that screen, Save Movies in Cache, and set your cache fairly high, since each of my shows is around 27 megabytes.

Click the close box on the dialog to apply your changes and close the Quicktime Preferences screen.

You'll need to restart Safari for these changes to be effective, but that should work for you. Now, the download screen will come up, and your files will be downloaded rather than streamed automatically.

Thanks for listening and for asking!

Comments? Questions of your own?

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