by: William M. Frazier, January 2005, send
to the web site
2000/XP, Intel CPU with CD-ROM (CD-R recommended), 100MB
HD space, sound card, speakers, Internet Connection (high
speed connection recommended)
(download); $39.99 plus shipping (retail box)
Radio Recorder—what a concept! This
program does just what it says. It connects to Internet
radio stations and then records what it finds. My
first impression went along the lines of "Who
needs this?" Well first impressions can sometimes
be wrong. The more I used this program, the more
I came to like it. Internet Radio Recorder (IRR)
does much more than just listen to and record Internet
radio stations. You can capture audio, edit audio
files, convert audio files between formats, and record
your own CDs.
The center of IRR is the radio receiver. This is
where you find, organize and select the radio stations
you want to hear. To select a station, simply double
click on the one you want from the list of available
stations. There are thousands of them. You can narrow
the field by using the search function and the search
fields cover most user requirements. You can search
by station names, music genre, bit rate, or stream
type (MP3 or Ogg Vorbis). I received the most relevant
results by searching for a specific genre. Just type
in Trance and you get a list of all the stations
that list trance music in their genre information.
Selecting and playing stations is easy. The status
screen lists both the name of the station, the stream
bit rate and whether the stream is stereo or mono.
You also receive information naming the artist and
title of the current song. Once you select a station
you can record by pressing the record button. You
can record the entire session as a single file or
have the recorder create individual song files using
each artist/title as file names. You can also split
files by time, duration or file size.
the ability to record each song as a separate file,
but there can be problems depending on which
station you select. Some stations delay sending out
the artist/title information until after the song
begins. This will make the recorder start the file
sometime after the song actually starts. The end
of the file will also contain a portion of the beginning
of the next song. IRR allows you to adjust for this
type of station. When you choose to split files by
artist/title you can also tell IRR that the track
starts ‘x’ seconds before or after receiving
the track information from the station. You can also
tell IRR that the title overlaps by ‘x’ number
of seconds. This helps a lot, and will solve the
overlap problems on most stations. However, there
are stations that vary the overlap time from track
to track and I was unable to find a solution to file
split overlap on these stations.
was both excellent and abysmal. You can say "Hey, you can't have it both ways", but
I think this is a special case. My first question involved
a perceived problem with the program’s help file.
The View tab under the Settings menu allows you to add
or remove items displayed on the Task pane. One of these
items is labeled Help. I checked the box and then looked
for the Help icon on the Task pane. It wasn't there. I
went back to the View tab and saw the item was unchecked.
I checked the box again and went back to the Task pane.
The Help icon still wasn't there. Went back to the View
tab and it was again unchecked. It was time to call tech
support. I tried the support e-mail option first. This
was on a Monday evening at 6:30 PM PST. The reply came
back just 1 hour later. I give Fogware an A+ for speed.
Unfortunately the content wasn't as helpful. The reply
directed me to where a downloadable copy of the User Manual
could be found. I already had it and it didn't address
the problem. The next day I called Fogware via phone to
see if anyone could help. The phone was answered after
just a few rings. I was placed on hold. Just eight minutes
later I had tech support on the line (not bad by today’s
standards). Unfortunately the people on the other end of
the line couldn't help, and finally suggested I send another
e-mail to the support address (same one I used in the first
place). I did send a second e-mail but it was never answered.
So, how to grade them? They respond (at least at first)
pretty quickly, but don't ask them anything out of the
There are many functions besides the recorder. The Capture
Audio function allows you to record audio from numerous
sources. In fact, this function allows you to record streams
that can't normally be captured due to proprietary formats,
such as RealAudio or Windows Media Audio. The only drawback
to this function is that you end up with one big file instead
of lots of small ones. Internet Radio Recorder can also
be used to edit audio files and convert audio among the
supported formats (MP2, MP3, OggVorbis, WAV and WMA).
The final main
function is Record CD/DVD. I made a number of data CDs
on CD-RW media with no problems at all. When
I tried to create an audio CD I didn't succeed. I'm not
sure what the problem was, but the resulting CD was never
recognized as an audio CD. Using the same WAV files, I
recorded an audio CD with Roxio’s Easy CD Creator
v5. The resulting audio CD played with no problems. I don't
know if the program has difficulty creating audio CDs or
if I was the problem, but if you need an audio CD, use
another program— it’s much easier.
The extra tools
included with IRR that are used the most are Erase RW
Media and the Label Editor. I do have one
caution regarding the Label Editor. The supplied template
is for A4 paper (210mm×297mm or 8.27"×11.69")
the normal paper size for both domestic and business purposes
in all countries except the United States, Mexico and Canada).
In order to use standard US Letter (8.5"x11" label
sheet) media, you will need to create your own template.
I want to give this program a high recommendation. I really
like it and it has a number of useful functions, but you
need to be aware that it isn't as polished as it should
be for the $39.99 price tag. There are thousands of Internet
radio stations out there and many of them are streaming
files in either MP3 or Ogg Vorbis format. With Internet
Radio Recorder you can capture and save the individual
files, and listen to them later, save them to CD, or whatever.
If you like new MP3 files, Internet Radio Recorder is a
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