[Windows] Record audio with Leawo Music Recorder [Mac OS X]

leawo_music_recorder_1When combined with a video converter that can extract audio from videos, it is very easy to grab the audio track off an online video that is downloadable by a video downloader program — videos on websites such as YouTube and Dailymotion. However, sometimes it isn’t possible to download videos and thus you can’t extract audio from those videos. Or maybe you aren’t trying to extract audio from videos but rather record radio stations, podcasts, music, etc. In situations like these, you need an audio recorder. Leawo Music Recorder is one such audio recorder. Let’s see if it is worth your time.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Leawo Music Recorder lets you record audio from that you would normally hear from your speakers (aka loopback audio) and audio from your microphone.

Leawo Music Recorder works on both Windows and Mac OS X. For the purposes of this review, we tested Leawo Music Recorder on Windows.

Do take note you need to have an audio sound card that supports recording of loopback audio (almost all modern sound cards support this, so your computer likely supports it if it isn’t too old) and need a mic to record audio from microphone, but if you fulfil those requirements then Leawo Music Recorder will record any and all audio for you.

Pros

  • Records all audio — audio you hear from your speakers (e.g. podcasts, songs, streaming audio, online audio, audio from videos, audio from movies, etc.) and audio from your microphone
  • Has a built-in task scheduler that allows automatic scheduling of recording
  • Can save audio files in MP3 or WAV, with users having the ability to customize bit rate and sample rate
  • Recording audio can be played back right within the program
  • You can sort recorded audio into playlists and/or add to iTunes, if desired
  • Has the ability to use Gracenote’s database to download tags for recorded music files
  • You can manually customize tags for recorded audio files
  • Will automatically split audio into separate files if there is a pause of X seconds (this feature is intended to allow you to easily record audio from different tracks into their own separate files, without having to start/stop Leawo Music Recorder between each track; you can disable this feature if it causes issues with your recording)
  • Will automatically disregard audio recordings that are smaller than X seconds (this feature is to help prevent the saving of accidental recordings; you can disable this feature if it causes issues with your recording)
  • Program window can be opened at fully maximized size or can be opened in mini view were only the recording bar is visible
  • Easy to use and works well — good quality recordings

Cons

  • Built-in task scheduler is confusing to use and doesn’t appear to work (as per my tests — more about this in the Discussion section below)
  • No support for hotkeys
  • No offline Help documentation, and online Help documentation is fairly poor
  • Cannot record loopback audio and audio from microphone at the same time and/or doesn’t have the ability to overlay microphone audio on top of loopback audio
  • Not that it has any effect on the program quality per se, but there is a typo in Leawo Music Recorder (it says “sourece” instead of “source”) which may turn off some people

Discussion

leawo_music_recorder_2Although Leawo Music Recorder is marketed as a program to record music, Leawo Music Recorder is actually an audio recorder for Windows. With Leawo Music Recorder, you can record any and all audio — audio from your speakers (aka loopback audio) and audio from your microphone — regardless of if what you are recording is music, podcasts, radio stations, TV show audio, movie audio, etc.

Using Leawo Music Recorder is very easy. By default the program to set to record loopback audio, so if that is what you want to record all you have to do is hit the Record button and then play the audio source (e.g. audio file, online video, music, podcast, etc.) and Leawo Music Recorder automatically records it. It is important to note that you must hit the Record button prior to playing the audio you want to record, otherwise Leawo Music Recorder won’t properly record it.

When you are done recording whatever you wanted to record, simply stop playing the audio source and Leawo Music Recorder is intelligent enough to detect that the file has stopped playing and will save it automatically. However, do take note that just because Leawo Music Recorder saved your file doesn’t mean it stopped recording. Indeed, Leawo Music Recorder continues to record until you hit the Stop button. If you were to open up another audio source after recording an audio source and have not stopped Leawo Music Recorder, Leawo Music Recorder will record that audio source, too, and store it in its own file.

This behavior of Leawo Music Recorder is extremely useful if recording audio from different sources one after another and wanting each source to be stored in its own file but can be annoying if you are looking to record only one audio source.

If you are looking to record audio from microphone instead of loopback audio, all you need to do is click on the little microphone found in the bottom-left corner, select Record Audio Input, ensure your microphone is selected, and click OK. Now Leawo Music Recorder is set to record audio from your microphone instead of loopback audio and hitting the Record button will do just that — record your microphone. want to record audio from microphone.

To supplement its audio recording feature, Leawo Music Recorder has a built-in task scheduler which supposedly lets you automate the recording of audio. I say supposedly because the task scheduler is extremely confusing.

