How to listen to .ram files.

Some of the audio/video files that we host here at ibiblio are in .ram format (check out these great hollerin’ files). If you just click on that today, it probably won’t work, but with a few steps you can download and listen.

.Ram is a Real Audio Metadata file, it contains no audio itself, but is a text file that points to the URL where the audio/video is located, likely a .rm file. The .rm file is the actual audio/video. The Real Audio player came out in 1995 and was a way to play audio and video files from the internet while they were still downloading. Some may not recall this, but downloading files over dial-up took an incredibly long time. 

You can play these files on your computer but need to take a few extra steps:

  1. Download the .ram and open it with a text editor to see the URL that it points to. Using the hollerin example, we open the hearsome.ram file and see that the URL is pnm://
  2. Convert that URL by taking everything after the .edu and putting it onto like this – (this step only applies to ibiblio files).
  3. Open that URL to download the .rm file (.rm is the actual Real Media file).
  4. Download this VLC player
  5. Open the .rm file with the VLC player.
  6. Enjoy

Another example of .ram in ibiblio is this inspiring 1998 UNC Commencement speech from Marian Wright Edelman.

Record Archives

I recently discovered this Little Wonder Records Archive , an archive of 5 ½ ” about 90 second long records created between 1914 and 1923 to showcase the popular music of the time in a format that more people could afford. 

ibiblio hosts a few recording archives as well. 

Pandora Records Archive

The Pandora Records archive contains classical music from Pandora Records, organized by instrument. Recordings can be found under the mp3 and vorbis links. Pandora Records was extant for about 10 years, starting in 1973.

The files are not labeled with the artist – but this list may shed some light on who plays what. Here’s Rachmaninov on 2 pianos likely from Neal and Nancy O’Doan. 

Goldband Recording Archive

At one time we hosted the Goldband Recording Archive for the Southern Folklife Collection – now hosted at their own site hereGoldband Records was based in Lake Charles, Louisiana and was active in the 1930’s and 40’s. This archive is real treasure trove of photos and recordings from the era in country and western, cajun, and swamp pop music.

Some notable examples of what you can find there

Dolly Parton recorded her first original song “Puppy Love” at Goldband.

Cajun accordion of Moise Robin – Here’s a great interview with him from 1980.

Recordings of Phil Philips (Swamp Pop legend who wrote Sea of Love) singing Stormy Weather and Take This Heart.

Zydeco legend Boozoo Chavis

This recording is labeled with the names  Antoine “Fats” Domino, his mentor Dave Bartholomew, Travis, and Katie Webster has some great early Rock and Roll and Swamp Pop hits:

Katie Webster’s Don’t Drive Me Deeper
Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill
Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew’s Ain’t That a Shame
Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew’s Valley of Tears
Dave Bartholomew’s Blue Monday

Carl von Linné

In 1753 Carl Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) set out to organize and classify every plant known to man at the time. His work was published in four volumes, Species Plantarum, in sections I – XIII. Thanks to Project Gutenberg, you can read them all  for free in their original Latin (Google translate may help):

Species Plantarum, Sections I-III
Species Plantarum, Sections IV-V
Species Plantarum, Sections VI-X
Species Plantarum, Sections XI-XIII 

More accessible to read may be Linnaeus’ journal of his 1732 trip to Lapland in Northern Sweden, also available at Project Gutenberg:

Lachesis Lapponica; Or, A Tour in Lapland, Volume 1
Lachesis Lapponica; Or, A Tour in Lapland, Volume 2 

Beautiful descriptions of Lapland in 1732 in the spring, still snow on the ground in some places, but early spring flowers starting to come up.

Those interested in plants and classification can find more information at the Plant Information Center website from the UNC Herbarium.