With the now mainstream use of broadband, it is no longer a novelty to stream audio and video over the Internet. It is now par for the course. If the data is coming to your computer as it is, it is safe to assume you can record it for later use, right?
Yes, you can. With the right software, it is very easy to accomplish.
Uses For Recording Internet Audio?
Well, the entire purpose of recording audio is for archival purposes. You want to save it for later reference. Let’s say you are listening to a streaming radio station online. You can record the audio and listen to the same music later on (just like putting a cassette into your radio and hitting record). Perhaps you are listening to a web-based seminar and want to record the audio.
Since I began doing the tech news each week for the SOS Computer Talk Show here in Tampa Bay, Florida on 1040AM, I am using this more often. The show plays on Saturdays. Well, being that I have a 6-month old baby girl and I work like crazy during the week, I really value my weekend time. I don’t want to have to worry about remembering to listen to the show at 1PM on Saturdays. Well, I can set up a recorder to record the streaming audio of the 1040AM station on the website. At the end of the show, I have an MP3 file of the show. Nice and easy.
How To Record Streaming Audio on Windows
Since most of you guys are using Windows, let’s first cover your Windows options.
- Radio2MP3. This program does everything I said above. It will allow you to easily record streaming internet audio. In fact, it will allow you to record from up to 30 stations at the same time. It will also allow you to schedule the recordings to take place when you’re not there.
- OpD2d. This utility is free and can basically record any audio input directly to hard disk. Being free, the program is pretty limited and the interface is extremely weird. It can record directly to MP3. It does not have any scheduling options and, like I said, has very few options.
- FreeCorder. Another freebie, this one runs right in your web browser as a toolbar. The interface is much nicer than OpD2d and it is easier to use. It does not have the ability to schedule recordings, but otherwise looks to be a fairly capable option if you don’t mind the program being directly attached to your web browser as a toolbar.
- Replay Media Catcher. This one isn’t free, but it looks like it can do video, too.
How to Record Streaming Audio on a Mac?
By far the best option I am aware of to record any audio input on a Mac is WireTap Studio. Being that I run a Mac, this is the program I am using. You can select any audio input, be it an audio input source or an application. You can schedule recordings. WireTap Studio also has an audio editor built in so that you can make changes to your recordings. With this tool, you could use it to create your own podcast if you would like.
In my case, when recording the radio show, I just select Firefox from the dropdown in WireTap Studio and hit the Record button. Any audio being streamed through Firefox will then be recorded.
Any Legal Implications?
I am not a lawyer, however I do not think there is any legal issue at all with making recordings of streaming audio and archiving them for later use, whether it be on your MP3 player or not. It is no different than recording the radio. However, NEVER use a program like this for commercial purposes. The moment you redistribute a recording you make, you are probably breaking the law.
So, have fun doing it and keep it to yourself and you won’t have the RIAA breathing down your neck.
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.