Recording Internet radio with Audacity.

Earlier this week, South Florida’s only classical music station was sold to an outside media company that has already changed the station’s format to contemporary Christian programming. This is a huge loss for fans of classical music throughout South Florida. Alas, all is not lost. Classical music programming can be now accessed online at YourClassical, where you can access live streams of music as well as fine programs such as Performance Today and Pipe Dreams.

While it’s nice to be able to listen to classical music online, I still wouldn’t have anything to listen to during my long bike rides. I would have along my portable radio tuned to Classical South Florida to add a majestic soundtrack to my ride but with that station now gone, I was left to ponder other solutions.

Then it dawned on me that I could record a few hours of the live stream at YourClassical and then put it on my iPod for later listening. The tricky part was finding the right program to do this. Previously I was using Easy Hi-Q Recorder to record off my regular radio through an external sound card. In fact I hadn’t used it since I upgraded to Windows 7 several years ago, and when I tried it out last night, it failed to detect my sound hardware, not even after following the documentation to get it to work with Windows 7.

I tried a few other free Internet radio recorders such as Station Ripper and StreamWriter but they didn’t work for me either. They do pick up other online music streams with no problem, but not the one at YourClassical. I’m thinking that one stream is set up to play only through web browsers. So I was stuck.

The solution happened to lie in a program already installed on my system. Audacity came in handy some years ago when I needed to record my vinyl records to MP3 files, and now it’s come to the rescue to help me record the music stream at YourClassical. The hardest part was configuring it to record directly from the sound card, but I managed to figure that out in a few clicks. Selecting “Windows WASAP” from the sound input menu did the trick, as shown here:


Problem solved. From now on when I want to record the YourClassical stream, I just manually start the stream at the web site, fire up Audacity and record away. I can even schedule it to record the stream during the night while I’m sleeping. When the recording’s finished, I save ito an MP3 file for later transfer to my iPod for some musical enjoyment on my next bike ride. It does sound like a bit of work but I consider this an ideal solution using free software that requires no upgrading to a “pro” version for me to fully utilize its abilities.

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