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Five Tips of Capturing Streaming Media

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Five tips to capture streaming media

Streaming audio and video is everywhere these days. You can listen to radio broadcasts and watch Internet TV. Unlike downloading media files, however, streaming media is designed for one-time viewing for listening. If you want to record it you need some way to “capture” the stream.

Capturing streaming audio works the same way as recording a TV broadcast to VCR or music from a radio station to a cassette. You need special software which does the actual job of capturing and converts it to a format like MP3 which you can use in your regular media player.

There are a few tips to get started with capturing streaming audio or video.

1. Use the appropriate software for the type of stream you are trying to capture. Some software packages are specifically designed for a particular type of streaming media like Shoutcast radio stations or Realmedia video.

2. Find the appropriate URL of the media stream. This can be a little bit tricky because the source of the stream may be hidden in a metafile. Some capturing software can automatically detect the URL but otherwise you must look at the metafile in a text editor to find out where the stream is coming from.

3. Allow suitable bandwidth for the type of media stream you are capturing. Unless your download speed is sufficient you may experience “stuttering” -- the stream stops and starts as a sufficient amount of data is buffered. This can be very annoying on playback and may require editing to smooth it out. Video requires more bandwidth and audio.

4. Choose software which converts the media stream to an appropriate format. For example, if you are capturing a radio broadcast, it makes sense to save the file as an MP3 file which can be played with any media player.

5. Update your media capturing software frequently. This is a relatively new field, so many software packages are evolving rapidly to iron out bugs and add new features.

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