How to record sound that is playing on my Apple Computer

I learned about Audacity a month ago, and finally have time to learn how to use it.

I have version 2.3.0, running on an iMac with macOS Mojave Version 10.14.3

I have access to a website with public domain music, and can easily start playing their songs on my Mac, such as:

I would like to capture a small part of the audio portion as a file on my Mac, that I can use as a sound track for Apple’s Final Cut Pro video editor.

I assume I need to change the “recording device” which is now set at the default “Built-in Microphone”. But, I can’t find any obvious way to do this. Do I need to install additional software?

Thanks in advance…

Do I need to install additional software?

Yes. Macs don’t have any obvious, convenient, internal way to cross the Playback and Record services.

The go-to software used to be SoundFlower and cousins, but those stopped working one or two MacOS versions ago. I need to catch up with this, too, since I have a machine where SoundFlower dropped dead.

As we go.


This from another post.

There is no “latest sound flower”. Soundflower has been obsolete for several years.

Alternative software does exist. See > > … atform=mac
Please note that these are third party apps. For support with these apps you should refer to their help channels.


You want iShowU Audio Capture.

Again, this software is not supported by or recommended by Audacity. We’re just telling you it exists.

– Bill


Do you have such a software package on your machine?


I purchased Camtasia 2018 for the Mac, and after searching how to do it, I was able to download the music along with my desktop. I separated the two, deleted the desktop, and ended up with a good sound file which I’ll use in a few days.

There are probably better solutions, but this worked fine - although if I hadn’t already bought it, I would need to buy it. Wonderful program for many things. It’s probably overkill for just downloading audio, but it worked. Thanks!

I’ve tried the “iShowU Audio Capture” software on my Mac Mini, and it worked for me.

Also, I see that “Rogue Amoeba” (who were previously the company behind SoundFlower), now provide a commercial solution called “Loopback” ($119 USD, free demo).

It seems Audio Hyjack may not be a bad solution for people looking to just replace simple SoundFlower. SoundFlower fell apart the instant somebody tried to do something fancy with it. If all you need is route the output of Safari to the input of Audacity (for example), SoundFlower worked a treat and has for years. Audio Hyjack may as well. That and it’s $60 USD for a multiple machine, single person license.

I was investigating Loopback when Hyjack came up. Even Loopback is too much horsepower (for me). I stumbled upon Loopback 2 with even more talents and horsepower than Loopback 1.


Yes, I’ve have iShowU on my machine (for testing with Audacity).

TL;DR - iShowU Audio Capture is the preferred replacement for Soundflower.

Rogue Amoeba was not “behind” Soundflower. That was cylcing74. They stopped developing and supporting it in 2014. Rogue Amoeba adopted it for a while, but they, too, have stopped supporting it. iShowU is from shinywhitebox and is part of their screen recording package. From their site:

iShowU Audio Capture is an extension to OS X used by iShowU Studio and iShowU Instant to record audio from your computer. This new-and-improved audio driver replaces Soundflower and provides a bunch of new features and improvements in order to make recording audio more stable and easy to do.
iShowU Audio Capture is designed for use with iShowU Studio or iShowU Instant. You may use it for other purposes but we can only provide support for its use with iShowU products.

Loopback from Rogue Amoeba is way more powerful than most Audacity users need.
Audio Hijack from Rogue Amoeba is my preferred solution for recording computer audio. It can run muted in the background and can record to an AIF file, which I can later import into Audacity for editing.

– Bill