[Review] Wondershare Streaming Audio Recorder

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for September 18, 2009 is:

Wondershare Streaming Audio Recorder

Version reviewed:

v1.0.8.52

System Requirements:

2003/XP/Vista 32 bit and Windows 7 Beta; Processor: >1GHz Intel or AMD CPU; Free hard disk space: 30 MB or more; RAM: 256 MB or above

Software description:

Wondershare Streaming Audio Recorder uses virtual sound card to record any sound played through your sound card.

Ashraf’s note:

Some of you may or may not know this but I am a devout Muslim. In Islam (my religion) musical instruments are technically forbidden (lots of technical details but as a general rule) which is why you may often see me not reviewing “music related” giveaways. I was debating whether or not to review today’s giveaway; however I came to the conclusion this is an “audio recorder” and not specifically a “music recorder” and since audio can consist of different things, it should be OK for me to review.

Now I am not forcing my religion onto anyone or anything like that so what you use this program for is up to you (it is totally your choice) but for the record I am discouraging the use of this software to record music.

Furthermore, since we are all civilized people, I ask you respect my views… just as I respect yours (pssst please no debate on religion in the comments but if you want to know more about Islam feel free to e-mail me and we can discuss).

Lastly, my religious views do not affect the quality of my reviews in the least. I always report from an unbias standpoint about the quality of each software just as I have done for Wondershare Streaming Audio Recorder.

:)

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and very easy to use.
  • Basically records any audio that you can hear through your speakers/headphones (regardless of if it is online or offline).
  • Automatically detects when an audio starts playing and when it ends.
  • Allows you to save recorded audio to multiple different formats.
  • You can edit ID3 info for each recorded audio.
  • You can set it to record for a predefined time and shut down your computer afterwards.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Program window is not re-sizable.
  • Needs a clock/ticker to show how much time is left for the “Preset” feature.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”10″}Point click.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”10″}Not very heavy on resources, and records audio well.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”10″}There will come a time when everyone wants to record audio.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”10″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tupr]
{/rw_verdict} –>

While Wondershare is marketing Wondershare Streaming Audio Recorder (WSAR) as a software that records online streaming audio, WSAR basically allows you to record anything that can be heard by you from speakers/headphones/etc.

One thing to note while installing WSAR: you may be told WSAR is not digitally signed and/or you have to install a driver from an unknown developer. It is OK to install WSAR and any driver it asks you to.

This is what WSAR looks like:

2009-09-18_233649

Using WSAR is very simple; in fact the directions are written right on the program:

2009-09-18_232409

So let walk through the three steps.

Step 1

Click on the “Settings” button from the top to set what output audio format you want to record as and make a few other changes if desired:

2009-09-18_234038

You can choose from all of these output formats:

2009-09-18_234243

For each output format, you can customize the output settings if you wish:

2009-09-18_234256

Other important settings you may want to look at are the contents under the “Automatically Splitting” tab:

2009-09-18_234443

You don’t have to change anything here (most people should just leave this as is unless they have a specific reason to change it) but you should take a look at it for informational purposes. As I mentioned in my “The Good” list, WSAR automatically detects when an audio starts playing and when it stops. The settings in this tab regulate how WSAR determines when to automatically stop recording an audio (i.e. when it knows an audio has stopped playing). As you can see by default if WSAR does not detect audio for 300 milliseconds it will think the audio has ended and “split it”, or in other words, stop recording to that file. If more audio starts playing later WSAR automatically creates a new file for it.

Step 2

After you have set your settings, you are ready to start recording audio. Go listen to whatever audio you want to record (remember no music =P). When WSAR detects recordable audio: you will see 2009-09-18_235129 at the top of the program window:

2009-09-18_235440

After WSAR detects recordable audio, hit the “Record” button and WSAR will start recording that audio (step 3):

2009-09-18_235414

Once your audio is done playing you should see a window like this:

2009-09-19_000103

Or if you hit “Stop” you will see something like this:

2009-09-18_235948

Both methods will create an audio file for your recording. The difference is if your audio stopped playing and you didn’t hit “stop”, WSAR still is in “record mode” and it will continue to record any sound that starts to play afterwards. However if you hit “stop”, WSAR comes out of “record mode” and no further audio will be recorded if played.

Once you have recorded you audio, you can edit the ID3 information for the audio file by clicking on “Track Info”:

2009-09-19_000425

You can also gain access to your record audio file by clicking on “Browse”.

