Imagine you are listening to streaming music online and a song comes on that you wish to save to your computer? Unfortunately, most of the online streaming players do not have an option to record streaming music to your PC. I had the same problem, listening to online radio and desperately searching in Google to download a nice song that I just heard. But StreamWriter brought an end to this.
StreamWriter is a good app for listening to streaming audio, categorizing them and recording them when you wish.
Download and Install
Streamwriter is available for free as an installation file or as a portable one. I chose the portable one. When you run Streamwriter for the first time you will be asked to choose your language and the directory where you need to store your saved songs.
Once done you will be asked to set the bandwidth limit for the app, a necessary option if you have a low speed internet connection and don’t want Streamwriter taking up all your internet bandwidth. All set and good to go!
I dived into the app and the first thing I noticed was that there is nothing special about the aesthetic appeal of the UI, as you’ll see from the screenshots later in the review. With the multimedia applications of today sporting a fancy look, I was a bit disappointed by the standard plain clothes look of this app.
On the plus side, everything was organized and I didn’t have search for ages for a particular feature.
Streamwriter has a tabbed interface consisting of four views.
This is the main view where all the streams you’ve added are shown. The search feature on the side helps you to easily search for and narrow down to your favorite radio station, although I didn’t know why the type field was there. A little bit of search and I was soon listening to The Diary of Jane by Breaking Benjamin.
Once you have added the streams that you like, it would be a good idea to categorize them, especially if your list of streams is long. To do this,
Right click on the stream window and click add new category. You can now drag the streams that you want to the category.
Note: Do configure your mouse click options as double clicking them, by default, starts recording automatically.
One thing I like about StreamWriter is the ability to schedule recordings. I configured it once and now I record streaming music everyday in the afternoon when I am usually in sleep mode. To schedule recordings,
- Right Click on the stream for which you want to schedule and select “Set up Scheduled Recording”.
- Specify the time interval and the recurrence of the schedule.
StreamWriter also allows you to open a stream on your external default music player. Right click on the stream and select “Play Stream (External Player)”. I left this option alone as StreamWriter’s audio output is decent enough and I usually use streamwriter when I am working on my computer and hence a high quality audio is the least of my concerns at that time. If you need to tweak the audio a bit, StreamWriter also provides you with an equalizer, although, no equalizer presets come in bundled with the app. Go to Player -> Equalizer to access the equalizer.
Right clicking on the stream also gives you other useful options like navigating to the station’s website and adding the stream to the blacklist. Blacklisted streams are never recorded. You can access and edit this list by going to File -> Settings -> Blacklist.
The chart view basically, gives you information about the current radio-charts with an estimation of what percentage of chance you might have to listen to the songs in the chart via streamwriter. This information is gathered from the Streamwriter server. You can add the song that you like to the wishlist.
All defined filters are displayed in the list view. Divided into “Wish list” and “Ignore list”, this view allows you to filter the streams that you wish to record or do not wish to do so. All songs given in the WishList will be recorded when detected on a stream if this feature is enabled.
To configure the options for automatic recording of songs, go to File->Settings->Automatic Recordings.
If you hate a song and never want to hear it in your whole life, then add it to the ignore list and then select the “Do not tune in if the song is on global ignore list”. You will never hear it again at least via StreamWriter.
You can also import to the list from text files and playlists. StreamWriter supports .m3u and .pls playlists.
Note: Do remember to select “remove saved titles from wishlist” checkbox in the automatic recording settings if you don’t want the same song to be downloaded again and again.
This view lists all the tracks that you have saved, except the ones that you have moved to another location.
Usually a saved track consists of more than one song and if you need to cut out the portions that you want from it and perform basic audio editing actions such as applying fades, you can do it via StreamWriter. This feature, however, comes as an addon . In fact, almost all the necessary options in this view come as addons. You can download and install addons by going to File -> Settings -> Addons and choosing the addons that you need.
Why would you need StreamWriter?
Well, choose a station with mild and unobtrusive music and experience for yourself that you will be able to do your work in a steady pace (occasionally stopping to listen and record a nice song) without getting bored at all.
You also can avoid listening to annoying ads in streamwriter by going to File -> Settings -> Cut and specifying if you want to skip short length audio, usually ads, and specifying the length of the audio.
StreamWriter brings back old memories, the times when I used to record music from radio stations on cassettes via a tape recorder before the internet came to my part of the world. StreamWriter helps me re-live those days in the digital world.