You see, when I think of a task scheduler in an audio recorder, I think of the ability to set the audio recorder to automatically turn on and record audio at a specific date and time. So you can imagine my surprise when I opened up Leawo Music Recorder’s task scheduler and it gave me the ability to customize Start Time and Recording Duration but had no date. How can you have a task scheduler with no date — what use is a task scheduler that can only be scheduled to work on the same day? It isn’t even clear if it is reoccurring daily or just a one day thing.

At that point, I had an epiphany. Maybe the task scheduler isn’t what I’m thinking it is. Maybe it isn’t intended to set Leawo Music Recorder to automatically start itself and record at a specific date/time but rather to set Leawo Music Recorder to automatically start recording when an audio source hits X time (e.g. at 30 seconds) and to only record for X seconds (e.g. record an audio source once it hits 30 seconds and only record 15 seconds). I tested out this theory and failed miserably; that is not what Leawo Music Recorder’s task scheduler is for.

Not one to give up, I went back and tested my original task scheduler theory that it is intended to allow Leawo Music Recorder to automatically start itself and record at a specific date/time (minus the date, of course, since there is no setting to set the date). It does appear that this is what the task scheduler is for (because you can’t set the Start Time higher than 23:59:59) but the feature doesn’t appear to work. I set the task scheduler’s Start Time five minutes into the future and waited to see if it would automatically start recording. It didn’t, so either I’m doing it wrong due to how confusing this feature is or the feature is buggy.

Conclusion and download link

Leawo Music Recorder is an excellent audio recorder. It is able to record both loopback audio (aka audio you hear from your speakers) and audio from microphone, is easy-to-use, and does its job splendidly. There is an issue with the task scheduler and lack of support for hotkeys, but those problems are not deal-breakers and there is plenty of room for Leawo to fix the issues in future releases (Leawo Music Recorder is a relatively new program). Overall, Leawo Music Recorder is a splendid program.

If you are unable or unwillingly to pay to purchase Leawo Music Recorder, that is OK because Leawo Music Recorder’s functionality is not unique and can be found in freeware programs. For excellent free/freeware audio recorders, go read dotTech’s review of best free audio recorders for Windows.

Price: $19.95 (1-year license), $29.95 (lifetime license)

Version reviewed: 1.0.0.0

Supported OS: Windows 8/7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X 10.6+

Download size: 16.7 MB (Windows), 11.5 MB (Mac OS X)

VirusTotal malware scan results:

Is it portable? No

Leawo Music Recorder homepage

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5 comments

  1. ArtKns

    [@Seamus McSeamus]
    TK’s post at today’s GAOTD (http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/music-recorder-1-0/#comment-367915) may provide a clue as to the cause of your problem. He says that Leawo is using old technology that breaks the audio driver chain to insert its own driver. Once broken, Leawo must be running in order to hear anything from any source. There are a number of other problems and solutions posted on the page.

    My installation was interrupted by a Microsoft popup warning me that this app has not passed XP Certification test and could cause immediate instability. Never saw this before so I am a bit hesitant to continue, especially in light of all the problems posted.

    My take away:

    • This app is not ready for prime time – too many bugs and too old technology
    • MANDATORY – If you want to install it anyway – Create a restore point just before installing.

  2. Seamus McSeamus

    I installed Leawo Music Recorder on my laptop. The installation itself went smoothly, but afterward I had no sound. I know the sound was working before, because I had been listening to Sirius over the internet just 20 or so minutes before.

    I tried the usual fixes (reboot, check services, etc) but nothing worked. VLC would play a file, but no sound… Sirius would play online, but also no sound.

    I uninstalled LMR, rebooted, and still had no sound. I finally just did a system restore, and that repaired whatever the problem was.

    Hopefully no one else encounters this issue, but if you do a restore may be your only option for getting your audio functional again.

  3. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@Jeanjean]

    – thanks for pointing that out
    – Leawo Music Recorder never took control of the player for me, I could start/stop as pleased
    – isn’t this the same with all audio recorders? this pulls audio at the sound card level, where your volume control has no effect
    – same the scheduler didn’t work for me

    Welcome!

  4. Jeanjean

    My 2 cents :
    – the audio source should be also turned off or closed before stopping the recording (warning happens too late if you did not do it: “To exit the program may possibly make the source audio mute. If does, please restart the player”.
    For my part, I could not restart the source audio, which shows that Leawo AudioRecorder takes full control of the player.
    – the recording level stays equal even if you change the sound of your speakers.
    – I’ve supposed for my part that the sheduler should be set before pressing the record button as for the rest. It did not work!
    Extremely curious thing: if you move the mouse on the icon of the sheduler (bottom left), a window appears indicating “A recording Task is running Tomorrow …(time set)” ???

    Thanks for the review Ashraf.