Mark our words: 2010 will be the year of the stream. Music stream services are emerging every month, busy negotiating agreements that keep their inventories growing. With services like Pandora, imeem, Spotify, LaLa, and Grooveshark breaking onto the scene, it’s becoming increasingly easy to find music online. Ever wonder why you can’t just “record” the music as it comes in? Well, you can. Here’s how. Capturing Streams. Turns out there are many programs out there that can do this; some are better than others. I recommend WonderShare’s Streaming Audio Recorder. After you’ve hit record it will automatically detect when the song starts playing (if it isn’t already), and also detects when it ends. This actually allows you to set it to record and it will neatly rip each song on a stream playlist. Other features:- Record in 256kbs (not far off the respectable 320kbs standard)- Define a naming convention for your files. Set the ID3 info from within the app and your MP3 is good to go.- Free for 7 days, then $22 or something. You can just uninstall and reinstall if you’re cheap. Also check out Stream Ripper for a nice Open Source (GPL) alternative. How can I use Google to be even more of a bastard? Glad you asked! Recently Google added a feature to their search that will detect queries seeking music and drop in embedded, playable streams of songs as part of the results, so now you can just squat Google for streams and pile up mp3s. (Note: To protect the stream sites from server seizures, many of the stream providers cooperating with Google only allow a full listen once, then 30-sec samples after that.)The Cons
- Stream sound fidelity can be mediocre (though, with so much competition, it will improve)
- Have to manually enter ID3 information
- Can only download one song at a time
- Less ethical than aborting babies
- infinite free music and joy
I encourage you to use this to snag those hard-to-find tracks. But this is the part where I tell you DON’T ACTUALLY EVER DO THIS UNLESS YOU ALREADY HAVE THE ALBUM OR LEGALLY PURCHASED MP3.