Recording from a website

First off I am very inexperienced with Audacity, so please bear with me. I am trying to record a song that plays on a website when it is opened. Is it possible to record from a website and if so, how would it be simply done using this program. Thank You

Please see: Tutorial - Recording Computer Playback on Windows - Audacity Manual .


Thanks Gale!

I think before you actually try to record the audio while it’s playing, which will cause a certain quality loss, you should check how the audio is actually embedded into the web-site. For example, if they embedded an MP3 or MIDI file via or tag, you should be able to simply download the embedded audio file! Or, if they embedded an audio stream, you may be able to dump the stream via FFmpeg or MPlayer.

If you can share a link to the site, I could have a look…

I’m running into this problem when I use WASAPI to record audio from Youtube videos. It is slight, but comparing the recorded audio in Audacity (in the program, before exporting to a file) to the actual video one can notice the Audacity audio has a thinner sound. This may not be an Audacity question, but what you recommend in this case? Is there any way with Audacity to get a carbon copy of the streaming audio? Or should I be trying to use a Youtube downloader site?

Thanks, Gunnar!

I think recording the audio of a Youtube clip with a tool like Audacity should be the last “fallback” solution! There’s about a zillion of tools for downloading Youtube clips. I won’t name a specific one here, but you can find at least a dozen of Firefox extensions for that purpose. There are also stand-alone tools. But whatever tool or extension you use, make sure it will download the clip 1:1, not convert it. Downloading will be 100% lossless! This should give you an MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14) or FLV (Flash Video) file. From here you can watch or listen to the file in a player like VLC. If you want the audio only, you can extract the audio stream from the MP4 or FLV file with MP4Box or FLVExtract, respectively - again 100% lossless. That will give you, for example, an MP3 or AAC file. That file can then be edited in an editor like Audacitty, if you need to. Or you just throw it at your favorite audio player as-is.

Perfect solution, thanks! I would lose quality if I imported the mp3 to Audacity, made edits and exported to mp3, correct?

First off, we are assuming you have the copyright holder’s permission to record or download from YouTube.

WASAPI should be a digital copy of the streamed audio and should be as good a quality as the stream, except that the recording level of WASAPI is fixed at a moderate level. I think this is the problem you mean. You could try Effect > Amplify… on what you recorded already.

Note that if you use a downloading tool, multiple copies of the file will be offered in different qualities, so pick the highest quality. Some copies will be meant for low bandwidth/low resolution visitors, and so the audio and the video will both be reduced quality. If you choose a low quality copy it may be much worse than playing the video in high resolution on YouTube and recording it under WASAPI.

And as Gunnar says, do not convert any of the files to audio using these tools because that will lose audio quality. Download the highest quality video file available, then add FFmpeg to your computer so you can drag the video file into Audacity and it will extract the audio from the video. If you want to edit the audio in Audacity that will be quicker than extracting the audio with MP4Box or FLVExtract (and saves you trying to learn those tools). At that point, the audio quality in Audacity is still as good as it was in the downloaded video.

Yes when you export that audio to MP3 from Audacity, then you lose some quality.


Yes. However, you may use a tool like mp3DirectCut to edit MP3 files in a lossless way.

Also keep in mind that, if you record the audio with Audacity (instead of downloading the stream) and then save the recorded audio to MP3, you will have that quality loss anyway - whether you make any edits or not.