Please help me record streaming sound

I’ve updated to version 2.0 from .exe after using beta version.
Windows XP Home SP 3
Realtek audio

Just trying to record some audio from a streaming online source.

Beyond frustrated. O.K. experts. I think I’ve read everything here. I’ve watched several videos online supposedly how to do perform this action but still can’t get results.

Please be specific and walk me through all the steps.

From the mixer toolbar I have these options and I’ve tried variations of them all.

MME / Windows Direct Sound
Primary Sound Driver / Realtek HD Audio Output / Realtek HD Audio 2nd Output
Primary Sound Capture Driver / Realtek HD Audio Input - CD Volume / Front Mic / Mic Volume / Line Volume
1 (Mono) Input Channel / 2 (Stereo input) Channels

I’ve also played around with permutations of the Realtek HD Audio Manager.
I’ve also played around with control panel - Sounds And Audio Devices …

All I’ve ever gotten was 1/2 second of null sound.

Please advise. Thanks in advance.

See this tutorial from the manual:


Been there done that. Didn’t work.

Next ?

Next you tell us why it didn’t work.

Step 1. Did you select “Stereo Mix” as the recording input?

While it’s unlikely that you can easily record internet audio in Vista and Win7, WinXP should be a walk in the park. However, in all cases, Recording Internet Audio is a dance between three services, the Operating System, the Sound Card and the Drivers. If any one of them drops the ball, that’s the end of the story. You are now in Desperation Method territory with Total Recorder or one of the other software products.

Recursive Pathway Recording is not a guaranteed service like recording your microphone or listening to music on your speakers. It’s an accident. A very desirable accident, but an accident nonetheless. It can cause problems with other services such as straight recording and conferencing which is why Vista and Win7 left it out. Modern Macs always have to add software to digitally record computer sound. There is no natural pathway.


I’m sorry but I have to take issue with you on the part of that statement that I have emboldened and italicized. I have always been able to record off the soundcard on all three flavours of Windows (XP Home Edition SP3, Vista Home Premium SP2 and 7 Home Edition SP1). The XP and Vista machines were laptops with sound integrated into the motherboard. The Win 7 machine is a desktop with a RealTek HD Audio card. The desktop’s motherboard has inbuilt sound but I use the Realtek instead. Yes, the Stereo Mix was both Disabled and Disconnected, but it appeared - and worked - as soon as I ticked the options to Show Disabled and Show Disconnected for the devices in the Recording tab of the Windows Sound manager.

That option not available.
Only options available are:
Windows Sound Mapper Input
Realtek HD Audio Input - CD Volume
Realtek HD Audio Input - Front Mic
Realtek HD Audio Input - Mic Volume
Realtek HD Audio Input - Line Volume

Again - those are the only options available on the mixer toolbox via realtec audio manager.

Now what

The issue isn’t with Windows XP … it is with Realtek. Can anybody help me that has done this task using Realtek.


Of course, Windows Vista and 7 support recording from the stereo mix input on a built-in or other sound card. But Vista and 7 only enable the microphone by default, and a number of OEM computer manufacturers (or the sound chip makers that supply them) don’t include stereo mix at all.

Loopback recording is actually built into Vista / 7 and can be used by recording programs to record computer playback (just like physically using a cable connected from audio out to line-in). But to use loopback recording, the recording program must support the WASPI programming interface, which Audacity does not yet.


Ensure you really have put a checkmark for all the inputs in “Sounds and Audio Devices”. See .

If that does not help, please read everything in the green panel “Help with recording computer playback” here . That gives you some clues about how to enable recording of computer playback in some older Realtek control panels.


Gale … I’ve done this (again) and I don’t have any of these … “Stereo Mix”, “Wave Out”, “Sum”, “What U Hear” or “Loopback”. just the ones I indicated at the very top.

Is there anybody that is using Windows XP with Realtek that has figured out how to record streaming audio.

I might point out that I read everything you posted links about before I even posted. I even downloaded both of those programs and neither of which would record the stream either.

This is what I’m looking to grab … Bionic Run 4 from this site …
All I’m trying to do is add some stupid sound effect to a bike video I filmed.
Somebody just want to grab it and post it somebplace … that would be fantastic.

I figured this would be the easiest thing in the world to do … just record the sound coming out of the speaker. Ridiculous.

The Realtek control panel will vary from one computer to another, even on Windows XP. If you have followed the suggestion given in the green panel for the Realtek control panel then quite possibly your Realtek device does not offer recording of computer playback. If you still think it does, please attach an image of your Realtek control panel.

Why not try some of the other things mentioned in the green panel , like connecting a cable from audio out to line-in, or downloading SoundLeech?



For the moment forget about Realtek. If you have not activated Stereo Mix in Windows you will never see it in Realtek. I know this to be true as I have just proven this on my Win 7 system.

I cannot give you XP specific instructions but on Windows 7 you would proceed as follows to try and activate Stereo Mix:

  • Click on the Windows Sound icon in the system tray area (that’s the pale grey loudspeaker icon not the red-brown Realtek icon)
  • If you do not have that icon in the system tray then use Windows Control Panel to get to the Windows Sound function
  • Select the “Recording” tab in the Sound window
  • Right-click in some empty space and select “Show Disabled Devices”
  • If that doesn’t bring up Stereo Mix, right click in some empty space again and select “Show Disconnected Devices”
  • If that still doesn’t bring up Stereo Mix then you definitely do not have a Stereo Mix capability

If Stereo Mix does appear make sure it is enabled and then see if it now appears as a selectable device within Audacity.

That isn’t always true on Windows XP, I think.

The instructions for selecting audio devices on XP so that they appear in the Windows control panel applet are different to Vista / 7 and have already been given ( ).

