Instructables
Picture of How to Record Audio to Your Computer
In this instructable I am going to show you how to record almost any audio you want to your computer. Now you can finally convert those old tapes and records to an MP3 format that you can use on your IPOD or MP3 player.
 
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Step 1: Getting Audacity

Picture of Getting Audacity
Now to do all of this we are going to need some software. The piece of software I like to use is called Audacity. I like to use this software because not only will it allow you to record, but you can also edit what you have recorded, and you can use all sorts of special effects. We won't get into any of the special effects, what we are going to do is record audio from almost any source.

To do this we first have to download two software packages. Thankfully they are both free.

First download Audacity here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

You will find the download button about halfway down the page. I would recommend you get the older version because it is more stable and has been tested more. However, if you have Windows Vista or Windows 7 you will have to download the more recent beta version. Either way download the install file to your desktop and then double click it to start the installation. The install is pretty easy. After you install it you can start using right away if you want, but in order to do anything with MP3 files you will have to install a plug in. This plug in is called LAME. The reason for LAME is that the MP3 file format is proprietary so free/open-source software can't use it without a plugin.

To download lame go to this page: http://lame1.buanzo.com.ar/#lamewindl

For instruction on installing the LAME plugin go to this page: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=install&i=lame-mp3

Once you have Audacity and LAME installed we are ready to move on.
Adword131 month ago

I also need to record audio to my computer, but recently I use a tool, Tenorshare iGetting Audio, to record it. It's great! I download it from http://www.tenorshare.com/products/streaming-audio-recorder.html

nathanrjones4 months ago

If you don't want to download any software, you can always just go to http://clyp.it and record straight from your browser. You'll also get a short URL you can share, or just download a copy of your recording.

Foxtrot702 years ago
This is excellent!! If you need to record a telephone conversation a telco-line-in to line-out interface can built and then fed to the line-in of the computer and the recording then burned to cd for storage. Keep in mind some states forbid recording unless all parties are aware of the recording.
nurdee1 (author)  Foxtrot702 years ago
Thar is a good idea. You can also get kits thaqt interface to a computer from a telephone line.
Yeah, audacity is great, but I found a better one. Streaming audio recorder, it helps me record system sound to my computer , convert the format that is available to my device and burn music into CDs
I found the program in below link, you can try it:http://www.recordstreamingaudio.net/
nurdee1 (author)  john12242 years ago
Thank you for your interest and suggestion. I will download that and give it a try. One reason I like Audacity is that it is totally free, even the source code.
sageserver2 years ago
Hmmm, what if you plug the audio cable from your headphone port to your microphone port.......hint hint*
nurdee1 (author)  sageserver2 years ago
Doing that you would be recording what you are playing on your computer. I relly don't see the point. Please clarify.
Pirating technique. Basically, if you are allowed to listen to something on the internet but not download it, then you can record it to your computer. That's why most previews are only part of the song now-a-days. Also used if you need to edit an iTunes file and you don't want to pay for an editor that can actually remove the permissions. A hit below the belt if you ask me.
nurdee1 (author)  thegeeke2 years ago
I see. I still don't see why you would o it because there are music videos on youtube for every song aver written and you can capture them with a freely available capture/download program.
Yes, there's that too... But when there's something that isn't on YouTube, then this is just one way of doing it.
thegeeke2 years ago
Nice intro... Sometimes it's hard for people like me to remember that most everyone else still needs help with the basics. :)
nurdee1 (author)  thegeeke2 years ago
thanks a vote in the shopbot challenge wouldn't hurt.
You got it. Good luck!
SP Riley2 years ago
This sounds like a good program for editing perhaps. I use another program called MP3 My MP3 3.1 found here:

http://www.mp3mymp3.com/

It works similar, but you can record audio from radio programs or tapes, and it has a nice "Silence Detection" feature that will stop recording when you get to the end of your tape. Still it is free and yours is free. I can't wait to try and combine the two and see if I can edit out the advertizements from the radio programs. Thank you so much.
-SP
Audacity also does that. Go to "Edit"-"Preferences"-"Recording" and then click the check box by "Sound Activated Recording".

I personally do not use this feature often because if there is silence in the track, then it will stop the recording until there is noise again, however, for consumer use, it's a nice feature. :)
nurdee1 (author)  SP Riley2 years ago
I have never heard of that program but I might just give it a try. I have thought about recording radio but haven't tried it yet. Personally I don't see the pont because you can get almost any music or radio show online. But I guess maybe there are some advantages to recordeing from the radio. Editting what you have recorded is super easy with audacity, you have this tool where you just highlight by dragging your cursor and then you can delete what you have highlited. Audacity also has a "silence detector" properly known as Voice Operated Recording or VOR. I have seen it ut I haven't used it, most of the tapes I recorded were audio books so I just let them lay and deleted the dead air off both ends. I was afraid that If I used the VOR it would stop recording if there was a pause in the audio book.

Enjoy