streaming Internet music

I tried recording streaming Internet music on a new Lenovo Vista notebook using Audacity and got terrible quality. Someone told me to use Total Recorder to bypass the crappy microphone on the notebook. I asked which would give better quality:
(1) Audacity on an ancient XP machine, as is my current practice and which works well
(2) Total Recorder on new Vista laptop
(3) Total Recorder on old XP machine
and was told all those options would be better quality than the music itself.
I had been recording in AAC on the old XP machine, as I’m told that’s better quality than mp3. Total Recorder doesn’t support AAC, so I was wondering, would it make a difference to recording quality to use mp3 on Total Recorder, instead of AAC on Audacity, as I’m currently doing?
Then I tried to use an unactivated application called AVS Audio Recorder, but just heard “AVS Media demo” … and then very faint music and noise. I also tried to record with AVS Audio Editor, but it stopped recording after half a second.
I tried increasing the recording gain, but that didn’t help. The recording preferences read "Microphone (Total Recorder - WDM - Master Volume). So I uninstalled Total Recorder, in case it was interfering with AVS. Then the recording preferences read “Microphone (Conexant High Def)” and gave no other choice. Now when I tried recording, I only heard “AVS Media demo” and then silence.
What to do?
Thanks, jeff

PS: I tried this AVS thing because it does support AAC.


Actually, we said you were accidentally using the built-in microphone in the computer to capture the shows and pretty much any straight digital version of capture would be better than that.

You should capture and Export in high-quality WAV to get the capture master files. Then, if you feel like it, you can downgrade that to AAC or MP3 for your iPod or other music player Make sure your player can use whatever you create. If you get a different player, you can go back to the high quality WAV files and make something else. You get significant damage if you try to go from MP3 to AAC or the reverse.

Both of those create sound damage; AAC less so than MP3 and neither of them works very well in production. WAV is for production and editing. MP3 and AAC are delivery formats.


so I could record as WAV using Total Recorder and then transform it to AAC? How can I do that? Using Audacity?
Thanks again for your help

See below the notes I prepared in response to an earlier similar posting



Workflow to take Audacity Projects to AAC in iTunes

  1. Record and edit the project in Audacity
  2. Export as a set of WAV files (to facilitate correct ordering later I Label the tracks 01 <track_name_1>, 02 <track_name_2>, etc.)
  3. Import the WAV files into iTunes
  4. Use iTunes to make AAC copies (at your chosen bitrate) in the library of the WAV files
  5. Delete the WAV files from the library.
  6. Edit the metadata tags of the tracks/album
  7. And last but not least - backup my updated iTunes library
  8. Delete the Audacity project file (.aup and folder) to release hard disk space

    some more detail:

For step 1. I record and edit with Audacity set at 44.1kHz and 32-bit floating stereo (this gives me good headroom for any required editing) – I down-sample on export to 44.1Khz 16-bit PCM stereo (the Red Book standard for CDs)

For step 2. – I down-sample on export to 44.1Khz 16-bit PCM stereo (the Red Book standard for CDs). All the files for a particular album or show are placed in a specific named folder for that album/show.

For Step 3. in my iTunes application I have the Import Settings ( Edit > Preferences > General > Import Settings ) set to Import Using AAC and with my preferred bitrate set via Custom. I then add the folder created in step 2 above to the iTunes library with the File > Add Folder to Library. This loads the WAV files into the library.

For Step 4. One of the columns I always have showing in my iTunes library is Bitrate. Clicking on the Bitrate column header will re-order the display by bitrate (you need to have All Genres/Artists/Albums showing).
The WAV files should show up as a set at the top of the list (or bottom) - mine show at a bitrate of 1411 kbps. Alternatively you could activate the Kind column - whereby the imported files will show as WAV and similarly clicking on the Kind column header will produce a suitable ordering for you… Select all the WAV files that you need to convert and then use Advanced > Create AAC version.

Actually to facilitate later location of the converted files I usually edit the common metadata tags for the set of WAVS whilst they are selected - most importantly the album/show name.

For Step 5. The WAV files should still be the only selected tunes at this stage, providing that you have done no further clicking - just take extreme care at this stage (the AACs are created but selection is not forced by iTunes) So then I just Delete the selected files using the Delete key - and send the files to my wastebasket (Note carefully that my iTunes is set to copy files in NOT to reference external files - so the WAVs that are deleted are copies of the original source WAVs that iTunes made in my library in step 3. This is set in Edit > Preferences > Advanced with the “Copy tunes into iTunes folder when adding to library” tickbox.)

For Step 6. In order to edit the metadata for Song Name etc - the album is easy to locate as I have already edited the Album tag in Step 4 above.

Step 7. This is a critical step – as I have no desire to lose the valuable fruits of my labours. I maintain two separate 1TB disks. On each disk I place a complete set of the WAV files I have created in their album/show named folders – with the album folders sorted by genre and placed in “Genre folders”. Each disk also contains two generations of backup of my iTunes libraries - (I actually don’t do this library backup after every update - but I do try to do it at least every couple of weeks so I have a roll-back point)..

Step 8. After the backups are made I can then safely release space on my onboard hard drive by deleting the Audacity project files and the originally exported WAV files which remain there.

Yes it’s a bit of work - but worth the effort IMHO :slight_smile:


Alternative Method

Actually there is an alternative method I sometimes use when transcribing a vinyl album. I usually make a CD of these from the set of WAV files, retaining the original ordering of course. I then load this CD into my PC - if I am lucky the Gracenote CDDB database will “recognize” the CD and supply all the necessary metadata for me (otherwise I edit the metadata tags and submit them to Gracenote). Then I can simply rip the CD into my iTunes library in the same way as I would do with a commercially produced CD.