I subscribed to the music service Deezer a few weeks back. With a monthly subscription of US$4.99 (NGN800), Deezer gives you unrestricted access to about 30 million+ music files for your listening pleasure. You are able to stream any music track or if you prefer, you can even save the tracks to your device (PC or mobile device) for you to listen to when are not connected to internet.
The snag with this arrangement is that;
- the music files are not in your regular mp3 or wma format but some unidentifiable encrypted format.
- access to your music files are cut off any month you fail to pay your subscription. You lose access to all your music files until you renew your subscription.
- you are restricted to the music player app provided by the music service both on your PC (Chrome Browser app) or mobile device.
In a bid to avoid the restrictions listed above, I started looking around for a way to capture streaming audio from either my PC or mobile device. I met a brick wall with android, there was no app available for what i wanted to do. At least, i did not find any.
For the PC, however, the story was different.
I revisited this Windows application called Audacity. For those that know, this application has been around for quite a while – but not with the features in its latest iteration. From Audacity version 2.0.4 onwards, Audacity can record computer playback even on budget laptops with sound devices lacking that ability.
On other operating systems (Linux and Apple OSX platform application), Audacity does not provide its own ability to record computer playback but can do so if the computer sound device offers this ability.
The process of capturing streaming audio using your Windows PC is realtime. You have to play all the tracks from start to finish in realtime to capture the songs. If the total playtime of the songs in your playlist is, say, 6 hours, it will take that many hours to capture your songs into mp3 format. Good thing is, you can lower the volume of your PC speakers to the minimum or even insert an ear phone piece into the earphone jack to listen to the songs while playing without interrupting the recording process.
1. You will need a PC with at least 2GB RAM, 2Ghz Processor with OS Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. However, Audacity recommends a minimum of 4GB RAM to prevent any hiccup.
I will be using a Core i3 2.3Ghz processor, 8GB RAM, Windows 8.1 HP Pavilion G6 laptop for this test.
2. Visit Audacity download page and grab the latest version of the software http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/
3. Install and configure as follows;
- Launch the software, select Edit –> Preferences
- Select the options as shown below. The Host entry must be Windows WASAPI. Under Recording, search for any entry with “(loopback)”
- Save your settings and you are ready to roll.
The software looks a bit intimidating but you do not need all the available features. The control buttons are top left (as shown in the image below). When you are through, click on File –> Export to save the music file in any format of your choice. Note that to save in MP3 format, you need to install the Lame Encoder on your PC