If you frequently listen to internet radio and have ever wondered if it might be possible to record music or other content to your computer, you have probably run into difficulties. There are programs that you can use to capture streaming audio. But due to the security measures taken by the purveyors of internet audio content, you may have a program that works for one site, but not another.
Traffic jams, such as having a slow computer, or a slow broadband connection, or especially a dial up connection can cause your download to either be patchy or stop altogether. Not only that, many people are doing the same thing. This also causes a network slowdown. If you have ever been listening to streaming audio and had your song interrupted for “buffering”, this may be the cause. Not only that, but the people who are providing the content would really rather that you didn’t download their streaming content.
These are some of the caveats to downloading streaming audio. If none of these issues concerns you, here are some ways you can get that free (to you) content.
There are a couple of programs you can download to record your streaming audio onto your computer. One installs a toolbar in Internet Explorer or Firefox. The other is a standalone program. Both of them are freeware. Both of them use the sound recording capabilities of your computer’s sound card.
Freecorder is the program that installs a toolbar in either Internet Explorer, or Firefox. The site claims that it installs no spyware, but with all programs you download from the internet, there is always a risk. Be aware of this before downloading any program. You may download the program here: This program will download streaming audio and video. Not only that but this program will also convert various file formats for you. If you have a Flash video file, (.FLV) and want to view it as an MPEG this little program will convert the file. The conversion is available for audio and video formats.
The standalone program is called MP3 My MP3. This program will record streaming audio on any Directsound equipped sound card. To determine of your sound card is compatible, go to run, and type in “dxdiag” which is a diagnostic tool for DirectX. Most windows computers are DirectX equipped. Click on the sound tab, and you should see a message that states no problems found. You have a DirectSound equipped sound card.
MP3 My MP3 allows you to save to .WAV, or MP3 format. If you can hear it on your computer, you can record it. This program will playback what you have recorded. You may download it here: The program will also rip CDROM audio, and offers simple file management.
As mentioned, these are freeware programs, but if you like them and use them, why not donate something to the programmers?
Please note this final word of caution. Much of the music that you are able to hear is proprietary. This means that if you download it rather than purchase the CD that the song comes from, the artist, the record producers, and the songwriters, are not being paid. That said, there is a lot of music played over the internet that is in the public domain. Consider what you are downloading, and enjoy.