The Best Ways to Save Audio Streams From The Internet

Find out how you can easily create audio files from online sources

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If you're new to digital music then you might think that the only way to get audio files on your computer is to either download them or rip from CD. However, there is another method that is also popular with users which takes advantage of the Analog Hole. This simply means recording from an audio source rather than directly downloading, ripping, or copying.

In the case of streaming music, the specialized software uses your computer's soundcard to record audio. This type of program can grab just about any sound that your computer's soundcard outputs. This is especially useful for recording from streaming music services or websites.

You can also record sound from a microphone, an auxiliary input device, or even sound in a game. The downside to using this type of software is that if your computer makes a noise while recording a music track, then the interference will also be captured too. That said, this is the most flexible type of software to have installed on your machine.

How to Capture Online Music 

Internet Radio

If you specifically want to capture streaming audio that is broadcast from radio stations, then you'll need an Internet radio recorder. These are special programs that keep an updated database of available stations. Once connected to an Internet radio station, you can listen to the live music and record it if you wish.

Streaming Audio From Websites

This type of tool is perhaps the most widely used for capturing audio. They're multi-purpose and can often capture from a microphone, too. Most streaming audio recorders support various formats to save recordings to, with the MP3 being the standard (for compatibility between devices).

Using Websites to Convert Video to Audio

Although this method isn't a tool as such that you need to install on your computer, it's still a valid way. There are free websites on the Internet that can be used to extract audio from a video.

For example, if you like the music on a YouTube video, but don't want the visuals, then this is a great way to turn it into just an MP3.

Is it Legal to Record Streaming Audio?

This area of the law causes a lot of confusion. Some say it's acceptable to record audio (via the Analog Hole) because technically you aren't making a direct copy. However, this really depends of course on what you are recording. If the music you are streaming is protected by copyright, then should you be creating a digital audio file? Perhaps not, but many people do.

The main thing to keep in mind when recording audio from the Internet using the methods above is not to distribute the files you have created. The last thing you want to be doing with your recordings is inadvertently making them available to others via P2P file-sharing networks etc.