Most of us have an MP3 player or know someone who does, but how and where do you get the MP3 files to put on it? Sure you can buy the tracks at a dollar a piece, in most cases, but that can get costly especially if you love music as much as I do. If you are so inclined you can access one of the music sharing services, but that is frowned upon, and it leaves you open for virus infection. On the other hand, if you have browsed the internet, you have probably stumbled across online radio stations. You can access radio stations directly, or through yahoo, MSN, Google radio, etc…, but you have to be at your computer to listen. Now there is another way.
You can use RADIOTRACKER from audials.com; this will allow you to record an MP3 from the radio station you listen to.
You can choose a station and tell the software to start recording. At which point it will start recording everything that comes through that particular station. Yes, it will cut out commercials. It records each song individually and names it by artist and song title. It will even tell you if the recording was a complete and error free recording or whether it may have a flaw. If there is a flaw you will now to try for that song again. I compared both the ones marked as pure and the ones marked as flawed, and I was unable to find the flaw myself. All the music was crisp, clear, and sounded complete.
Another way to download offered by the program is a wish list. You can search for and find artists or songs that you are interested in. The program will then scan internet radio broadcasts around the globe for matching content. When it finds one it will record it for you. Then continue until it fills your wish list. You can create various different wish lists depending on mood or temperament. You can have a wish list for rock, or slow songs, or favorite artists, etc… It can also determine if you already have songs in your collection and skip them, thereby eliminating the need to filter through your music and manually delete duplicate songs.
If you don’t know the radio station you want to record, and aren’t selective enough to want specific artists but you know what genre you enjoy, you can do that to. With the click of the mouse you can tell it to record just country, or rock-n-roll, or classical, or pop, etc… Again it will scan stations all over the globe and automatically select your genre.
You have the option of setting the program up to save files in categories by genre, or artist, or album, etc… This eliminates the need for you to categorize everything manually, though personally I was hoping it would first categorize by genre and then by artist giving even more structure, but I was still quite pleased with the versatility it does give.
If music is not your forte, then you can try the podcast section. This will allow you to choose a subject of interest and the program will search for and record podcasts matching your choices. This works like the music does, as it scans globally for podcasts and saves to your hard-drive. You can then listen to them at your leisure or save them to your MP3 player and listen on the go.
I found the program quite versatile and easy to use. Just about everything is point and click. I downloaded and installed the program, and within minutes was building my library. It takes very little guesswork, and everything is easy to find. The one thing you do have to remember, you are recording from radio broadcasts. This means that from time to time the program may appear to be doing nothing, but a blink later and its off and running. At one point I had 17 simultaneous recordings. When you turn off the program it will need to finish the current selections before closing, or you can forego those few selections and close immediately. The software does not force you to wait for it to finish, and it’s a good bet that those selections will roll around again.
In my book, this one’s a keeper.