Geekspeak: February 12, 2001

If you can hear it, you can record it

Do you think music just wants to be free? Or maybe youd just like to record and save your favorite streaming-media programs? Either way, youll want to look at Total Recorder.

Total Recorder 3.0.1, from High Criteria, neutralizes any digital protection scheme the music industry comes up with, and it does so in a simple way. The program creates a virtual sound card driver that sits in front of a PCs real sound card. Any program that creates audio, whether its SDMA, streaming media or a DVD, can be recorded by Total Recorder. To defeat this, a program would have to not create sound.

The real use of Total Recorder until a secure digital standard comes out is in recording streaming broadcasts because most sites dont let users save their streams. Using Total Recorder, we could record and save streams as either WAV or MP3 files. Because this is essentially a live recording, the recording became garbled if we did anything else on our system (a hefty Pentium III with 256MB of RAM). With digital media files, we could record them quickly without listening to them.

The $11.95 Total Recorder can be downloaded from