Live Recording 5,000 hours

Just kidding. The real question came up as an answer to another question further up. I want to (hypothetically) record a Very Large Amount of Time. Which operating system would you want to be in to do that? Which OS would be least likely to cause tears and a furrowed brow?


I have graceful relationships with all three although I know it doesn’t sound like that from the rants. Document management and processing is all in Windows and I have fairly powerful SUDO corporate UNIX privileges.


Theoretically you could use any.

Windows would probably be the most stressful because you would want to stop all of the automatic “phone home to Uncle Bill”, Windows Update, Windows needs to reboot, Installing updates, your computer is at risk, and all of the other background rubbish. If the Windows computer was carefully and thoroughly configured for the job, then it should be possible. Personally I’d rather attempt it with XP than Vista, but that’s mostly because of my familiarity with it.

I don’t know about Macs, so I’ll leave that one for you.

My first choice would be Linux. If the thing is going to be running non-stop for the best part of a year then I would spend some time building it from scratch.

How much disk space :astonished:


Let’s assume a Very Large Amount of space. I know eventually, that’s always going to kill you, but I don’t want that to be a significant part of the decision. You don’t have to worry about the big-eyes, frightened 40GB system drive trying to do all this work.

OK, so they will all more or less capture the work, where would you run into troubles the first time Audacity has to open up the show and edit it – if only to break it up for exporting? Here you may not assume infinite memory. 2GB to 4GB of memory sticks inside the machine.

Do you know of the person who once did an enormous recording just to see if it could be done? Might we assume he’s the husband of the woman who put her poodle in the microwave to dry him off…?


I wouldn’t use Audacity for the recording :astonished:

I’d use Audio Hijack Pro on Mac. It will automatically split recordings at any length you specify. It will encode real-time to MP3 if that’s what you want. It will do timed recordings. It will happily run in the background. The right tool for the job.

Then I’d use Audacity to edit those recordings. :slight_smile:

– Bill

That sounds like a much less scary solution Bill.
If I recall correctly, the chap that was trying to do a 1500 hour recording ended up writing a script to do something along those lines.
Apparently he went 12 hours on Audacity without any problem, but for various reasons it got more difficult after that.
If anyone can be bothered to search it out, his adventure is documented in this forum somewhere.


Hmmmm. That appears to work like the original WireTap before they improved it into the dirt. Where’s my credit card…


One item. The web site claims the ability to record both sides of a VOIP call. Actually a number of software packages can do that, but can it record me on left and them on right? That’s Pamela’s trick allowing extensive production and filtering at no great effort.


I expect it will.
You could always try the demo version and test it (the free demo version generates noise on the signal after 10 minutes).

A method that Linux users can use is to run Skype with Jack
There’s a “Howto” for this on the Skype forum:
Unfortunately Audacity has a history of not working with Jack - Audacity can work with Jack, but it is often difficult to persuade them to play together. (Full Jack support is one of the most important feature requests for Linux musicians).

There’s a Jack OSX version as well. I tried it an abandoned it. Can’t recall what the problems were, but I didn’t really need it’s functionality anyway. Since OSX is Linux deep down inside, if Audacity Linux could be made to play well with Jack, chances are the OSX version would as well.

– Bill

According to the manual (I have Audio Hijack Pro), yes it will record the “output” on one channel and the “input” on the other channel. But this does mean if you’re wearing headphones you’ll hear yourself in one ear and them in the other. If you can put up with that …

– Bill

<<<If you can put up with that …>>>

The first time you have to boost the level of the interview without affecting the host, it will magically become worth while.


If you do decide to try Audio Hijack I’d be interested in your experience. It’s one of my top fave audio programs for Mac. Very versatile.

Also check out their freebies:

Soundsource puts a menu on the upper right where you can change sound sources and adjust volumes without going to preferences.

Line-in replicates the old OS9 playthrough functionality. It still has some delay, but not as bad a Audacity’s software playthrough. Probably still not good enough for overdubbing, but great if you want to listen to your USB turntable without running Audacity.

– Bill