Record streaming audio

I wanted to use Audacity to record streaming audio (e.g. from YouTube) and finally was successful but there’s a lingering question. The only way to avoid screeching feedback was to change Audacity’s Output Device to Communications Headphones when recording. In the various YouTube how-to videos that I watched on this subject there was no mention of a feedback problem and how to prevent it.

Is feedback an issue? Is there some other more elegant way to address feedback?

There’s no more elegant way to address computer capture. Stereo Mix (or whatever your machine calls it) conditions the whole of the audio playing on the computer and makes it available to the recording system. It defines feedback. Unfortunately, there’s no standard way to do this and some machines literally capture the speaker system. Unless you can disconnect the speakers, there’s no way to avoid distortion or howling feedback.

Any headphones should work. The system may have simply found your Skype headset.

Stereo Mix is not a guaranteed sound service and some computers can’t do it at all without hardware considerations or money-based software.