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Recording radio

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For years I have been using Total Recorder to capture sound on my PC. Now I have just recently upgraded my Hifi equipment, including a high quality DAC featuring USB in.

In the wake of my thus newborn musical interest I have discovered that Swedish State Radio is distributing music, live and recorded on the internet in 192 kHz AAC format. They claim that currently they are surpassed only by the BBC, as regards to sound quality. And listening to it streaming, I can agree that although it's not quite high end, it´s not so bad either.

How would you suggest I record music in this format?





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I guess you meant 192Kbps. Yes, my understanding is that the BBC's Radio 3 station currently streams at 320Kbps and sounds pretty good. This is twice the rate you'll get via DAB... but well below the equivalent NICAM feed for FM. Indeed, BBC Radio3 on my FM tuner still sounds substantially better than the 320Kbps internet stream.




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192 kbps, obviously! Total Recorder confused me. More on that later.



Radio Sweden is on the Com Hem TV cable network, in "256 Kbps, MPEG 1 Layer 2" and in "AAC 192 kbps" on the internet. I'm not in on Com Hem though. -So the answer would be to get a better FM tuner? (Any tuner suggestions?)


However, to save live transmissions/recordings not available anywhere else or ever again, a computer solution would still be handy, even if sound quality would suffer.


Total Recorder lets me choose from a variety of recording parameter settings, including FLAC and PCM up to at most "192 kHz, 24 bit, stereo". What would be a reasonable choice to save that AAC stream at 192 kbps?


Or are there decent AD converters available at a decent priceto hook up on a new tuner, should I settle for that solution?



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After doing some elementary thinking, I realise that Total Recorder must of course be an AD converter on top of a media player. Again, obviously: No mentioning of sampling rates would be involved, had it recorded the bit stream, I guess? So what it does must be to catch sound AFTER it has been converted to analogue and then converting it back to a chosen digital format.


But how good or bad is it´s conversion? How good or bad is the idea of doing this converison in the noisy interior of a computer in the first place? If the answer to any of these questions is "bad", are there any better alternatives at a reasonable cost??


Is there a (reasonable) way to catch the actual digital bit stream, before it is converted to analogue?


Great to have a place for asking questions like this!



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"[...] what it does must be to catch sound AFTER it has been converted to analogue and then converting it back to a chosen digital format."


I doubt that, unless the instructions tell you to wire the soundcard's analogue output to its analogue input.


"Is there a (reasonable) way to catch the actual digital bit stream, before it is converted to analogue?"


That is what I would expect Total Recorder to do. It's what other audio capture software does, anyway.



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Most recorders work after the stream has been uncompressed but before conversion to analogue.


Playing a radio stream would in simple terms consist of

incoming stream in eg. AAC --1--> uncompressed audio --2--> DAC


Recording would take place at point 2.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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That´s good news from you both, goldsdad and Audio_ELF. Thanks!

-AD conversion inside a PC poses no audio quality problem then?


Then again (just curious):

-Why at all choose a sampling rate? I imagined that would be necessary only when converting A-D? (Reverting back to analogue this is selected automatically, isn´t it?)


And, to return to my original question:

-What would seem like a reasonable choice of format and parameters in this specific case?


-Any suggestions as to the sound quality of different audio grabbing SW?


By the way I have found one last left-behind Onkyo T-4555 tuner to lay my hands on. If reviews are reliable I won´t be disappointed with it. So

-What will then seem like reasonable settings in Total Recorder (or some better choice, should anyone come up with any) to record music from the Onkyo? Format, sampling rate, number of bits, if sound quality on FM is so all superior to internet radio, according to goldsdad?


Again, thanks for the contributions already made. It´s really great to have found this forum. Hopefully others may also benefit from any answers to my questions.



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