05-27-2011 02:51 PM
I'm in the "grandmotherly" age, so bear with me. I like (sorry about this -) soft rock to listen to from my favorite local, high-powered, radio station. I can't afford nor desire to buy lots of mp3's - just want to record from fm and play back my music. I have a new laptop pc and a 1 year old imac desktop. I get by doing what I want to do, but I'm not real sophisticated in my computer knowledge. My lovely boys bought me for Mother's Day an ipod touch, 4G, 8gb - which has many other wonderful features that I will use, but doesn't have fm nor fm recording, as you probably know. Apps for it don't seem to allow individual song recordings if I were to get one with FM streaming. Since I was originally considering the Fuze (not the +) I'm STILL considering it. I would record the individual songs I hear on fm, convert the wav files to mp3's and then hopefully D/L back to the ipod. (How's THAT for knowledge?) Is this the best way for me, considering my objectives? Or, is there a better piece of hardware/software that would be even better? And, assuming that my fav. radio station is coming in at very good quallity, would I basically be happy with the recordings or are they going to be only so-so while listening back to them? I DO like good sound,. ANY help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Boys are just "too busy" to do all this research & probably wouldn't be objective.
05-27-2011 03:24 PM - edited 05-27-2011 03:33 PM
If you are converting .wav to .mp3 you are definitely one sophisticated grandma.
The Fuze will record from its FM, but you are dependent on the quality of the reception. And all that conversion is going to get tedious.
Here's what I suggest instead: do it on your computer with Dar.fm.
It is a TIVO-like recorder for radio onto your hard drive. Price: FREE. Pick Adult Contemporary or whatever you want as your music genre. Then transfer the mp3s to any player you want. The Fuze has excellent sound and battery life, and its advantage over the doPi players, besides price and FM on the go, is that it has a card slot for additional storage.
Last I looked, you could still find the real Fuze at Toys R Us for about $69. Probably elsewhere too.
Also, I've never used it, but you might want to look into SlotRadio, a microSD card with 1000 songs for about $35. If they are the songs you want, it might be worth it to you. It's obviously compatible with the Fuze.
05-27-2011 05:09 PM
I was hoping that someone with your knowledge might answer - thank you! To clarify, I've never converted a music file to mp3 but already knew from research that I would have to learn how to do this. I did go to Dar, at your suggestion. However, it appears to be no different from the other, mulitple fm streaming apps and sites that are available. The downside to those, as far as recording is concerned, is that you have to "batch record" multiple songs for a pre-determined amount of time, having no choice in the specific songs that *I* want to record and play back - basically a hit and miss opportunity, including, I presume, all the station breaks and advertisements recorded, too. I assume I can't "cherry pick" the few I might like and then delete the others. I was hoping, with the Fuze, to be able to hear the announcer state the next song, or two, or three, and then quickly record it if it's one that appeals to me and then to stop the recording at the end ...listen some more, and record again another song I like. Can't seem to do that with Dar, et al.
I might mention I have in the house an xln't-quality fm tuner and if there was an "easy" way to tape from that and then edit my recordings down to the ones I want and then convert to mp3's, that would be fine, too. Does such a "recorder" exist like that? Anyone?
05-27-2011 09:42 PM - edited 05-27-2011 09:45 PM
Dar.fm seems to offer exactly the cherry picking you want.
"Many radio stations transmit the names of the songs and bands they’re playing. DAR.fm captures that information and detects song breaks. In other words, if you record a day or so of a music station, you’ve suddenly got a tidy list of songs, identified (and sortable) by title or band. You can listen to individual songs, skip the turkeys and otherwise enjoy your totally free song collection. It’s crazy cool, like a hybrid of iTunes and satellite radio."
As an alternative, there are many, many inexpensive digital recorders that could record from the XFM radio station of your choice--right out of the headphone jack into the recorder. While the Fuze is a great playback device, it's cumbersome and low-fi for use as a recorder. But you can get a superb digital recorder for $100-$200, like one of the Tascams on this page:
They have built-in mics because they are for musicians and journalists, but just doublecheck that they also have a line-in jack--connect the XFM headphone out to the line-in and record. There are also little dictation gizmos, like the Sony ICD series, that would probably also do the job.
Just make sure they record mp3, not some weird proprietary compressed format (like the cheapest ones) , and that they have a stereo line-in jack.
The thing is, recorders are larger and not as convenient as playback gadgets like doPi players and the Fuze. You generally have to choose one or the other function to concentrate on--players have better displays and make it easier to find songs or albums or artists, etc.
But really, check out dar.fm. From the description, it seems like that would work for you without going to all the trouble you expect.
05-28-2011 08:19 AM - edited 05-28-2011 08:21 AM
Hey, thanks Black-Rectangle, great info.
I've been using a standalone PC app, RadioTracker ($30 from this link, $40 from other links), to do the same thing, i.e., scour the internet for songs. I've been very satisfied, and will describe it here, just in case it might fit someone's needs, or in case DAR.fm costs too much when it gets out of beta, or if you're not in the U.S.. But DAR.fm for free? Why not try that first and see if it works for your needs?
RadioTracker 8 gets you separated, tagged songs that you request, either by specifying a genre, or an artist or song or album (requesting a specific artist/song/album is called a wishlist in RadioTracker). You also specify a minimum streaming rate (I usually choose 192kbps--the higher the kbps, the less number of stations it scans), and an output format, like 320 kbps MP3 CBR or high quality VBR (by specifying "keep original quality"), or high quality WAV or various quality FLAC or AAC or WMA or OGG. Then let it go for a few hours and you have maybe 2 GBs of songs, individually separated and tagged as best as they can. You'll wind up with folders by artist, containing songs.
I had been using an older version, RadioTracker 6, and have been pleased with it. RadioTracker 8 adds timed station stream recording, but so far, for this timed recording feature, I can only get output in 320 kbps CBR MP3 format. Another downside to this feature is that you must schedule individual dates and times, e.g., no "Every Friday" nor "Weekdays".
I haven't yet recorded a bunch of songs in the new version 8 (I've got a backlog--it's easier getting songs than listening to them all!), but it's supposed to have improved tagging and song separation. Some experiences with the older version:
- It'll get songs from all over the world, in different languages. You might not like this. Dar.fm is only
- Despite quality settings, you'll get some static/bad quality in some songs.
- "Oldies" genres by year only goes back to the '60s, so if you want '50s, you're stuck with the general "Oldies" category, which will get you '40s and '30s music.
- tagging didn't work perfectly in some players. Sorry, I haven't analyzed why or with what players yet. Maybe the new version 8 tags more compatibly with my players.
- the GUI is shared with the upgraded audio/video Audials program, so you'll see video settings. The video upgrade doesn't have great reviews, and I was only interested in recording music, so I didn't upgrade.
- it's an ambitious program, having music management (so be sure to not let it scan your hard drive), CD burning, etc.
06-04-2011 02:46 PM - edited 06-04-2011 02:47 PM
Here's my two cense on the subject... I'm pretty sure that Screamer internet radio has the ability to start/stop recording when the user tells it to (I believe it uses MP3). Of course, I've only played with it for a short time, and that was months ago. But still, It's worth a try, right?
-PS: You remind me of my own grandmother
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