Using Audacity To Record Audio Streams And System Audio

There are various bits of software out there for recording live Internet audio streams but many people often overlook the simple free solutions already available.

Audacity is a piece of free recording software that is cross-platform and can easily be set to record from your computer internal audio. Once recorded it will offer you the choice of saving as an mp3, AAC, ogg or various uncompressed formats.

Set To Record From The Built In Input

Just make sure that Audacity is set to record from the built-in input (Audacity -preferences-devices-recording: change to built-in input).

Audacity will now record anything playing on your computer so fire up that online audio stream via a web browser or your chosen piece of audio stream player (media player, iTunes,vlc etc), adjust your system volume level and the Audacity recording level and you’re ready to record.

Windows uses may have to make some extra adjustments.

Audacity Now Has A Timer

In fact the latest version (1.3.13) adds a timer recording capability (under the Transport menu or Shift+T from your keyboard once audacity is running).

Of course when using the timer facility will inevitably require that  you’ll have to pre-start the playback of your audio stream in advance or delve into the world of software scheduling on windows, automator on OS X or gui front ends for cron jobs in linux such as gnome-schedule (perhaps I can look at these additional options another time).

Bring Your Own Radio

Recording internal audio doesn’t mean that you have to record Internet streams. You could just as easily connect an ordinary FM/AM radio, Digital radio, standalone Internet radio or satellite radio to your system input via the proper cable and set these to come on at a chosen time.

Download a PDF of this article here


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Graham says:

    Great article! I’ve had a copy of Audacity for quite a while, yet haven’t really done much with it. Hadn’t thought of this aspect.

    1. Em² says:

      Hi Graham – Glad you found it of potential use. Fingers crossed a few others will too.

  2. stephen_martin says:

    this was very useful. has audacity always had this capacity? i used it to digitise my vinyl, and also in conjunction with a piece of australian recording software – expensive for what it was and they treated you like an australian ashes team might treat a young batsman. could audacity do this 5 years ago and i missed it?
    so, thanks very much. it was very simple to set up and my britten archive has somewhat expanded over the weekend. can’t believe i’m the only one to make good use of this post in the past 2 1/2 years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s