Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Radio Sweetheart

When I was growing up, my little town in the center of South Dakota was a radio wasteland. We had two AM stations, one played songs that were so old that you could hear the wear on the vinyl, the other was mostly local commercials and pork belly futures.

But at night when the AM stations could amp up and throw their glorious waves out across the plains of the Midwest, KOMA from Oklahoma came in clear as a bell, and they played all the good stuff.

One of my buddies was given his dad's cassette tape recorder (one of those old mono warhorses used for dictation where getting the voice and not fidelity was the main goal), and he would sit up at night pressing "record" when they'd start a song, stopping it when it was done, tediously collecting songs. Even worse, he was a purist, so if the DJ talked over the beginning or end of a song, he would stop recording, back the tape up, and record over it. I think he filled a shoebox with those tapes.

This is how far some of us will go for sweet music in our lives.

Well, recently a dude at work turned me on to the fact that someone had made a ripper (recorder/copier) for internet radio streams that play in the Windows' best MP3 player, Winamp. You basically open it up, tune in, start the ripper, and it fills your hard drive with songs as long as you let it run. It detects the beginning and ends of songs, and if the song information is provided in the stream, it names them!

I have finally finally finally found a source for new songs by new artists since American radio turned to shite in the consolidation wars. Huzzah!

(Apologies to Mac users, I didn't research if either of these are available for your platform.)


Whisky Prajer said...

Your beloved Streamripper is, of course, Linux-friendly. Not that I'll be using it, mind you: I already spend too much time on this thing.)

yahmdallah said...

You've already been ripping radio stations?

Whisky Prajer said...

No no - I spotted the application and trolled through some of the Linux chat-rooms. In the end it looked the sort of thing that would eat up a lot of time by either requiring tweaks and patches, or just doing what it was designed to do: rip.

What do you think of the sound quality?

Yahmdallah said...

It's really pretty good. The sample rate is published along with the other info. If you stick to the 128 or higher sample rates, it's much like the CDs you rip yourself.