3 Easy Tools to Record Streaming Music as MP3 Files

Tina Sieber 14-10-2008

3 Easy Tools to Record Streaming Music as MP3 Files clipinc06As a kid I spent hours recording tunes from the radio. I would even call to request songs and I hated DJ’s that chatted into the songs, making them worthless. My collection of music cassettes grew steadily. Growing up I started buying CD’s until I had internet access. From there on my need for hard drive space grew massively. Those were the days.

Today, it doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to obtain legal MP3’s, but it does take some good tools. Here are three different programs to record streaming audio (i.e. from online radio).

1. ClipInc 4

ClipInc is available for Windows in five different languages, although its German base keeps surfacing. It comes with hundreds of preset internet radio stations, and with the free version you can record up to three audio streams simultaneously.

clipic - record streaming audio

So let’s get started. First you will want to add some stations through Ctrl+F6 or >File >Add station… or the + button in the bottom left of the main window. You should only pick a station that comes with StreamTags, else your tracks will remain unnamed. A high bit rate is to be preferred, although low bit rates will produce smaller file sizes.

3 Easy Tools to Record Streaming Music as MP3 Files clipinc02

Once the three slots are filled, right-click on each station in the bottom left and select >start recording. This is also where you can remove a stream to add a new one. Songs are saved temporarily and can be viewed for each stream separately (click the respective station in the bottom left) or for all streams collectively (the button with four squares in the bottom left).

What I love about ClipInc is that you can listen to each stream while it’s being recorded or you can listen to any of the previously recorded songs inside the program while it’s still ripping up to three stations. The program keeps a timeline of when which song was recorded, and additionally you can view the lyrics and the matching video as far as available.

The correct recognition and subsequent cutting of separate tracks depends on the selected stream. When recording from regular radio stations the DJ’s will talk into the songs or a song will fade out straight into a jingle or the next song and the program may not recognize that.

To finally save recorded songs, pick the ones you like from the list, right-click the selection and click >save as…

2. Streamripper

Streamripper is a plugin for Winamp and as such it’s platform independent.

After being installed it will load with Winamp per default. Click ‘Start’ to launch a recording session. Streamripper automatically detects ID3 tags and saves them accordingly. You have full control over the output file pattern through the options button. A folder is created for each new stream, but not for artists or albums.

streamripper - record streaming radio

The drawback is that in some cases tracks are not recognized perfectly. As a result, previous or following songs, commercials and jingles blend into the recorded song or make it end abruptly. That’s very annoying. However, it does depend on the station, so select your stream wisely.

3. TheLastRipper

TheLastRipper is available for Windows, Linux, and in a beta version for OSX.

In my eyes, this is by far the best audio recorder, although it is limited to recording streams from Using the tool you log into your account and then search music the way you would on the website.


Recording will start instantly into the default folder /My Documents/My Music, which can be customized. Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear anything because the tool is not meant to stream the music to your ears. Not being able to hear what is being recorded kind of makes the Love, Hate and Skip buttons pointless. The good thing is that even while the program is running, you can log into the website and listen to a different stream, which of course will not be recorded.

Now what really makes this tool a winner is that you don’t have to deal with commercials, badly cut tracks or alternating quality. Furthermore, all tracks are ID3 tagged and neatly sorted into folders by artist and album, including the displayed album art. That way you can collect whole albums of your favorite artists, without any hassle whatsoever. Very simple and quite perfect!

We have previously covered two possible alternatives.

First of all there is Audacity, with which you can record any sound that passes through your sound card and edit it to your likings: Record audio files with Audacity Record audio files with Audacity Read More written by Mark, available for Windows, OSX and Linux.

Then there is Screamer Radio, which works more along the lines of ClipInc, but can only record one stream at a time: Record streaming Audio with Screamer Radio Record Streaming Audio with Screamer Radio Read More written by Aibek; available for Windows.

How do you increase your music collection or do you spare your hard drive and thrive on what is being streamed to you?

Related topics: Internet Radio, MP3, Record Audio.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Tim
    December 28, 2016 at 6:09 am

    You leave out the easiest method of all. Audio Hijack for Mac OS X. It will record anything you can hear over your computer's speakers and it does it well.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

      That could be because I've never used a Mac, not even back in 2008.

      Thank you for the recommendation, Tim! Do you have a link and is the tool free?

  2. mechmike
    December 12, 2009 at 9:51 am

    RadioSure rips as well, and is portable:

  3. VirginTech
    April 27, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Thanks for sharing this Great info, ClipInc specially is amazing really!

  4. Jane
    March 19, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Tks for sharing.
    But I prefer use a streaming music recorder from Wondershare brand,it can record streaming music with high quality.

  5. Mike
    January 9, 2009 at 10:22 am

    My fav way is to use orbit downloader with IE. I particularly like to grab tracks from sites like amongst a few others. I've found's quality to be hard to beat seeing as the tracks are 256K and download as mp3's. Alot of sites grab videos in flv, with lower quality and means you have to convert. It's slow, but if I want something I can't get elsewhere, like using Napster and Soundtaxi, then this is the best way. It's also alot cleaner than stream ripping. You do have to rename each file after download. Still, to me a minor inconvenience.

  6. design
    October 23, 2008 at 11:59 am

    You can add Free Music Zilla to that list...

  7. Aibek
    October 20, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Wayne

    Sory for delayed reply, I am not sure why your malware scanner reported files as spyware.
    Based on what I have heard about ClipInc it's a good and reliable program.
    So if I were you, I wouldn't worry about it. I also think since ClipInc actively uses your internet connections
    it's not very unusual for malware/virus scanner to mark it as potentially dangerous tool.

    Hope this helps


  8. Wayne Eagleson
    October 20, 2008 at 6:15 pm


    I downloaded recommended program "Clipinc" and found it very good, but my malware scanner (Prevx CI) has identified two files related to "Clipinc" as "bad".
    I did some research, and couldn't find any other negative reports. The "bad" files in question are: CISUnins.exe and CICUnins.exe located in the Windows directory.
    Any ideas?

    Wayne Eagleson

  9. Mamainak
    October 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    OMG thank you for TheLastRipper!! Now I can have all those live versions!!! But what bothers me is that i srecords everything, whole playlist that streams..and there is no Stop button and although there is URL option, you can just paste song url so it records only that. I have to go through my playlist and click skip until I find song I like...if I forget to close it, TheLastRipper will download my whole playlist!!

  10. Download MP3s
    October 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Another cool utility is Replay Music . This is an audio recorder that also figures out the name & artist of the recorded songs using song recognition technology, and will record from ANYWHERE as long as there is a small silent gap between songs.

    Check it out!

  11. Bill
    October 16, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Tina - Check out Replay Media Catcher. This will digitally record, Pandora, as well as a ton of video sites. Plus, it uses a song fingerprinting technology to figure out the name, artist, album and genre of the song, and adds those tags to the MP3 file.

    Honestly - it's way better than these other solutions. Try it!

  12. steve
    October 15, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    The problem with Clipinc is that you can't add new stations that aren't in the program's database. You have to submit it to the developers.

  13. JLeiderman
    October 14, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Freecorder toolbar for Firefox or IE. One button recording, has more sophisticated encoding options. Record from any source. Built-in internet radio station interface.

  14. Chris
    October 14, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Clipinc is awesome! LOVE YOU MAKEUSEOF