WM Recorder is a really cool software program that I started playing with last week. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve often in the past wished there was an easy way to grab streaming windows media audio or video content and then take it on the road with me using my Pocket PC. Using WM Recorder this is easy to do, there’s a 12 second Lord of the Rings Clip I’ll present as a sample of a recorded streaming video file I created for viewing on my Pocket PC at the end of this review.
The Case for Recording Streaming Audio
I love listening to NPR on my laptop or finding the latest movie previews in a streaming format. But alas, when I come across a really cool news item on NPR and wish I could access it on the subway (or for those not in New York, your car!) to listen to on the ride home I come to the realization that streaming audio just wasn’t made for such a thing. Or how about the time I had my PDA with me in the bar after work and was talking up the latest preview for a soon to be released movie — wouldn’t it be great if I could whip out my iPaq 2215 and show the crowd there what I’m talking about (I’d be sure to impress the women too, right?). Oh but wait, that preview was a streaming file that the movie studio was teasing me with on WindowsMedia.com. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easy to use program that could just sort of record streaming content to a permanent file on your computer as you played that stream? Well there is such a program and it’s called WM Recorder from Applian software.
WM Recorder Overview
The beauty of WM Recorder is its simplicity. It’s very simple to setup, and very simple to use. To download a trial version of WM Recorder simply visit www.wmrecorder.com. The trial version allows you to record 2 minutes of streaming content while purchasing the full version allows you to record for an unlimited time. After downloading WMRecorder simply follow the wizard to install the program, it’s very easy, just make sure all of your web browser windows are closed or it will force you to do so. When starting WMRecorder you are also required to open it before you open any browser windows, it installs an icon like this on your desktop, just double click it to launch. Once the WM Recorder is open you can open a browser in which you will actually navigate to the site with streaming content that you want to record. Before playing the streaming audio from that site, hit record on the WM Recorder interface and it will show it is waiting to record:
Once the streaming content starts to flow you’ll see the data transfer rate which is good feedback for letting you know the program is actually doing something. When you want to stop the recording simply click the stop button. The file is saved to the directory “/Program Files/WM Recorder/My Recordings/”. Clips are named automatically. If WM Recorder cannot determine the name of the clip, it names it New 001.asf, New 002.asf, etc. At this point, now that the file is saved and closed to recording further, you can drag the file over to your Pocket PC using ActiveSync. You’ll probably want to store it on an SD or CF card in your Pocket PC as media files tend to get large if you have a lot of recording minutes.
I used WM Recorder to grab a few seconds of content from a clip about the making of The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers blockbuster movie from last year. I’ve included the clip I’ve recorded as a download, it’s only 12 seconds so don’t get too excited, but it serves as an example of what this program can produce.
Gandolf is on my iPaq 2215 thanks to WM Recorder
For an easy way to get streaming audio or video captured in a bottle this is a great software program to use. It’s $29.95 well spent, the trial version is free so try that if you’re skeptical.
- Easy to use software interface, nicely designed lunar styling
- Functionality that allows you to grab streaming content is fantastic, get your favorite movie clips, news shows and music videos in a windows media format that you can take on the road with you.
- $29.95 isn’t too bad a price of a nice software package with good documentation and a free trial download.
- Doesn’t work for capturing Real Media audio/video.
- Doesn’t capture audio/video that uses DRM (Digital Rights Management) – you’re not supposed to be trying to capture that anyway
Example LoR download file (right click and choose “Save Target As..” to download)
Buy from www.wmrecorder.com for $29.95.