How to Record Streaming Audio with Audacity

If you are a big fan of Internet radio or music and streaming audio of all kinds, most likely you will want to record your favorite radio program or music for future listening. But most streaming broadcasting companies don't want listeners to record their broadcasts. Applications used for streaming such as RealPlayer or Windows Media Player don't include record options. Here comes Audacity – an absolutely free open source Audio Editor and Recorder. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. It will let you record and edit streaming music or other live Internet broadcasts to your PC.


What can you do with Audacity

1. You can Record live audio or streaming music playing on your PC.

2. You can convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.

3. You can Edit MP3, WAV, and Ogg Vorbis sound files.

4. You can Cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together.

5. You can Change the speed or pitch of a recording. If you want to know more about Audacity, you can visit Audacity feature Page.


How to Install Audacity

Step 1. Download Audacity 1.2.6 for Windows from here or go directly to download page. (note: There are two version of Audacity 1.2.6 & Audacity 1.3.2 Beta available right now)

Step 2. Download whichever Version you want to try. I prefer to use Audacity 1.2.6

Step 3. File download window will appear, Click Run (note: ActiveX may block the download, so you should allow it to start download.)

Step 4. Once download is complete, Click Run S

tep 5. Follow the Screen and Click Next Step

6. Select “I Accept the Agreement” and Press Next

Step 7. Follow the Screen and Press Next and Next until you reach Install

Step 8. Press Install to start installation of Audacity

Step 9. Press Finish and Installation is done


How can you Record Streaming Music or Audio

1. Start the Audacity (i.e. Start –> All Programs –> Audacity)

2. You need to do some Configuration here: In the main window, near the top on one of the toolbars, you will find a drop down box with a variety of inputs that you can record from. Same is shown in the screenshot with Red Circle. Select whichever option is suitable for you. In my case, Wave Out Mix worked. It may vary because it depends upon the sound card you have in your computer.

3. Make sure that your Internet radio or streaming music program is running and playing. Hit the Record button (the button with the red circle on it) in Audacity. When you have finished recording, Hit the Stop button (the button with the square on it). Record and Stop Button is also shown with Red Circle in the Screenshot.

4. Now Save the Recorded music in your computer. To save your recording, click File -> Export as WAV from the menu, if you want to save it as a WAV file.


How to Save the Recording in MP3

To save the Recording as an MP3 file, click File -> Export as MP3. But to do that, you must have to install LAME MP3 Encoder that allows Audacity to export MP3 file. You can download LIME MP3 Encoder from LAME MP3 Encoder. This is a Zip file so you have to unzip it and then copy that folder anywhere you like but I prefer to keep in C:\Program Files\Audacity folder. Then go to Edit -> Preferences – File Formats and Click on the Find Library. Then it will ask you to locate file “lame_enc.dll”. It will be in the same directory you have just unzipped and copied to C:\Program Files\Audacity. Then Click OK and again OK. That’s all. You can now export your recorder music as MP3.


Caution: While you are recording, you shouldn’t do anything that causes the computer to make sounds, including clicking on links in Windows Explorer otherwise that sound will also get recorded.


Bonus Tips: There are many options available in Audacity that you can set like no. of channels, sample rate for quality, Bit Rate and many more under Edit -> Preferences.

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