Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

An alternative method for recording computer audio Apps
The other day I was playing some audio from a web site that would not allow me to save it in any reasonable format. Sure, I could purchase/download either WireTap Pro or Audio Hijack to do the job, but why go through all the hassle when I had a copy of QuickTime Pro?

Thanks to one of the new features in Quicktime Pro 7, you can easily record audio or video going into your Mac. But what about the audio coming out of it? All you need is a 1/8" to 1/8" audio cable (look at your local electronics store if you don't already have one). For me, I just plugged one end into the headphone/audio out jack, and the other end into the audio input/mic jack.

In QuickTime, make sure that the monitor/input volume is muted, hit the Record button, and then hit Stop when the audio is finished. I admit that this is a somewhat clunky solution compared to other software-based options, but I just wanted to use what I had without spending money on other apps.
  • Currently 2.75 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (8 votes cast)

An alternative method for recording computer audio | 12 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'An alternative method for recording computer audio' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
An alternative method for recording computer audio
Authored by: Swordfish on Dec 23, '05 06:53:21AM

LOL. Very creative solution, wouldn't have though of it myself :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]
An alternative method for recording computer audio
Authored by: zpjet on Dec 23, '05 07:19:42AM

i have, but then i thought i wouldn't hear what i'm recording...?

[ Reply to This | # ]
An alternative method for recording computer audio
Authored by: surfingmarmot on Dec 23, '05 07:00:19AM

Have you tried Streamripper? ( ) Free and open-source. They are updating the command-line version, but the Cocoa wrapper around it is a bit dated. It still works for me for internet streams and the command-line version is not only up to date but you can time its captures with cron and some shell scripting. The GUI version still works with most streams 'out of the box'. You cannot capture everything with it, but it might be a free and useful unattended streaming music capture addition to your 'tool box'.

[ Reply to This | # ]
An alternative method for recording computer audio
Authored by: ptone on Dec 23, '05 06:33:14PM

I can build to about 1.60.13, but later versions aren't compiling for me on Tiger.

Also does anyone know how to start in as a BG process, the usual & trick isn't working.


[ Reply to This | # ]
An alternative method for recording computer audio
Authored by: avramd on Dec 23, '05 07:00:39AM

So instead you spent your money on a 1/8" to 1/8" stereo cable? Radio Shack definitely needs your money more than those filthy rich shareware developers.

Just pulling your leg ;-) While I don't think most peoplee have such a cable lying around, b/c it has few applicatoins, it happens that I do. Interesting tip.

It kinda reminds me of how when I want to console into a FreeBSD Virtual PC, the only way I've found to do it is to break out my old 2-port USB to mini-DIN serial adapter and my 6' mini-mini serial cable. Talk about a couple of objects leftover from a by-gone era that ought to have never had another application.

[ Reply to This | # ]
An alternative method for recording computer audio
Authored by: jcbeckman on Dec 23, '05 08:19:44AM

I use an optical cable between the in and out digital ports on my G5 tower, as I had it available and have no other use for the ports. I record with Spin Doctor.

[ Reply to This | # ]
An alternative method for recording computer audio
Authored by: Mike A on Dec 23, '05 08:29:18AM

Another alternative is a follows:

Install Soundflower. This creates a virtual audio output on your computer

Send the audio you wish to record so that it goes ro Soundflower 2ch. You could do this by either setting all audio to go there in the System Prefs, or you could use an app like Detour to send only one application's sound to Soundflower.

Now, all you have to do is record the sound coming INTO Soundflower 2ch. Either set Soundflower as your sound in in System Prefs, or use an app like AU Lab to record sound from it.

Nice and simple, and all free!

[ Reply to This | # ]
Only need Soundflower & AU Lab
Authored by: kd8cyb on Aug 04, '10 11:17:18AM

You only need AU Lab (for doing the equalizer and recording stuff) and Soundflower!

Go to your MIDI Configuration app (under Utilites), hit command-shift-A, check only Soundflower and your computer's internal audio output. Quit the MIDI config app. Open AU Lab, and when it asks for an Audio Device, choose the "agregate device" that you configured with the MIDI config app. Click done. Choose Edit -> Add Audio Input..., and this will add your Soundflower input. In your System Prefs for audio, make sure your aggregate device is selected for the input and Soundflower as output. Start recording in AU Lab (see its prefs to change filetype)! That's it!

Edited on Aug 04, '10 11:33:27AM by kd8cyb

[ Reply to This | # ]
And if you don't have QuickTime Pro...
Authored by: tirerim on Dec 23, '05 01:14:41PM
For those that don't already have QuickTime Pro and don't want to pay for it, you should be able to use Audacity (freeware) to do the same trick (though I should note that I haven't actually tried it with the output jack to input jack bit).

[ Reply to This | # ]
Don't use jacks, use JACK.
Authored by: n8gray on Dec 23, '05 09:27:04PM

For free, open-source, professional-grade audio routing software, the Jack Audio Connection Kit is the way to go. Instead of connecting the real headphone jack to the mic jack, just connect "virtual" jacks and skip the noise introduced by the trip to analog-land.

[ Reply to This | # ]
An alternative method for recording computer audio
Authored by: fractacular on Dec 24, '05 02:09:30PM
This is a rather lossy method of capturing that audio, particularly if you have a cheap cable or are in a heavy-RF environment. You have the problems introduced by converting digital to analog, then you have the problems introduced during the analog signal flow (e.g. noise induced by RF, bad cables, whatever), then you have the problems introduced by Apple's fairly cheap analog-to-digital converter when you record.

And even if the noise problem isn't a big deal (heck, it's not like internet audio is pristine anyway), you still won't be able to listen to the audio while you're recording...

I would strongly suggest going with the solutions others have suggested, notably soundflower. Of course, shelling out a few more bucks for Audio Hijack wouldn't be a terrible sin either.

[ Reply to This | # ]
An alternative method for recording computer audio
Authored by: jacobolus on Dec 24, '05 08:46:42PM

It is worth noting that Wire Tap Pro is free to use for simple recording such as this. It has a 10 or 15 second nag screen, and then allows recording, as long as you don't want to set up specific timers or anything. So while it is probably worth paying some cash if you need to record audio a lot, for the basic functionality, it's free.

[ Reply to This | # ]