Today, we’ll talk about how to schedule a recording on your computer, with detail for both Mac OS X and Windows computers. This tutorial allows you to record either an online radio stream, or actual FM/AM broadcasts.
Internet radio stations are common these days, albeit not as common as their analog counterparts. However, because most regular radio stations “” and most certainly the popular ones “” offer an internet stream on their website to supplement day-to-day broadcasting, this is often the easiest option.
Windows – Radio & MP3 Player
You’ll need the URL of your internet radio station. If it isn’t supplied, you might be able to find it in the page source. If this doesn’t work, you can run the radio station in the background and use the analog recording option specified below.
There’s a nifty tool for the Windows platform called, rather appropriately, Radio & MP3 Player. It has all we need to schedule a recording. Go ahead and install it on your computer. Add the URL(s) of your internet radio station via Show My Stations -> Add.
Next, go to File and select Show Schedule Recordings. Here you’ll see an overview of all recordings that are already scheduled. If you’re using the application, this list will still be empty. Press Add New.
In the ensuing pop-up window, you’ll need to name the show you’re recording and select a radio station. Below, you’re able to configure the time window for the recording, and whether or not to make it recurring. The recording will be saved as MP3 by default in the folder specified at the bottom of the window.
Mac OS X – Radio Recorder
An application like this for Mac OS X is hard to find “” at least if you want it to be free. Radio Recorder is your best shot. The last release dates back to early 2005 and was for PPC. The developer’s website has since gone offline and the application is no longer supported. On the flip side, it still works like a charm, both on Intel Macs and PPC systems.
You’re able to configure Radio Recorder without leaving the main application window. Simply add the station URL, a name, and specify the time window for the recording. Similar to Radio & MP3 Player (above), these scheduled recordings can be made to recur. The other application tabs allow you to automatically split the songs and track radio tagging. When you’re done, press Now to activate the timer.
A retail alternative to RadioRecorder that’s still being actively supported is Radioshift “” $32 at the time of writing.
Analog Radio – Audacity 1.3 & up
Windows + Mac OS X
If you’re simply going to record audio from your computer, i.e. a radio station that’s playing in the background, you can skip this step. Actually recording analog radio shows falls into two categories; using a PCI Radio Tuner or your microphone input.
A PCI Radio Tuner is a piece of hardware that you put in your PC; it’s often included with PCI TV Tuner hardware. Some PC’s that were sold as media centers might have this by default. It means you can listen to FM/AM radio using an application on your computer. Make sure the software that came with the tuner is installed.
If you haven’t got a radio tuner in your computer, don’t worry, you can simply hook up a radio to your computer. You’ll need a radio with an AUX or Line-Out port and a 2x 3.5mm TRS jack cable. This cable has a plug like the one you use with an MP3 player or computer on both sides. This will connect to the mic-in port on your computer.
You’ll need Audacity 1.3, which is currently in beta. This download is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux/Unix. Be sure to select the right version; scheduling a recording wasn’t possible up until the 1.3 Beta.
You can select your audio input in the main application window. If you’re recording sound that’s playing on your computer, select the Internal Microphone. Otherwise, select your audio card.
Go to Transport -> Timer Record.. to schedule a recording. You can configure the start- and end time, but it’s not possible to create a recurring recording. You’ll have to configure the recording manually each time. Press OK to start the timer.
Do you know any other great alternatives to scheduling a recording? Let us know in the comments!
Image credit: Shutterstock
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