Here's a page of links to various old-time radio dealers. A great deal of OTR dealers sell the programs in mp3 discs, which are not audio cds, but data discs with mp3 files on them. These can't be played in many older audio cd players, but most very modern players will handle mp3s, including your car. It's also fairly straightforward to load these files from the disc onto your portable mp3 player of choice. While mp3 discs can give you vast amounts of shows instantly, just be aware that there are drawbacks. The quality can vary widely from show to show, since an mp3 of a particular show is just one person's copy of the show, and the person who encoded the file may not know about the degredation of quality with the varying settings involved in encoding mp3s. You may also get duplicates, misnamed or misdated shows, or sometimes the wrong files put in with your chosen series. It's a lot of work for the dealers to assemble collections like this, so they may not catch every mistake. Many are very willing to take corrections and additions, and especially upgrades of files. However, with all that said, we're providing links to some of the more widely-known OTR dealers, mp3 and otherwise.
We'll start with those dealers who offer material in normal audio cd sets.
Radio Archives has been offering material in nicely-packaged cd sets for several years, as well as offering pulp fiction reprints, dvds, and other unique items. Since they use original transcription discs for their source material, the broadcasts often sound better than radio listeners would have heard them over the air. In some cases, you can hear the pages of scripts being turned, it's that good. The company has released a widely successful line of previously lost episodes of Fibber McGee And Molly, from the years when the program was a quarter-hour series, though this line of releases is only one taste of their offerings. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to keep up with their latest offerings, as well as special deals, which they constantly offer. Enjoy, but watch out for your credit card.
Radio Spirits is perhaps one of the most well-known names in the dealership of OTR. They have been responsible for releasing series in chronological order, as well as previously lost material to the OTR community, but then so have Radio Archives, listed above.
Now for dealers who offer mp3 discs at bargain prices, when you just have to have the whole series at once.
Your webmaster, Matthew, can personally vouch for Jon, as I've traded with him several times in the past, and he offers unique features on his site. Each disc is five dollars U.S., and if you open the link for a particular disc, he has helpfully put up the listing of the discs' contents. There are also sample episodes, where possible.
The Radio Lady adds many mp3 shows to her collection each month, so be sure to sign up for Danean's e-mail from the web site to keep up to date. She has a wide collection of shows, some of which you may not have heard of before.
Some OTR series actually have their own dedicated web sites. For the mystery series Quiet Please, audio of existing episodes is downloadable from this site. Another site, devoted to both Escape and Suspense, tends to rotate the material, so it's worth bookmarking and checking back often for new content. Same concept goes for Randy Riddle's "Rand's Esoteric OTR." Randy, a collector of transcription discs, mostly via online auctions, posts interesting and little-known programs from OTR, with a lot of research behind each posting.