Making a podcast of a radio programme

I don’t know if this is possible but here goes:

What I want to do: Record a BBC programme playing on my computer in a format that allows me to listen to it at a time of my own choosing through my I Pod. (For example by listening to the live streaming or to the Listen Again feature, and recording that).

What I want to know: Is it possible to use Audacity (housed in the same computer) to do what I want, and if so how?


I should further explain that I’m hoping to do this using only the computer that is streaming the audio, ie without having to use an external recorder, if that is possible.


Yes, I do that all the time. There’s two flavors. One flavor is to capture the performance as a live stream at the time of broadcast. I do that with WireTap on the Mac and Total Recorder on the PC. Open up the captured file in Mac/PC iTunes and sync to your iPod. Go jogging/walking.

Many presentations offer a podcast as a downloadable file usually sometime in the week after the original broadcast. That’s even easier. Download, import to iTunes, Sync, Jog.

You can slide Audacity in the middle there to edit. I listen to one show which has a six minute newscast in the middle of the performance and I take that out before I save the work.

There is a third option. I have terrific television/FM reception in Los Angeles and I capture a live broadcast using a roof antenna, FM tuner, and soundcard with Audacity. That method has the advantage of using the radio station compressors and it’s easier to listen in the car or walking on a noisy street.


See here:

I have tried (and tried to get my head around) the various links suggested. I’m thinking the problem might be I don’t seem to have on my Windows Vista computer the driver I need to record directly what I hear from my speakers into Audacity, nor does the device manager currently give me any options when I ask to see disabled devices or to upgrade. All I can see currently in Recording devices is Microphone - SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC (working) and Microphone/Line - SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC (not plugged in). I’ve tried to change the status of the Microphone/Line device, but with no result. I’ve also looked at my Aucacity Preferences Audio I/O; currently this has Microsoft Sound Mapper (Input) in the drop down box. The other possibility offered in the drop-down menu in Audio I/O recording is Microphone Sigma Tel High Defin.

Any further thoughts about what I should be doing to allow Aucacity to record my radio programmes/streaming audio as they play on my computer? Simple step by step, please. I am technologically challenged in these areas.


An update:

With some experimentation I can now record the audio stream on Audacity, though the quality is not brilliant. Two further questions:

  1. It only seems to record if I have the sound coming out of my speaker. If I put the headphones in the socket the recording goes mute. Is there a way I can record the programme without having to listen to it at the same time? I’m hoping to be able to work in silence at the computer while the recording is being made so that I can listen to it later.

  2. After I have saved the recording as an MP3 I only seem to be able to add the file to my Music library in ITunes. If I try to Add File while I have the Podcast folder open it doesn’t add to the podcast library as I thought it would. Can I do anything about this, or do I simply reconcile myself to adding the file to the music library and deleting it from there once I’ve finished listening to it?

Thanks again


That’s because you’re probably recording the internal microphone. That would sound terrible and drop dead when you plugged the headphones in.

<<<I have tried (and tried to get my head around) the various links suggested.>>>

You’re intended not to make this work. The manufacturers are actively working against your success. There is at least one laptop maker that intentionally deleted the drivers and services that make this possible.

That’s pretty much why I’m using Total Recorder (on the PC).


I do have an Edirol USB audio interface which I used to convert my MDs to MP3s using Audacity. I thought it might be possible to use the device to act as the interface between the output on my laptop and the laptop’s recording input through Audacity. But I can’t find a socket to make the output/input connection - eg there is no optical line out as there is with my MD player. I know I could make MDs from the radio programme then drop them back into Audacity, but this causes practical probems and would involve another process. Any idea on cabling that would help?


If that is the Edirol UA-1EX (or similar) then what I do on my PCs to connect the Edirol to the PC via its USB plug and loop back the output RCA connector pair to the input pair with a cable with RCA plags at each end. The you have to get Audacity (and possibly your computer too) to rediredt it’s sound output services to the Edirol USB Codec.


I have a cable with RCA connectors at both ends, but where could I fit a cable that allows me to take output from the laptop (Dell Inspiron 1525)? I have a spare USB port - is that an option? Otherwise the only outputs I have are the headphone jack and VGA and S-video output.


Looking at your post again, I’m thinking you must mean to put both ends of the RCA into the UA-1EX, input and output respectively. I’ve now done that, but can’t get it to record through Audacity.

Here’s what I’ve done:

Set Audacity preferences Audio I/O to Edirol for both input and output
On the volume mixer of my computer, ensured that both Edirol recording and playback options are indicated as working. However, although I have tried to enable these and make them default, the computer has not switched to enable the UA-1EX as the device.

Have I omitted something?


Yes, the left in to the left out and the right in to the right out

On my PC I also have to use the Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > Sounds and set the Sound Playback device to be my UA-1EX, USB device (this is XP-PRO that I am using - I don’t know how Vista does this)

You may also need to close and restart Audacity for the settings in Audacity to take effect.


Eureka, it works! Very many thanks for your help.