written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 6/30/2011
Many think that recording streaming audio from the Internet is a difficult task. They are not sure whether they would need additional hardware for the purpose or could make do with their existing computer setup. Here are pointers to help you record streaming audio effortlessly.
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So, how do you record streaming audio? This article will discuss two free solutions for recording streaming audio. But before we get started, let’s look at a few issues that may prevent the smooth recording of streaming audio.
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The easiest way to record streaming audio is to have your audio recording software set to Stereo Mix. Stereo Mix will record what you hear over your computer speakers. This includes any audio from streaming video.
Some computers are shipped with the Stereo Mix mode disabled in their sound cards. If yours falls into this category, you should look for the necessary drivers to enable the stereo mix feature.
Before you do that, you may want to try enabling the stereo mix option in Windows. If you’re using Windows Vista or 7, you would have to go to the Audio I/O tab and choose Stereo Mix under Recording Device. In Windows XP, you could enable the option via the Control Panel.
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If you’re unable to get Stereo Mix activated, there’s a hardware fix which is cheap and easy. Get an audio splitter and plug into the audio out of your sound card. With one cable plugged into your speakers, plug the second cable into the Line In of your sound card (refer to your sound card manual for assistance). Done with that, you can choose Line In as your preferred recording mode in your audio software program and start your recording.
Now that we have taken care of the settings to prepare you for the recording of streaming audio, let’s look at the audio recording programs that can assist you in the process.
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If youdon’t already have audio recording software, you don’t have to run out and purchase one. There are free programs available that could do a good job. The obvious choice is Audacity, an open source program. If you have editing in mind after recording your streaming audio, this would be the program to go for. Audacity is available for Windows and Mac.
If you don’t wish to download and install software, there’s an option to use what you already have installed in your computer. If Windows is your operating system, you can make use of the Sound Recorder that comes with Windows accessories.
Windows Sound Recorder only records sound and doesn’t have editing facilities like Audacity. If you just want to record audio without any editing in mind, you could do well to give Windows Sound Recorder a try.
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The key is to find a find an audio source that streams smoothly. For this purpose, you would have to identify an Internet radio station or podcast that streams smoothly to your computer. Once you’ve identified that, you would want to have your audio recording software on standby for recording. It's advisable to hit the Record button first before playing the audio stream.
If you would like to record audio from slow streaming video, you could wait for the video to play fully and then replay it to record the audio smoothly.