Recording RealPlayer Streams
November 21, 2004 8:59 PM   Subscribe

How can I reliably record RealPlayer streams for later listening, on Mac OS X or Linux? [MI]

HiDownload does the job pretty well on Windows. It downloads different bits of the stream in parallel, (apparently) at whatever speed the connection can handle. So a slow connection doesn't produce a glitchy download. But I don't have a Windows machine!

IRecordMusic is the nearest I've found on the Mac, but it records in real time so my flaky wireless connection results in annoying drop-outs. How can I get perfect downloads?
posted by beniamino to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Audio Hijack Pro by Rogue Amoeba Software.

Allows you to record sound coming from any application in OS X in a number of file types (MP3, AIFF, AAC and Apple Lossless). As well as allows you to set timers like a TiVO or VCR.
Like A VCR For Internet Radio
There's tons of great streaming content on the internet, from the many different BBC stations to the great programs of National Public Radio, and everywhere in between. But why should you be tied to a broadcast schedule to hear it, or even tied to your computer at all? With Audio Hijack Pro you can record all types of streaming content, and listen to it whenever you want. Record streams that are only on during work and listen to them on your computer when your return home. Or record audio overnight and take it with you on your commute in the morning - fill your iPod or burn it all to a CD. Now you can listen to internet streams wherever and whenever.

Time Waits For No Man - Fortunately, Audio Hijack Pro Does
You don't need to be in front of your computer to record audio. Audio Hijack Pro can record using timers, just like a VCR or Digital Video Recorder. Just tell Audio Hijack Pro what to record by giving it a bookmark file, set the start and end times, and walk away. Audio Hijack Pro will automatically play the content, record it, and clean up when it's done. You can mute the audio for late-night recordings, set multiple timers, and choose between recurring and one-shot timers. Audio Hijack Pro can even create a Timer for bookmarks inside of other applications like Realplayer and Windows Media Player - just choose the New With Bookmark option, and it will scan the bookmarks located in your other programs.

That's not all though - you can use timers to make any application your alarm clock - wake up to cds, mp3s, net streams, dvds, or any other audio you desire. Audio Hijack Pro can even launch itself, and wake your computer from sleep (OS X 10.3 only) - now you can do your part for the environment and save money on your electricity bill too.

posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:07 PM on November 21, 2004

The wiki has an entry on this topic.
posted by Galvatron at 9:12 PM on November 21, 2004

To elaborate on that entry, MPlayer is ideal for flaky connections because it is capable of ripping the original stream packets directly to disk.
posted by Galvatron at 9:19 PM on November 21, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks folks. AFAICT AudioHijack doesn't do what I want -- it records audio in real time so if the connection drops out, so does the recording.

But mplayer looks like its going to float my boat. If anyone else wants to do this on Mac OS X, here's the drill:
1. Download and install mplayer from sourceforge.
2. Download Real codecs from
3. Copy drvc.bundle, sipr.bundle, atrc.bundle, cook.bundle, drv2.bundle from the helixcode distribution to /usr/local/lib/mplayer
4. Make an alias like this in your .bashrc:
alias mplayer='/Applications/MPlayer\ OS\ X\
5. Now you should be able to play Real streams using something like:
mplayer rtsp://
6. To save the stream to disk, use:
mplayer -dumpstream rtsp:// -dumpfile stream.ra
[If it's audio and you want an mp3:
7. Convert it to wav format:
mplayer stream.ra -ao pcm -aofile stream.wav
8. And feed the resulting file into your favourite mp3 encoder.]

Thanks again Galvatron.
posted by beniamino at 10:51 PM on November 21, 2004 [1 favorite]

I use High Criteria's TotalRecorder and love it. I paid $24 for the professional version and have had no complaints, ever.

It also has an option to speed up the live stream so that you don't have to record strictly in real-time.

Plus, no messy codecs!
posted by yellowcandy at 12:59 AM on November 22, 2004

Audio Hijack Pro doesn't record silence when the connection drops out; the recording pauses and it picks up again when it has more packets. Nevertheless, mplayer is free and if you can handle the whole command line thing then that'll get the job done, too.
posted by bcwinters at 8:59 AM on November 22, 2004

Just spent 20 mins trying to follow those instructions, beniamino, and I can't get it to work.

First, my Mac wouldn't let me write to my .bashrc file

But I set up the alias at least for the duration of my shell session. No problem.

But then, whenever I tried to do 'mplayer rtsp://streamlocation' I would get this error:

-bash: rtsp://streamlocation no such file exists.

Grr. Why is the shell trying to access that file instead of MPlayer? MPlayer is definitely launching. I see the whole list of MPlayer options, and then the bash complaint. Any ideas anyone?

I tried using 'mplayer -aid' and then the stream location, but again, bash thought I was talking to it instead:

-bash: -aid: command not found
posted by scarabic at 1:47 PM on November 22, 2004

Response by poster: Scarabic: my first guess is that the alias isn't working right. You should be able to do the following:

sudo echo $'\n'alias mplayer=\'/Applications/MPlayer\\ OS\\ X\\\'$'\n' >> ~/.bashrc
(all one line obviously; type your password afterwards)

followed by:

source .bashrc

after which mplayer rtsp://... should work.... I'm happy to help more if it doesn't (email if you like)
posted by beniamino at 2:44 PM on November 22, 2004

Response by poster: To clarify: there should be a space, and no newline, after 'OS\\ X\\'
posted by beniamino at 2:50 PM on November 22, 2004

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