Internet radio stations can be great for listening to music but how often do you hear a song and then wish you had recorded it (or at least taken note of the artist/track name) after it has finished playing?
Streamwriter is a free program for Windows to record internet radio streams and save them as tracks for you to listen to later or transfer to an mp3 player etc.
It can record multiple streams at the same time and you can create a wishlist of individual tracks (or artists) for it to record whenever they are next played by one of the radio streams covered – whether you are listening to them or not. Streamwriter features include:
- Free and tiny program size (2MB).
- Can be installed as a program or used in portable mode. Portable mode lets you save a folder containing the program and your settings/database to an external device (e.g. flash drive) for use on another Windows computer.
- Record internet radio streams – as many as you want at the same time (in MP3 or AAC format, most are MP3). I tried recording 10 streams at a time and Streamwriter was using less than 1Mbps bandwidth so a good broadband connection should have no trouble recording 20 streams or more simultaneously.
- Automatically record a wishlist’s song when it’s playing on any stream. You can add a particular track or artist name to the wishlist – entries can also be imported from text files and m3u/pls playlists. Once a track on the wishlist has been recorded it is automatically put on a blacklist so it is not recorded again. Obviously the wishlist works best with popular songs which are more likely to be played on radio streams – an old song which was never a single could take days/weeks to be played and recorded, if ever.
- Listen to streams – about 9000 available. Easily play/pause/stop listening to a stream.
- Automatic track splitting with silence detection – tracks are recorded individually by using the silence between tracks as a guide
- Function for manual cutting of saved titles – you can cut out the start/end of a track e.g. if a DJ talks over it or if it runs into the start/end of a different track
- Function for fade in/out editing of saved titles – you can add a fade in or fade out to a recorded track, useful to avoid a very abrupt start/finish if you had to cut out part of the track for the reasons above
- Tracks are named by a given pattern – you can configure the naming pattern used
- Short songs (adverts) can be skipped automatically – there is a user configurable time setting but the default of 45 seconds works well.
Download Streamwriter from the developers here – the Portable version (Zip with executable) lets you take the whole program and settings with you between computers. If choosing the portable version you will need to select a directory where you want the recorded songs/streams to be saved.
A wiki help page showing the main program window options and settings is available here.
The legal bit – whilst it may be permitted to record internet radio streams for private use in many countries (fair use policy), obviously you should consider the law in your own country before trying to do so.
Streamwriter is actually a decent way to just find and listen to music by genre but it comes into its own when you want to record internet radio streams. It is easy to record single or multiple streams, it provides good scheduling and editing options whilst adding popular tracks to the wishlist could help you to record current chart hits – even if you are not listening to any streams.
The tracks recorded vary in quality depending on the stream source (most are 128+ bitrate) but are generally good and the cutting/fading functions allow rapid clean up of any ‘talked over’ parts.