June 20, 2006

Recording Audio

Technology has come a long way in the past few years.

Using WireTap Pro and Audio Hijack has saved me a lot of money!

In the 80's, for fun I used to record radio shows using cassette tapes. A fairly good quality tape from Osco or Strawberries would cost about $2 each tape, and hold about 60 - 90 minutes of audio. If I wanted to record 52 hours of any programing, it would cost between $90 - $100!

Today, using Wiretap Pro ($19) or Audio Hijack ($16), a DVD Disk ($.75 a disk) and the built in DVD drive in my Macintosh. I can do so much more than before.

I can now record more audio at better quality. I can set a timer to record radio shows when I am not at home. DVDs will be around for a long time - cassette tapes don't last that long and sound quality can deteriorate over time. Also DVDs disks take up less space than cassette tapes.

I preferrer to use AAC Protected format, because AAC Protected provides bettery quality audio than from MP3s. Its the format Apple Computer uses for purchase songs on iTunes, so if its good enough for them its good enough for me. If I was recording something other than radio, I might be a little more picky.

Fact: 4 hours of Audio recording using AAC Protected format at 192 kbps will results in a file size of 332.4 MB.

Which means that only 13 audio clips will fit on a Standard DVD. This comes to 52 hours of audio that will fit on a DVD. Not bad!

The only downside of storing it on DVDs is that I can't play them right from the DVD. However, I suspect in a few years that may change, and I'll be able to put the DVDs into a car stereo and hear 50 hours of radio whenever I want.

If you have WireTap Pro or AudioHijack:

  1. Find a Radio Station, usually Talk Shows or News Programs are best.
  2. Record Non-Stop for 24 - 48 hours, with a break just before the top of the hour.
  3. Burn the Audio files to a DVD.
  4. Keep the DVD in a safe place.
  5. Years from now play the audio, and see how life was back in 2006...

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