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Listening to Car Talk Online (NOT a Car Question)

This isn’t a car question, but this looks like the only forum in which I could communicate with other listeners. Sorry about the off-topic nature of my post.

Here’s my problem / question / frustration:

Previously I listened to Car Talk using, I think, Windows Media Player. I did this for many years whenever I missed the weekly radio broadcast. However, about year (or two?) ago, switched to RealPlayer, and since then I have NEVER been able to successfully listen to an entire show via my (Windows XP) PC. Either I get part of a segment and it quits, or nothing starts at all. I’ve e-mailed the folks at Car Talk to tell them about this problem, but I just get a canned response.

(To make matters even more frustrating, I CAN listen using my wife’s Mac.)

I’ve tried re-loading RealPlayer, updating RealPlayer, and on and on (I HATE PC’s…) to no avail. I can’t seem to listen to Car Talk on my PC.

Has anyone else had this problem? Has anyone else let know about this glitch?

Any suggestions, comments, ideas are welcomed!



(a regular NPR listener and supporter, by the way)

I listen to the show every week via the podcast on iTunes. It downloads automatically each week which is nice, and never cuts out like it always did on RealPlayer. (incidentally both iTunes and the podcasts they have on there are free!)

I listen fairly often with RealPlayer and I’ve only had problems maybe 2 or 3 times in many years. The couple times it has happened to me there was one segment that would not play correctly and if I waited a few days it cleared up. I assume they had a corrupted file on the server that got replaced. I could always play the other segments and just skip the bad one.

Sounds to me like you may have network issues.

It may depend upon what streaming “vehicle” your website uses. I go to VPR (Vermont Public Radio) website and stream Car Talk using windows media player, quite often. Last week’s show for instance. That may be a easy solution for you.

I listen to CarTalk through Itunes now, as well. However, before the stream was made available through Itunes, I listened to the .ra faile on using the Jetaudio software package. It plays RealPlayer media files well, and I never had an issue with dropped streaming.

RealPlayer has historically been a terrible, bo-oh-oh-gus piece of software. I stopped using RealPlayer years ago.

Which version of RealPlayer are you using? Don’t use the “free trial” version that expires if you don’t pay for it. You need the totally free version and you must register it before it will work. Uninstall all versions of Rhapsody and RealPlayer on your system. Then go to and click on “Get RealPlayer–Free” in the upper left and follow the on-screen instructions. During the registration process, you will be asked to confirm your e-mail address by responding to an e-mail that they send you. During the installation process you will have the opportunity to assign certain file types to RealPlayer. Leave this setting as it is and click on “continue” or what ever the command is. Changing this setting might make RealPlayer not function when you try to open the audio file from Car Talk. If you don’t want to give away your e-mail address in the registration process, go to or and open a free e-mail account to use to register the software. This way you won’t get the spam.

Make sure you are logged into Windows XP as an administrator. Your problem might be related to the rights that are assigned to your account.

I agree that the easiest way is to use itunes and subscribe to the podcast, I can also use either WMP or real player on my macs without a problem. I can’t help with the PC, never owned one.

Are you using a TRS-80, Craig? ;^)

Nope, I use the latest/fastest computers I can get my hands on; then I throw then away (actually I give them to my kids).

Personally I enjoy using a nice fountain pen more, but computers are necessary tools.

Hey guys,
ANYONE else having trouble with the podcast this week? I cannot get it !! VERY slow and then error after a couple of minutes - everything else is just fine…
ALl comments welcomed please.

I was able to fetch the podcast, but unfortunately, it seemed to only be half a file. I’m chalking that up to technical difficulties.

thanks mr josh.
Any admin able to advise about these technical problems with podcast - i’m an avid listener and i’m missing by clack fix!

I use Real Alternative instead of Real Player. You can find it here:

thanks for that - really want it in mp3 format though so i can listen to it in bed! (Helps me to fall asleep!! (shush - dont tell Click and Clack!))

hi again, still cannot download the podcast - anyone else having problems?

Must be me. (sigh)

well, now i cannot get the latest version on podcast via itunes either.
Has anyone in the uk been able to get it pleasE?

Well for two weeks running I have only got the sponsored by message

I see there hasn’t been much activity in this thread for a while, but I’m also having trouble downloading the show using iTunes. The past two weeks I’ve only gotten the first half of the show. Anyone else having this problem?

I’ve had the same for the last two episodes.
The earlier of the two was maybe 30 minutes and was corrected later in the week (though posted under the same ID so I had to delete the entry from iTunes, collapse the listing for CarTalk, and then option click the listing to relist all available shows. The new download was the correct length.)
This week I originally received another 25 minute show and so far the corrected version is only 3 minutes.

I sense a quality control issue somewhere along the lines :slight_smile:

The real audio feeds came out correctly though.

I miss my CarTalk!