Music is one of the most traded forms of media on the Internet. We’ve long since passed the days of purchasing vinyl records and cassette tapes with analog music data; now we can enjoy music in the form of digital audio files like MP3. But what’s the best way to get your hands on your favorite albums?
For a long time, music files could only be had in one way: ripping them directly from CDs. These files were then shared through various networks, like the infamous Napster, and that opened up a whole new world. Now you can purchase digital music straight off the Internet or download them for free in any number of ways.
And then there’s the process of recording streaming music. If you’re tapped into an online radio station or streaming music through a service like Youtube, you can actually record it directly and save it to your computer. How can you do it? By using a program like Audials One 9. The program doesn’t just end there, though; it has a big list of awesome features that you’ll love.
When you first open Audials One, you’ll see a main all-in-one window that acts as the media center for the program. On the left side, you can choose between all of the features. Each feature will appear in the center panel. The right panel is a playlist manager that lets you import and play songs.
One useful thing about the interface is the ability to minimize certain panels when you don’t need them. If I’m focusing on listening to Internet radio, I can close the left and right panels. If I just want to listen to my own songs, I can close all but the right panel.
The Radio feature is Audials One’s primary feature. With it, you can instantly search the Internet for Internet radio stations to listen to and record. Audials One not only supports traditional SHOUTcast radio stations, but also any online stream that uses MP3, WMA, and AAC formats. How many stations can you search? Thousands of them. Or manually add stations of your choosing if you prefer it that way.
Why is this useful? Because Audials One will automatically record the songs from those radio stations to your computer. Even better, the program will analyze the songs being recorded and cut them at the beginnings and ends to eliminate all advertisements. And according to their website, it’s all legal!
The Music Search is the feature that I find most useful. Type in any artist, any album, any song title, or any genre and you’ll get a whole bunch of results that match. Audials One will scour the Internet for all instances of that particular music file and show them in a neat organized list. As a bonus, it’ll even look for videos! Great for finding Youtube uploads of your favorite songs.
Once you’ve found the music file of your search, you can record it straight to your computer. If the result is a video, you can choose to record the entire thing or just the audio. Extremely useful if you frequently convert Youtube links into personal audio files.
I have to admit that the Music Wishes feature is nifty, though I’m not sure I’d ever use it. In essence, you set a wish list of songs that you want and Audials One will monitor thousands of Internet radio stations and music sources until it finds that song being played. Once it detects that your desired song is playing, it automatically records it.
How flexible are Music Wishes? You can choose either audio files, video files, or both. You can fill your wishlist with individual songs or entire albums. You can set your wishlist by artists and groups and genres. It’s all very flexible and you’ll find your music library being filled out little by little every day.
Similar to the Music Wishes feature, you can set up Audials One to monitor and record specific podcasts as they air. The program comes equipped with a database of over 40,000 podcasts already, but if you find that they’re missing a podcast you want, you can add it manually.
In addition, as podcast episodes air, you can tap into them and listen (or watch if it’s a video podcast) live. If live-listening isn’t for you, then Audials One can subscribe to particular podcasts and download them automatically.
Or maybe you’re late to a certain podcast and they have dozens or hundreds of episodes already archived. In that case, Audials One can go through and download all of the episodes with a single click–then convert and save them in the format of your choice!
And lastly, we arrive at the Music TV feature. Audials One contains a database of all popular music television stations. Using the built-in live viewer, you can surf through the numerous channels, watching the music videos that you want to watch at your own leisure.
I’m not much of a music videos person so I don’t think I’ll be using this feature much. However, for music video fans, it’s a great way to watch when you don’t have access to a television with music video channels. The quality is about what you’d expect from a standard-definition TV. In addition, Audials One contains all of the awesome video recording/converting/saving features of Audials Moviebox.
Audials One 9 retails for $59.90.