Evn if you cannot select a stereo mix input that way, Realtek control panels sometimes do (according to reports I have seen) list an extra stereo mix input if you know where to look. Once enabled in the Realtek panel, it appears in Windows “Sounds and Audio Devices”.


Ok here goes. BTW I do have the icon and here is what I get.

Double Click on system tray icon. Brings up MASTER VOLUME dialog box with sliders for volume and balance for Master Volume, Mic Volume, Line Volume, CD Volume, PC Beep and the ability to mute each. Then you have menu options of Options and Help. Selecting Options … has menu of Properties / Advanced Controls (checked and greyed out) / Exit … proceeding with Properties … which shows Mixer Device pull down menu of either RealTek HD Audio Input | RealTek HD Audio Output. Below that is Adjust Volume for … and depending on the above selection (input or output) a box is checked for corresponding (recording or playback) below that a scrolling window showing Volume Controls and a bunch of check boxes … NONE OF WHICH are Stereo, Sum, Mix, or anything resembling anything relevant.

Now if I right click on system try icon … I can get the above or I can get Adjust Audio Properties with 5 tabs - Volume, Sounds, Audio, Voice, Hardware and then below that just Speaker Settings. Volume says device volume and has a slider for volume and a mute button and the option to put on taskbar - also advanced settings which takes you to Master Volume settings from above. Sounds has pull down of No Sound / Windows Default and also program events etc. Audio shows pulldowns for Sound Playback and Sound Recording default devices that have already been specified as RealTek HD Audio Output/Input respectively then a Midi Music Playback default device of Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth. Voice looks just like Sounds without the MIDI option. Hardware … shows devices and device properties/info.

So … I’m stuck.

Am I capable of recording streaming ??? Be a whole lot easier if Audacity would just list what setups it doesn’t work with ?
As opposed to be randomly jumping through hoops which aren’t clear if they are truly a case of not being capable or not finding the hidden buttons ??? Frustrating.

Any other ideas ?

Gale - I’m all for that. Show me how to enable the extra stereo mix magically ??? because I’ve looked and looked.

I see a lot of people writing a lot of posts and I understand your frustration, but did you read the page that waxcylinder gave you a link for in the very first reply?

Step 1: Set up devices to capture computer playback

This is often the hardest part of the overall task, being dependent on your computer operating system and sound card. Many manufacturers are making it increasingly difficult to record streaming audio by deliberately removing or hiding this functionality due to copyright concerns. Sometimes, older sound card drivers can be found on the web site of the sound card or motherboard manufacturer that still allow recording of computer playback.

This section of the tutorial shows how to find a suitable sound card input for recording computer playback, with workarounds if such an input is not available. Click the link to the tutorial for your operating system:

Recording Computer Playback on Windows
Recording Computer Playback on Mac
Recording Computer Playback on Linux

So you would then click on the link “Recording Computer Playback on Windows” which will take you to this page:

That page tells you to select “Stereo Mix” in the Device Toolbar.
It also says that if “Stereo Mix” is not available, then check in the control panel supplied by the sound card manufacturer.

At this stage it really has little to do with Audacity. We have no control over what features a sound card has or has not got or how easy/difficult the sound card manufacturer has made it to enable a feature if it is available. We don’t have your sound card and we cannot see over your shoulder so we can not look for you.

The bottom line is that if you have searched thoroughly and your sound card does not have Stereo Mix functionality, then you will need to use a workaround.
Some workarounds are suggested on that same page:
Loopback Cables
Alternative software for recording
Someone also suggested SoundLeech (which is currently free software).

You seem to be pretty sure that you have checked thoroughly but been unable to find a “Stereo Mix” feature for your sound card, so I would suggest that you look at the alternative workarounds as already suggested.

If you would click and read the link I’ve now given you several times - here it is again -

it says how to do that, This is what it says:

Sometimes “Stereo Mix” can only be made to work by using the control panel supplied by the sound card manufacturer - this is often reported with RealTek inbuilt sound devices. Try launching the sound device control panel from the Windows Control Panel or the system tray (by the clock). If you see a volume control for Stereo Mix, try clicking to select it. Confusingly, some RealTek devices “select” an input by muting all but one, so in this case, mute everything except stereo mix. If you don’t see Stereo Mix, click the wrench icon and enable Stereo Mix in the dialogue that pops up. In some RealTek versions the option to check is “Enabled recording multi-streaming”. You should now see a volume control for Stereo Mix. Remember to select or unmute it as above. See this Forum topic > > for more help with RealTek

Other than that, try Freecorder, Sound Leech or a loopback cable (also mentioned in the link above and reiterated once again by Steve).


Still unable to record. Both freecorder and Sound Leech did not work. I believe because they are looking for and need the same thing that audacity needed … stereo mix or whatever it is called.

I’ve also tried the loopback cable method and just get a flat line. I even tried the Windows XP native recorder just to try and get 1 minute of sound … and that didn’t work either.

Come on guys … somebody must know how to pull this off.

If I do loopback cable and that is supposed to be the all else fails solution … then what are the specific steps in order to pull that off with all the info I have provided above in previous posts. Using loopback cables and audacity … what are the settings that will pull this off I don’t get how it is much different other than I can’t hear what is going on since the output isn’t going to speakers supposedly it is going to line in but why still a flatline after a burst of static for less than 1/2 second.

Anybody ?

OK, first of all, try recording something, anything using Windows Sound Recorder.
Microsoft provide instructions here:

If that does not work then your machine may be broken and you may need to seek advice from a computer technician. If Sound Recorder fails to record anything then there is a problem that we cannot help over the forum - you will probably need hands-on assistance.

If you are able to record something, please tell us what you have recorded and exactly how you recorded it, then we can take it from there.