Thursday, July 20, 2006

Audacity + Rhapsody (or Napster)

Did you know?: Using Audacity, you can record the music you listen to with Rhapsody or Napster. Install Audacity and then change your input from the microphone to the "Wave Out" device and you are ready to go. Then, queue up your desired playlist in Rhapsody or Napster and let it play. Hit the record button on audacity and let it run through the songs on your playlist. When it is finished, stop recording in Audacity and then go back and find the start and stop of each song. Select the proper portion of the recording and export that selection in either .wav, .mp3, or .ogg format. Do this for each song in your playlist and, Viola!, you now have a digital copy of the music you were listening to. The quality is as good as the service streams to your machine, which makes Napster the better choice for recording like this due to its higher audio fidelity. However, Rhapsody sounds pretty good too. I find either sounds good enough to crank up loud on my car stereo. I certainly can't tell the difference between these recordings and CD quality, though there doubtless is one. I have never had a terribly discerning ear when it comes to audio "quality".

It takes a bit of effort, but this is a great way to recover your long-lost music - especially if tracking it down through the traditional file-sharing methods has proven fruitless.

Now, naturally, this is not something they want you doing, and the legality is shakey at best. However, there are those who believe that they have a right to a digital copy of music they purchased on physical media. This holds true even if the music in question was John Schneider's Greatest Hits that they purchased in 1985 and lost in 1987. Such individuals feel quite comfortable procuring the music from that album in digital form by whatever means necessary.

I'm not saying I support such things (though I lean toward their side rather strongly). All I am saying is that you can do this, and it is really quite easy.

One importnat tip - turn off windows sounds by going to the Control Panel/Sounds And Audio Devices dialog in the start menu. Select the Sound tab and then select the "No Sounds" sound profile for windows sounds. This way you won't get windows beeps and blurps in the midst of your favourite song.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is the top Google search result for "audacity rhapsody". I'm sure the RIAA loves you now.