Most people have a DVR to time-shift their favorite TV programs to watch at a later time. Here, we probably have 30+ series that are scheduled to record on a regular basis (we watch Jeopardy most every evening at dinner time). This has become a common practice worldwide.

Years ago, I used to record radio programs, mostly to capture the latest music, using a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and listen to it over and over again without having to buy the record (yes, vinyl). I still listen to the radio: terrestrial AM/FM/Shortwave, satellite radio, and Internet radio. The fact is that most radio stations now stream their broadcasting. Reception can be done with software on a computer, an app on a cell phone, or with WiFi Radios (like the CC WiFi 2 from CCrane Radio).

I listen to a wide variety of programming, mostly talk and spoken word. The problem is that I only have one set of ears and they are not always attached to a program. I had tried using Audacity (which I use regularly for audio editing). While it works great, it has no scheduling capability and takes more than a point and click effort. Off to Google!

What I found in my search were a number of paid products that would work fine, but their capabilities were far beyond just recording programs and the cost was greater than the value of just the one feature I wanted. I found a number of open source and freeware products but most just did not work in the environment I wanted.

That was until I found Screamer Radio. It was a perfect fit without additional functions for which I have other software already.

Screamer-Radio

It plays and records Shoutcast and Icecast MP3, Icecast Ogg Vorbis, WMA, and AAC Internet audio streams. It actually has a directory of tons of stations, as well as the ability to add your own favorite stations. If you give it the address of a web site, it will attempt to find and test the actual stream address, or you can simply paste in the stream address. An added plus: it automatically pastes in the last address you have in the copy buffer!

Besides playing, you can record the stream to a given directory with a labelled sub-directory for the particular station/stream, with a custom file name for the saved file to include the program information derived from the stream information (if the stream transmits meta information) and other fields like the record date. File name collisions are not a problem since it will add a suffix to differentiate the file. This is very helpful when a program may repeat one or more times during the day.

Additionally, if there is a stream glitch on either end, it retries to get a new stream started and starts a new file and does not delete the old one. I now record four stations on a 24-by-7 basis and daily go into the storage directory to weed out the ones that are in error, programs I don’t want, and station ID and commercial blocks. From there I move programs into directories on my media server so they are accessible anywhere.

The software works on Windows XP and later. You can also run it on Linux using Wine. On Windows, I have found that I can run multiple instances of it with little performance degradation. Since most spoken word streams run at 64 kbps or less, network impact is minimal.

So, if you want to snag that live program at three in the morning and listen to it on your way to work, grab this program and have fun!

Editor’s note: I use this program as well as the recorded results for personal use only. Most programming has a fair use for just that purpose. That means that without the express permission of the stream/program owner, you cannot distribute or sell their product. Just common sense.