Recording streaming audio on your computer is fast and easy. Recording software falls into two categories – Audio Recorders and Stream Capture Programs.

If you’re looking for the best all-around solution to record iTunes, Rapsody, and similar subscription sites so you can play the songs on your MP3 player or MP3 capable cell phone use Replay Music. It offers both methods.

There are other programs that feature radio station tuning and scheduling, and some audio filtering and conversion options as well. I’ll cover those later in this article.

Audio Recorders

Audio Recorders work by capturing the audio as it plays from your sound card. These are the most common type of recorders. They have the advantage of being able to record any audio format – even copy protected (DRM) audio. The disadvantage is that quality may suffer because the audio is converted from a compressed format(like MP3 or Windows Media) to an uncompressed format (WAV), and then back to a compressed format. It’s like making a photocopy of a photocopy. Most of the time the audio quality will still sound great but it won’t be quite as good as the original. Your PC’s sound card settings may also be affect audio quality.

Because these programs take over your sound card any other sounds that occur on your PC will appear in your recordings – meaning you can only record one thing at a time.

Replay Music is an audio recorder that works great for capturing songs. It can extract individual song files, and recognize the song information so it can include the artist, title, album and genre data information win the MP3 file. It works great with Digital Music Services like iTunes and Rapsody and online radio stations that have markers between songs. It can also burn CDs!

Audio Stream Capture Programs

Stream capture programs record the digital file directly from the server. By doing this the audio quality is a perfect copy of  the original file on the website. You can also record multiple streams at the same time. These programs will also capture streaming video, too.

Occasionally protected audio or audio from subscription sites often can’t be recorded. Also, most of these programs(with the exception of Replay A/V) have no conversion capabilities, so you’ll also want to purchase a separate audio or video conversion program. A good example is if you record a Real Audio file but need to listen to convert it to an MP3 file for your portable player.

A recommended stream capture programs is WM Recorder.

Combo Programs

Replay A/V offers both Stream Capture and Audio Recording. Using the stream capturing feature you can record several radio programs simultaneously, or record streaming video. It can capture clips and you can schedule recordings of live web-based broadcast audio and video. Replay A/V also has a Quick Audio Recording feature that makes it easy to quickly capture audio clips. You can download a free demo of Replay A/V.

Products Mentioned in this Article

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All tutorials and reviews are based on actual use of the products described. We’re streaming media enthusiasts and do this stuff everyday so we know how to capture streaming video and audio and convert it so we can play it on the devices we love.

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