New to Audacity but cannot get it to work

I have 2.1.0 on my system and cannot get it to record. I have audio files that I can play reliably and can edit but recording is a problem.
My main source is from web sites.
How do I start diagnosing the problem?

Recording streaming audio is not “natural” for computers. They have to run the Playback and Record sides of themselves at the same time.

That’s not to mention copyright problems.


Generally the best way to record audio that is playing on the computer is to use “WASAPI loopback”. See: Tutorial - Recording Computer Playback on Windows - Audacity Manual

Note also that many website that allow content to be saved, provide download links for the audio. If there isn’t a download link, then you should check the site’s terms of service to see if it is legal to record their content. Where available, downloading is faster and easier than recording.

Everything is legal. if I record it for personal use. I verified this with NPR.
Downloading the files is not an option for my design.I am recording 15 hour files on both Saturday and Sunday for replay during the week.It is all controlled by a program.

So, back to reality: Aside from getting into a fight with Microsoft when I unplugged a lead from the computer and it wiped out my settings, I spent about 30 minutes trying to get sound flowing again.Anything I tried with WASAPI and Loop back netted no improvement. Right now, I have sound and recording by have a noise in the line that shows when recording and can be heard in playback. The audio when recording is clean from the speakers.

I question something that I read about that at least got me to recording something. The instruction was to connect the record to the line out with a Y connector and to tap from there into the speakers. This sounds peculiar. Could this be the problem?

They might “provide download links for the audio.”

OTOH, If I could schedule downloads with an associated automated playback by schedule then that might be an option.

Desktop VS Laptop

I landed a new laptop. Audacity was downloaded and it immediately worked flawlessly! However, I cannot use that until until I finally get Excel loaded and that is a headache in itself.

Now that I see that what I want is possible, I am turning back to the desktop computer. I uninstalled the earlier version and installed the latest version of Audacity. No such luck.

Is there some inherent difference between the two technologies? All I can see is that the laptop has a built in speaker and the desktop unit does not. Does that call for different settings?

I can get the sound source to play through the speakers or just Audacity recording without sound from the speakers.

I’m getting a bit confused by the descriptions, so, sticking with the subject of the desktop computer:

  1. Audacity will run and will play tracks that are imported or generated. True or false?

  2. Audacity will record from a microphone. True or false?

  3. You are using Audacity 2.2.1. True or false?

  4. You can’t get Audacity to record audio that is playing on the computer, and that’s the problem that you want to fix. True or false?

Um, I believe that Gary mentioned (above) that he is using Audacity 2.1.0. :wink: As in: