There have been a lot of times for me when I’ve been listening to a streaming radio station online, only to wish I had some way of recording the music I was listening to. Some music players I’ve used in the past (Exaile is the first that comes to mind), have the ability to tap into a commandline utility called streamripper, which has the ability to record streaming audio. A lot of times, though, I want something a little smaller, a little more single-purpose, to do the job. To that end, KStreamRipper fits the job description perfectly.
Using KStreamRipper couldn’t be simpler. If you have a .m3u playlist (which you can also use to stream audio in many players such as MPlayer and VLC), you can open it with a text editor to find out the URL of the actual stream. Plug that information, along with a name and description for your radio station, into KStreamRipper, and it’s added to your lists of streams.
KStreamRipper isn’t actually able to play the music it streams, but it can pipe the stream to your music player, which allows you to both listen and record the stream at the same time. If you don’t care about listening, but just know you want to record the stream, then all you need to do is hit the Rip Stream button and KStreamRipper loads the stream and captures it to your hard drive. If you do want to listen, hit the Tune In button and the stream data is sent to your media player (XMMS by default, but that can easily be changed).
Many streaming radio stations also send along ID3 tag data, so that your player can tell you what music you’re currently listening to. If you want, and if a particular stream provides that information, KStreamRipper has the ability to split and tag each file that is streamed your way, so when you finally hit the Stop Rip button to end the “recording,” your music files will all be individually tagged with the information the station provided. As it records, KStreamRipper first creates a folder in the spot you designate with the name of the station. Inside you’ll find a folder named “incomplete” that holds all incomplete songs. Likely when you start up KStreamRipper a song will already be in progress, but as each new song begins, it is placed in this folder, then finally moved as it finishes.
KStreamRipper, as the big “K” in the name suggests, is designed for, and uses, KDE libraries. However, it was easily installed on GNOME and works just fine. No surprises. KStreamRipper works with both Icecast and Shoutcast radio servers, and accepts streams encoded as MP3, OGG or AAC.