Enabling Computer Playback Input, Windows 7

I’ve been following the user manual’s steps to enable computer playback on Windows 7, but I haven’t been successful. I’m here to ask if there’s something I can do, or if I’m missing a step, before I have to resort to using other programs like GoldWave, Freecorder, etc. to record sound playback.

Here’s what I see in Audacity itself -

I’ve used every combination of those options, to no avail. What I did find out is my headphone jack is apparently the microphone jack, too, as while the headphone is plugged in, very little is recorded, but once I unplug it anything that comes out of the speakers is saved.

Here, I’ve enabled all hidden devices on the Speaker menu. There doesn’t seem to be anything beyond those microphone devices.

I tried to find a sound card (in case there was a potential for upgrading) but all I see is this:

Windows Update claims that those speakers are “up to date”.

Any direction on where to go from here?

Manufacturers ar making this harder to do. Some W7 PCs will record straming audio and some won’t. From your screenshots its looks like you are one of the unlucky ones and can’t do this.

This was so on my wife’s laptop so she bought TotalRecorder ( see http://www.highcriteria.com/ ) - she uses this for capturing streaming audio and then uses Audacity for all the subsequent editing and making production audio files. Works well.

I was luckier - my new Tosh W7 laptop records streaming audio just fine - it’sjust the luck of the draw …


Is it a hardware issue, or a software one? I’m using a business laptop, it came to me stripped down to little more than the essentials.

My understanding is that it is basically down to the device driver for the soundcard. You may want to try updating the driver - or even regressing to an earlier version.


Self recording is a software dance between the sound card, operating system and the guy in the back room that writes the software drivers. If any of them drops the ball – or is ordered to delete the code, then self record is a memory.

Self Recording, although right at the top of most casual users’ lists, is not a guaranteed service like playing YouTube sound, making the screen light up and Skype conferences. If it’s not there, that’s the end of the story unless you take additional measures. Macs don’t support this at all and we always have to add outside software.


I have virtual machines for Windows 2000 and Windows XP, would those be compatible with Audacity 2.0 with my sound card?

Audacity should be able to run in a virtual machine (but probably rather sluggishly), but I don’t think it will help.
The “virtual” sound system of the guest machine is piped through to your real hardware, so it is not likely to be able to do anything that your real hardware can’t do.

It may be possible to record sounds from other applications within a Linux guest machine, but that is getting rather complicated and even if it does work it’ll probably not work very well in a visualised environment.

Have you tried Sound Leech for recording?