Capturing streaming audio

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Reader Robert Shapiro is entranced by a French jazz station that streams across the Internet. Because he’d like some of that music to have and to hold, he writes:

I have a favorite Internet radio station—TSF Jazz 89.9 FM in Paris (great straight ahead jazz station!!!). I can get it, sometimes, with iTunes. I want to know if there is a way that I can capture and save a stream and maybe later burn it to a CD.

Sure. For those of you who haven’t tuned in, you can locate the station by opening iTunes, choosing Advanced > Open Stream, entering in the URL field, and clicking OK. If there’s an open stream, you’ll hear some great jazz in short order.

Now, back to the subject at hand. The trick to doing this is to use a utility that can capture the audio playing on your Mac. There are a few utilities that do this including Ambrosia Software’s $19 WireTap Pro and Rogue Amoeba’s $16 Audio Hijack and $32 Audio Hijack Pro. If you’d like a tool that specifically captures iTunes radio and streaming MP3 radio broadcasts, take a look at Bit Cartel’s $15 RadioLover.

I could write at length about how these programs work but, fortunately, I already have. Take a look at my Radio Daze piece on for more details.

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