Master Your Media

Record Music From Internet Radio

Internet radio stations easily trump terrestrial radio broadcasts, with virtually limitless listening choices and (depending on your broadband connection) perfect, antenna-free quality. With the right tools, you can record those broadcasts, too, slurping songs into a folder on your hard drive as easily as people used to record FM signals to tape in the 1980s.

There's method in Radiotracker Premium's maddening interface. Use the left side to capture live stations, and the right side for editing, organizing, and playing the files.
Though it has a complicated interface, Radiotracker Premium ($25) gives you an impressive number of ways to record and cut songs from multiple stations automatically and simultaneously. (The $37 Platinum version even searches for specific artists and song titles.)

Launch Radiotracker, and click the Stations button. Browse the vast list of genres, or start typing the name of a favorite broadcaster. (To quickly find SOMA FM stations, for example, enter SOMA in the text box.) Click a station you like, and then click the Favor star. Repeat this, favoring a few stations you like; then close the window by clicking the red X in the upper-right corner of the window.

In the main interface, uncheck the Genre button, and click the Favorites box, leaving only that option selected. Your stations should be listed in the window below. Click Start Autorip to begin recording from all of them at once, assuming that your bandwidth can handle the load. Radiotracker will tally the captured songs in the right side of the program, complete with tags for artist and title.

Radiotracker divides songs based on tags from the stations, which may differ from the actual beginnings and endings of songs by several seconds. This discrepancy can cause Radiotracker to pick up part of the neighboring tune by accident. If necessary, trim the beginning and ending manually by clicking a song and using the Cut button.

Radiotracker doesn't add music to the iTunes library, but you can automate that process by using a free utility called iTunes Folder Watch. Install and open this program, and select the Radiotracker audio folder. As you record Radiotracker songs, iTunes Folder Watch will import them into iTunes. If you're using Windows Media Player, obviously, you should skip this download. Within Windows Media Player, right-click the Library button and use the Monitor Folders button to perform the same tasks.

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