Hi! In this post I'm going to explain you one of those things that the music industry doesn't want you to know: how to record audio playing in your computer. :)
Some years ago, back in the days when I was still using Micro$oft Windows XP, I remember that in the sound properties there was an option named "stereo mix" that would allow you to do record the audio being sent to the output of your sound card. However, from what I've read some time ago, that useful option has vanished from the sound controls in more recent versions of Micro$oft Windows.
When I heard about it I started wondering why would they remove a useful feature from the audio options. I googled about it and the history is that the music industry made some pressure next to sound card manufacturers, Micro$oft and Apple so that they would drop that feature in hardware and software, so that people wouldn't be able to copy music. If the history is true or false, I do not now, but, honestly, it wouldn't surprise me and certainly is a kind of measure that fits within the spirit of SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, etc. : limiting the freedom of people to get money at all cost.
However, using linux gives you back that freedom. Moreover, using the audio-recorder application you can do it in an even better way! :)
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The audio-recorder application allows you to record audio being played by any program of your choice, instead of the final sound card output mix. To install it you can download the appropriate package for your Ubuntu version and computer architecture (32- or 64-bit) here.
After downloading, open a terminal, go into the folder where you saved the downloaded package and type:
sudo dpkg -i audio-recorder*.deb
To use it is extremely simple: open the program, under the audio settings choose the audio source (Banshee, Rhythmbox, Spotify, etc.) and the audio format. When the music starts playing it will start recording automatically :) When I tested it for the first time I was listening to music on Spotify and I noticed that it even creates a folder with the artist name and saves the file with the correct song name! :) However, please be aware that although you can download music for free from Spotify this way, it doesn't mean that you should! Spotify is a really cool music service and isn't that expensive at all.
In recent versions of Ubuntu there have been some reports of the program recording empty files. In case you're getting this problem just install Pulse Audio Volume Control and open it:
sudo apt-get install pavucontrol pavucontrol
Then go to the "config" tab and choose Analog Stereo Output. After that you should be good to go.
That's it for now, hope you like it and please don't use this to steal music :) You can, but you don't have to. That's the good thing about linux: you have a choice to do what you think is right! :)
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