Three more things I would like to point out about WSAR:

  • You can start WSAR in “record mode” before you actually start listening to any audio. In this case WSAR will look like this:

2009-09-18_235016

When WSAR detects recordable audio, it will automatically start recording it.

  • You can manually tell WSAR to “split” a recording by clicking on “Split” while WSAR is recording audio. What this does is it basically allows you to split up one recording into multiple different files.
  • You can set WSAR to automatically stop recording after a user-defined amount of time regardless of if recordable audio is still playing or not:

2009-09-19_002444

This “Preset” feature works like this: you first set WSAR to record. Then you click on “Preset” and set the “Recording Length” to whatever you want (can also set it to shutdown your computer after recording). After you click “OK” WSAR’s “Preset” clock will start ticking. After your defined time is over WSAR automatically stops recording audio (and shuts down your computer if you set it to do that) even if recordable audio is still being played.

Take note that you must manually hit the “Record” button to start recording; this “Preset” feature does not automatically start the recording… it is for automatically ending the recording.

So now that I have described all the features, I have to mention the only two cons with this program:

  • The program window is not re-sizeable. Not a big con but still a con.
  • There is no clock/ticker for the “Preset” feature to show you how much time is left. The best there is the little clock that makes up the “Preset” button starts moving but it doesn’t really tell you how much time is left. Again not a big con but still a con and a feature that should be added.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_verdict2}Wondershare Streaming Audio Recorder is another one of Wondershare’s quality products. Thumbs up and highly recommended (but remember no music =P).
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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38 comments

  1. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Madhu Vasudevan: Admittedly, lots of Muslims do listen to or create music. Heck sometimes I also give in and listen. Also, there are some Muslims that do disagree on the haram-ness (haram = forbidden) of music. However I am one of the ones that try to avoid it. That doesn’t make me better or worse than anyone else (Muslims or non-Muslim). It is just what I believe in.

    Do not worry about the Star Trek thing. It is ok =).

    I for one am happy most dotTechies took my views in a positive way and am glad for having the other ones who are willing to speak out and voice their opinion even if I disagree with them. dotTech has a great community =).

  2. Madhu Vasudevan

    Dear Ashraf,
    A while ago, I was a little disappointed by your unenthusiastic response to my request for help with ripping songs off a DVD. (That Star-trek guy helped though, somewhat, Thanks.) Now I know why. And I am totally surprised; considering that the reigning world champion film music director is (OK, arguably) A R Rehman of ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ fame – also a devout muslim.

    An erudite techie like you will have your reasons for ostracizing music. The reasons could be just as technical as the ‘continuum’ musical instrument Rehman demonstrated on stage, a few years ago in Chicago’s Sears Center. He was developing that ‘new’ musical instrument with a University of Chicago professor.

    Please forgive that insensitive request of mine. Kindly accept my apologies. I respect your right to religious beliefs, as much as I respect your insightful tech-reviews.

    But can’t help thinking aloud how much poorer my world would have been without the music of Mohammed Rafi, Noor Jehan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Adnan…all devout muslims.

    Thanks for sharing, Ashraf.

    PS: Ahamed Basheer, I’m also disappointed that he is not a keralite!
    But Cheer-up, it takes all kinds…

  3. Janet

    Just for the record, I’m delighted for any bit of personal info about Ashraf that he is willing to give us, as he’s usually quite secretive….:-)….! For those of us who visit dottech daily, it’s sort of like a family, and I don’t think this detracts at all from the professional aspect of the site….I’m hoping some day he’ll spill where he’s from….Ashraf, when you went on vacation to family this summer, I think you said that you’d be in a place where there’s no internet, so ever since then I have been very curious about where that might be….:-)….

    Happy Holiday!

  4. hahaguy

    Upon looking at the review and the comments, I felt the urge to say lots of things (some having to do with religion) but again on second thoughts, it’s pointless…

    Anyway, just wanna say eid mubarak…and have a good time.

  5. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Basheer: To be honest I am not on the full up-and-up on what Audacity can and cannot do so you know more than me. However I read some comments and some people think it is better than Audacity (because they can’t get Audacity to work) while others do not. *Shrug*.

    No not a Keralite.

    I agree with your statement “mention anything regarding religion, and it touches a raw nerve in many people.” It reminds of me that CNN clip I saw once when Mitt Romney (when he was running to be nominated for Presidency) campaigning. He went to go shake a man’s hand and the man refused to shake Romney’s hand because “Romney is Mormon”. -_-’. You may not agree with Mormans but at least shake the guy’s hand >.>’.

