How to record google hangouts?

Hello everyone
I use linux mint
I installed my distributions version of audacity.
I use audacity version 2.1.2

I would like to know how to use Audacity to record google hangouts. That’s it really. Pretty basic question.

That’s a group chat program, right?

Do they supply a program that can do this?

Pretty basic question.

Maybe too simple. I want to record Google Hangouts and my own microphone.

Is that the real goal? Those two can be really different. The Skype people run into this.

We need to wait for a Linux elf, but I think there may not be a simple solution.


I’ve never tried this myself, but it looks like Google supports this without additional software:

Google will automatically record a livestream if you do one on youtube but thats not what I want to do.

Yes I want to record the google hangout and I will be using my microphone.

I want to record the google hangout and I will be using my microphone.

And that’s where you usually get smacked. Those two presentations are generally handled by two different devices and Audacity will only deal with one device at a time. So you can record your own microphone all day long as long as you don’t want any sound from the remote. Sometimes, you can force Audacity to record the far side and the echo from your local microphone. But it’s rarely clean enough to present both sides as a show.

I’ve done this with a “fake” subscriber. Somebody separate joins the hangout without a microphone. Their only job is to record the conversations. Not being “you,” they will get your voice mixed into all the other voices in a combined show.

You can also do this with your own two computers. That’s how I did my Skype recording. One computer just does the communications (Skype). There’s a small sound mixer that accepts the speaker from the Skype machine and sends the local sound back to Skype Microphone. Once both sounds are in the mixer, it’s a snap to record them on a second computer or recorder.

If you elect to not use any of those three, write back if you do get something to work. You’ll be a hero. This is a constant problem.

There is one oddity. Some people just plug everything together, press record and get both sides of the show. They make everybody crazy because nobody (including them) can figure out how they did it, and it’s not repeatable by anybody else.


One more. The desperation method is to sit a stand-alone sound recorder on the table between the computer speakers and your microphone. It records the room—and both sides of the conversation.

You do that if you’re going to get fired if you don’t produce something.


LOL, thanks koz…
It’s so strange isn’t it? Why isn’t it easy?
ok perhaps I will look into ffmpeg

One way to do it is with Jack.
Jack Audio System is a high performance, low latency sound system for Linux. It is used mostly by people that use Linux for media production. Setting it up can be tricky, but once set up it is awesome for media production, like ASIO + ReWire + steroids. There are many optimisations available, including using a low latency kernel. Beware of old “How To” articles - there are many with bad advice based on obsolete versions of Jack / Pulse / Linux - in particular, do not uninstall PulseAudio as that will cause more problems than it solves.

  • Install QjackCtl.
  • Launch QjackCtl and start Jack.
    If there’s a tricky bit, this is it. If you are really lucky, all you need to do is click the “Start” button. If that fails, then you will need to open “Setup” and set the settings so that Jack does start and runs reliably without xruns. Google is your friend (but be cautious about old “How To” articles).
  • When Jack is running, check that Google hangouts is working with Jack. Look in the “Connect” window of QjackCtl to see how Google Hangouts connects to the “system” input and output ports. (The “system” ports represent the physical in /out ports that Jack is using).
  • Launch Audacity and set “host” to “Jack Audio System” (in the device toolbar)
  • Set the number of recording channels to “2 channels (stereo)” (in the device toolbar)
  • Click the Pause button, then the Record button so that Audacity is in “paused record” mode.
  • Go to the “Connect” window of QjackCtl and you will see that there is a new, stereo “PortAudio” Input port - that’s Audacity. Click the “[+]” to expand it into two input connections
  • Connect one of the PortAudio (mono) connector to both Left and Right “System” Output ports. This allows Audacity to record from the physical audio device.
  • Connect the other PortAudio connector to the Google Hangout output port (I don’t know what this will be called because I don’t use Google Hangouts). This will allow you to record from Google Hangouts into the other Audacity recording channel.
  • To start the recording, click the Pause button again.

Because Windows, Mac and (most) Linux use general purpose audio systems by default, which do not have the routing options to record from two sources simultaneously. Linux provides this functionality with Jack. Windows and Mac require third party applications.

Why isn’t it easy?

It appears that it should be easy because the apps are so effortless. Its only when you peek under the hood you see all the highly sophisticated data management that’s actually going on to force the app to work.