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Monday, October 20, 2008

Audacity great choice for recording audio stream

Just wanted to share my great experience with Audacity yesterday.
I've always been annoyed with BBC online radio. Not because of its quality or content, but because I can't rip/ record/ copy the bloomin' stuff.

Now I tried recording the 1Xtra Drum n Bass chart, one of the shows I listen to every now and then, with some pitiful piece of recording software that I won't name, and it sounded rubbish. Like I'd used an old portable audio cassette recorder or something!

Yesterday however, I was listening to the MOBO awards, which you can maybe still catch here:

I was once again determined to try to record the stream (it's a RealPlayer stream) so I did a quick Google for a recording software.

My Google search returned Audacity as the first result. Obviously I'm slightly confused as to why it never popped up before. Anyway here's the Audacity link:

I just downladed the zip file for Windows and unpacked it.

I fired up the program and there was a record button staring at me. I pressed it and baboom, a sound wave signal thingy started moving from left to right. It looked like it was recording.

So to check it was working, I stopped recording, stopped the stream, and pressed the play button (in Audacity) and it played back the little gem it had just recorded. It sounded great, no crappy cassette-like sound.

I've used Audacity in the past to edit audio (had to get that one in so as not to sound like a pleb) but never knew it could record (maybe it couldn't back then).

Anyway, Audacity is my recorder of choice for the time being. And it's damn well free!


I'd just like to add, so as not to mislead anybody, that Audacity doesn't actually record the stream directly, it records the audio channel on your PC.
So be careful you don't play any other sounds on your PC or mess around with the volume (I think you can safely change the main volume, but not the others - you'll have to test it and see). Basically, any change to the sound you hear will likely be captured by Audacity.

Obviously, if you are able to record an audio stream directly with another software, this will probably be a better option. This is an EASY option for recording ALL TYPES of audio, but essential for audio where the stream can't be recorded directly.

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