    Anyway… lets all be friends =).

  6. Basheer

    Ashraf,

    I think that this software is not even close to what Audacity is able to do. I can record all streaming audio and control the quality using Audacity and could not do that with this product. Also, after registering, it is still showing an offer to sell me the software for $15 as a GAOTD user!

    On a fascinating note,I am surprised to know that you are a student.
    What nationality are you? Not a Keralite, by any chance?
    I am Indian, knocking 57, and started learning computers with a Spectrum 48K about 28 years ago.

    Keep up the good work. Mention anything regarding religion, and it touches a raw nerve in many people.

    Regards,
    Ahamed Basheer.

  7. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Stephen: You are welcome.

    @Pandora: You are welcome. I probably should have mentioned that driver… except I forgot all about it after installation. :(

    @Lullu, Dave, and Lullu: I don’t see it as disrespectful at all. I am not forcing people to be Muslim or to follow our beliefs hence why I even said “What you use this program for is up to you…” I simply stated a few facts that I felt were necessary to talk about in order for me to write about WSAR.

    I knew before I wrote it I would get some backlash just as the drop in e-mail subscriptions; but as I said I have priorities. I felt for me to write about this I had to declare what I was thinking and why. I would rather keep my faith fully intact and continue my work at dotTech with half the current readers than alternatives. I know not everyone appreciates it; so you don’t have to read dotTech (which I think is rather unreasonable because my religious views are not effecting the quality of my work in the least except for which software I chose not to review). It is a free world people… do what you want =).

    I do hope no one stops reading dotTech but I recognize some people will. I made my choices they make theirs. I hold no grudge and I hope others do not also.

    Lastly, I am 100% sure more people appreciate me writing this review with my extra “note” rather then not writing this review at all.

    @peter: Thanks for the support but lets play nice =). No insults please.

    @Jim Van Damme: I am confused. What adware bar? People keep mentioning it… but I don’t see it.

    Wasalaam.

    @Quro@75: You are welcome.

    What language is that? Arabic I think? I don’t speak Arabic =(; and I must say one thing: please English only so everyone can understand =).

    @gmon: I agree with you; others apparently don’t. Here at dotTech we respect all views =). Long as we are being respectful of others.

  8. gmon

    A lot of times Ashraf mentions his personal life, and if his religious beliefs preclude him from reviewing a GOTD, he should be able to mention that on his own site, doncha think? Anyway Ash found a workaround and here it is and all is well and who cares in the long run.

  9. rezcky

    salam ashraff
    I am celebrating Eid today sunday… may this s/w can record verses from the quran, I think.. Just for your information,Our delicacy during the eid is rendang and ketupat which is amust to most muslim here.. and the other delicacy is dodol and lemang.. may be you can come to malaysia to enjoy those delicacy.. happy raya aidil fitri..

  10. Jim Van Damme

    Yet another app that won’t run on Vista 64.

    Supposedly Windows 7 has a downloadable XP emulator that may let you run older software. I got a free upgrade with my new confuser so I’ll try that when it comes out.

    Meanwhile I dual boot Linux Mint, which is based on and even easier to set up than Ubuntu. Incredible, I just plug in the printer and scanner, modem…and they RUN, no installation hassles. Maybe someday Windows will work like this…or be extinct!

    About Wondershare: in the past I’ve tried their giveaways but found that they installed trialware along with the goodies. Maybe their adware bar replaces this “feature” … or maybe I’ll stick to Audacity.

    Salaam

  11. Tommy

    Ashraf,
    I just want to put in my vote of appreciation for your taking time to study these softwares and share your review and your opinion of them. I visit GAOTD daily and if there is software that interest me I will first see what everyone’s view is, but I go out of my way to find yours before deciding if it is something worth trying.

    By the way, thank you for sharing personal information. I am glad to know you better, and unlike a few other comments today, I believe you do own the site and you are entitled to put what you want on here. I don’t think you were trying to sway others, but only sharing information.

    Keep up the good work

  12. MerryMarjie

    Despite other comments, I loved the personal references and the “thought process” by which you made your decision to review Wondershare Streaming Audio Recorder. You have a terrific site and it’s nice to know about the person who is giving us all of these marvelous opinions on various software products. This is not a faceless commercial website with reviews done by many people with different experience levels, this is a friendly place where we know and trust the individual testing the software.

