Downloading or recording. What's the best way to save streaming audio?

Last updated on August 9, 2021 by , Posted to record audio


There are only two ways to save streaming audio to your computer - download the audio directly from a website or record the audio during playback. In this article we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both methods.

1 Download streaming audio

The biggest drawback of downloading - is the need to support a huge number of various formats and protocols. Different streaming audio services may use the flash, shoutcast, icecast or windows media streams, so you will have to install separate programs for each site. Fans of downloading often argue that this method provides the best quality. So it is. The program downloads the original audio stream with no changes, but popular music services use the flash player and original stream will be in the FLV format. Unfortunately, this format is not supported by mobile devices and we will have to convert FLV to MP3 or M4A. After re-encoding quality is the same as a normal recording.

To intercept the audio stream program installs a special driver, which will be slightly slow down your computer. In addition, the driver reduces the security system from external attacks.

Another advantage of the download - a program automatically takes the ID3 tags from the website. Please note that each site used its own description of songs and player pages are constantly changing, so you must constantly update the program.

2 Record streaming audio

It is important to understand that the recording cannot be blocked because you are using the official player to listen to the audio and you are not violating the terms of use.

The main advantage of this method - versatility. What you hear is what you get. This is also the main drawback - you'll record system sounds. This is easily avoided if you disable them. Additionally, you must disable microphone to not record the background noise.

Not so long ago there was another disadvantage - the inability to get information about the song. Since the program does not access the site, but records audio from your sound card, the metadata is lost. In manual recording mode, you could copy the tags from the site manually, but in scheduled recording the program cannot do this on its own. This problem is now a thing of the past, the new generation of recorders uses music recognition algorithms and allows you to retrieve metadata from online sources as soon as you finish recording. The recognition accuracy is close to 100%.

streaming audio recorder screenshot

One of the best programs for recording streaming audio is an i-Sound. The unique ability to record digital audio from the sound card drivers without installing a virtual one guarantees high quality recording. In addition to support for all major audio formats, the program provides ample opportunities to use the built-in scheduler, sound-activated recording, and automatic gain control. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the program uses music recognition to automatically download tags and artwork. The recording browser allows you to edit the tags of recordings, copy, rename, and delete recordings, as well as send them via email.

Download i-Sound Recorder for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10


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