I want to record audio from an Internet 2 hour weekly radio program (KSPC.org). I have a newly purchased Lenovo i3 ideacentre computer with Windows 10. Is it possible? I am willing to purchase additional software or hardware if needed.
The first thing I would counsel is that you check with the radio station – KSPC – to see if they make their programming available through podcasts. If so, you can just download the specific show you enjoy. In this case, however, there’s unfortunately no podcast option I can see from the Web site, so you’re stuck with a more complex task: using a software program to capture the audio stream live.
And by “live” I mean that literally; you’ll need to press “record” at the beginning of your desired program, and “stop” when the program’s over, so if it’s a two hour reggae show, you’ll need to use your computer both at the start and end of the show. In which case, well, you could just listen to the program, but since you probably want to archive them to listen again another time it completely makes sense. And you could also do these recordings while at work, of course, when you can’t otherwise sit at your computer and listen for hours on end.
In any case, the real challenge is that the audio stream comes in through your computer’s sound card, not through the microphone input. If it were the latter (like a Webcam) then there are plenty of programs already on your Win10 system to capture audio. But capturing it from the soundcard requires a separate program. No hardware, though, so that’s good!
To demonstrate one way to accomplish this task, I’m going to use Free Sound Recorder, though I definitely have some reservations about the fact that it seems to also install some advertising junk and a Chrome extension without the option of bypassing that “bonus”. When we’re done, I’ll show you how to axe the extension too. Unfortunately, just about all “free” software seems to have some sort of way for the programmer to produce revenue, and often those approaches aren’t at all end-user friendly.
Below you can see the KSPC home page and, above it, the Free Sound Recorder app, ready to record:
Notice on the top right of the KSPC page there’s a red circle that says “Listen Live” and gives you two options, 192K and 128K. I suggest you always choose the better quality audio stream (192K) and my suspicion is that the audio recorder will produce the same size file regardless since it’s just recording off the soundcard anyway.
Once you’re listening, Free Sound Recorder should show some activity in the left & right channel level bars, as you can see in this closeup:
See the light green at the bottom of the blue vertical bars? That’ll bounce up and down based on sound level. If you’re seeing that, however, the program is “hearing” the audio so you’re ready to record. If not, you might need to check your system settings with audio output.
To record a program, simply click or tap on the red record button. Now the display will change to show you it’s recording:
Notice the word “Recording” on the left side and that the elapsed time display is now counting up: We’re 10 seconds into a recording.
Done with the recording and ready to save it as a file for later listening? Click or tap on the record button again. Now in the lower section you’ll see a new output file listed. Right click on the listed entry and you’ll see there are a number of options for proceeding:
I recommend you choose “Open the folder where the file is stored” so you can work with the recording, not make a copy and forget about it and thereby lose that disk space. You’ll be in the usual File Explorer interface now and within Windows 10, not the Free Audio Recorder:
As you can see from the hover tip window, the output is indeed an “MPEG Layer 3 Audio” file (aka an MP3 file) and now you can drag and drop it to your Desktop, rename it to the program name, save it to a USB Flash drive you can listen to in your car [if it works with MP3 audio files, but most modern cars do indeed have this capability] or whatever else you’d like to do. That’s it. Audio recorded, mp3 file produced. Congrats on a job well done!
But we’re not quite done because Free Audio Recorder has secretly installed an extension into your Google Chrome browser, which is tedious and annoying both. Heck, just ask the user and most would probably be happy to install it! Anyway, in Chrome, go to the URL chrome://extensions/ and it’ll show you all the extensions installed in your browser. On the list will now be this:
As I said, the extension might even be useful – it’ll make these audio recordings easier – but since the program doesn’t tell you it’s installing it, I want to show you how to delete it and keep your Chrome browser clean. Do so by clicking “Remove“. Done.
Pro Tip: While you’re here, I encourage you to check out our extensive Windows help area for lots more tutorials.