    As for the WSAR, I’m going to download it now as I can see from the review that this is very valuable, and I love the four-letter word “FREE”!

  13. Lullu

    Hi

    I agree with Mr Wizard. The review as usual was top rate however the mention of religion was totally unnecessary. I realize that this is your website and you can write as wish but if you want people to respect your opinion, then mentioning religion at all was and is deeply unprofessional.

    Your website is reputable is because it is independent and mostly free from your personal idiosyncrasies.

    Also on a different note, I doubt many readers are interested in the thought process by which you decide to review things or not, it’s unnecessary padding to what would have a good article.

    Just to add, I am also a devout Muslim myself and I feel that by mentioning religion at all was rather disrespectful and I feel that others should not be affect by our personal beliefs.

  14. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @MrWizard: I wrote it because I felt I had to write it. I am sorry if you were offended and/or don’t like it but I have priorities and I follow them. Also I disagree with your comment: I specifically stated “What you use this program for is up to you…” so people do not feel like they are forced to follow what I believe.

    @Bruce: I doubt it is your fault in copying them. I think I would need to manually enable unicode support in WordPress for Arabic letter to show up (never tried it so I am guessing). However I don’t even plan on enabling unicode support because I can’t read all languages and don’t want people posting bad things lol.

  15. Bruce

    Yep, but I just copied and pasted from a web site, and it didn’t copy right. They are among a few nice expressions I’ve learned from Arabic-speaking friends in Australia and Africa.
    Thanx a bunch! c”,)

  16. MrWizard

    Hello Ashraf:

    Having been an avid reader and fan of your reviews and comments for a long time, the mention in your note about your religion was already known. You had provided a few personal details several months ago (a student, a Muslim, others not remembered at 5AM as this is written).

    And you’re right; most people in the United States are unaware of the practices of minority religions (minority here, certainly not in the rest of the world in your case). And something so ubiquitous as music being forbidden or restricted is incomprehensible to them.

    But just as hard to understand is the reason for you mentioning your inner debate and reluctance to review the software at all. Once you concluded you had a “work-around” solution to your personal problem and decided to review it, why bring any of it up at all? It’s all irrelevant.

    The first and second sentence, second paragraph ["Now I am not forcing my religion onto anyone or anything like that. I just ask that you respect my views"] are given lie to by the last half of the last sentence, first paragraph ["officially I am discouraging the use of this software to record music"]. How can that line be construed as anything but proselytising?

    You are well known for your quite funny tongue-in-cheek comments, and on first read it seemed that this was another one. Until the next paragraph.

    The last line of your note asks for no discussion on religion in the comments. Please do not mistake this comment for one about religion. It is not. It is about a very inappropriate note which has caused an enormous loss of personal respect for its author.

    The review, however, as expected and as usual, was first rate.

  17. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Bruce: Did you try to write that in Arabic? I ask because I see “????” in place of where I assume the Arabic would be. However I think I understand what you are saying and my response is: You are welcome =).

  18. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Jack, Bob, and nancy: Come on. This isn’t GOTD comments where the moderators don’t care if the developer is spamming. This is my website and I monitor the comments closely. I like your (Wondershare) products which is why I moderated these three comments through, but seriously you need to stop the obvious fake plugs and spams. Yes your product is good but the spam you use to support it isn’t. I am not going to allow spam comments again (they will go straight to the spam hell).

    What makes it worse is your products are good enough tol sell themselves – you are just hurting your reputation by spamming.

  19. Tortuga

    Hello Ash :D

    Many Thanks for the review!
    Yeahhh … No music here either … ;) – Not :)

    *******************
    Today is the 19th!!!
    Insha’Allah you are doing well after the month of fasting.
    Enjoy the feast :D

    Peace

  20. nancy

    thank you, i just have download Wondershare Streaming Audio Recorder, it’s really free, and works well on my computer, now i can download many myspace music free which i can not imagine yesterday.
    wa, so nice, that’s a big chance, i cost nothing to get this wonderful software,my friendyou can’t miss it .

  21. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Sunfish: :)

    Have you tried to run it on 64-bit? While this one may be not work on 64-bit since it uses a virtual sound card, I have noticed sometimes while developers state “32-bit only” sometimes it still works on 64-bit. Be careful though… not sure if it could mess up your computer (I don’t have 64-bit).

    If it ends up not working, I think Audacity may also be able to do something like this (record all audio from audio card). I don’t know for sure because I have never tried it (never had the need).