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TiVo-Like Devices for Radio?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the anything-but-clear-channel dept.

Hardware 96

crank asks: "I've recently hoisted an antenna high upon my roof, since I'm bored with listening to the mega-watt corporate radio stations and instead and enjoying great, niche college and NPR stations. What I need is some sort of TiVo-like radio device, which will tune to the appropriate radio station and record to the hard drive (ideally to MP3 or Ogg Vorbis formats). Then, I could dump these to one of the many portable devices or stream from a computer for later listening. This is especially important with stations that change format frequently throughout the day, such as KFJC. Any suggestions? I think the tricky part would be integration of the FM tuner. I've had limited success with leaving the radio station pre-tuned to the station I want to tape, but I'd like something smarter that would power up, capture the program, and then power down."

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I know what this is for (3, Funny)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5059982)

Trying to rig the million dollar give-aways, I see :). Good luck.

Why +Funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5063374)

this comment makes no sense whatsoever, now if you could time shift from the future, then maybe...

radio (1, Offtopic)

josegenerico (616347) | more than 11 years ago | (#5059983)

Wouldn't it just be easier to tune into webcasts?

NPR -- so i can sleep at night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5073381)

I need is to hear 'all things considered' to put me to sleep at night.

It should be called 'all things considered from a biased view' instead.

Start with a recorder. (2, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 11 years ago | (#5059992)

About a year ago, I did a search for digital recorders. I was unable to find anything suitable. For example, most did not have a Pause button.

MESSER works very well (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5079868)

Try using Messer. It works with any audio source, and we have used it for broadcast recording and Audio Book production. Despite its somewhat quirky user interface, it works very well and allows you to schedule recordings. Unfortunately, the source is not available, and it is Windows only.

TV-Tuner board, D-Link USB tuner (4, Informative)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060024)

I don't know of any tools for it, but I have some ideas on putting yourself one together.

There are numerous devices that can get you a tuner on your computer. Many Hauppauge TV-Tuner boards work quite well, and as they are the BT878 chip, run well under linux. D-Link sells a USB-based tuner.

With that and some perl and encoder software, you should be able to slap something together. Cron could be helpful.

Re:TV-Tuner board, D-Link USB tuner (2, Informative)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5061592)

Erm... Beg to differ a little. Yes, they are great cards, but Linux support is iffy. I've tried one card, which works flawlessly in W95 thru XP and the best I've ever managed, across 3 computers and 4 Linux distros, is a picture with no sound. The card would also randomly not work in Linux. It would work fine. I'd close the software/reboot/whatever, and next time, nothing but static. Regardless, I have never gotten a peep out of the sound in Linux.

There's various bits of freeware that you can use to timer recording of audio. In Linux you could probably use vsound to record the audio and pass it to whatever other program you wanted.

Re:TV-Tuner board, D-Link USB tuner (1)

kormoc (122955) | more than 11 years ago | (#5065494)

I have never had a problem with the two tuners I ever had. Maybe you had a bad card. There are a lot of support on a ton of cards. It sounds like you didn't install the latest drivers, or your card sucked.

Re:TV-Tuner board, D-Link USB tuner (2)

wik (10258) | more than 11 years ago | (#5077771)

I haven't had a problem with my two-year-old Hauppage WinTV (with FM tuner) card. I fire off a ffmpeg cron job every night that records the sound to the Lehrer Newshour, so I can listen to it from my cube at school. Works like a champ. Initially getting a decent version of the video4linux drivers was a problem, but I think that's fixed in the 2.4.x kernels.

As far as tuning goes, the TV signal is extremely bad through the antenna for me, but it acceptably fine with cable (well, as good as crummy AT&T wiring can be).

Shouldn't be hard... (3, Informative)

gremlin_591002 (548935) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060034)

Use command line tools if possible. Something that records to WAV would work, you could call it from AT. Then call your mp3 ripper to translate it, then delete the file. I'd use a digital stereo reciever (Radio Snatch Optimus) so I didn't get any drift in the FM tuner, plug it into the Line In port on your sound card.

Re:Shouldn't be hard... (3)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5072728)

The problem with your solution is that it doesn't tune the stations for him, which I think he wanted the program/device to do.

use a vcr (5, Informative)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060038)

--just use a vcr, it will record audio only just fine, have timers, and can do up to 8 hours worth on EP, then dump it at your leisure to your computer using whatever compression you want and audio in jack.

alternatively, there are several radios with built in cassette decks that will record on a timer basis. I just hit google on it, tons of hits, several brands and models.

ultra engineering geek, get a programmable thermostat and mod and hack away.

never owned a tivo, but won't it work on an audio input? or does it require secret hidden signals to work? No idea on that really.

Re:use a vcr (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 11 years ago | (#5063485)

It requries a video signal to record. That said, any kind of signal works (think DVD player powered on). You can feed in any audio signal and so long as the video signal is there. Ripping the braodcast off the Tivo afterwards requires a modded Tivo which can get expensive. I think a combination of a $50 WinTV [] card and a cron job are his best (and cheapest) bet.

Have you tried (1)

pbox (146337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060052)

They have real player streams. We should press NPR to provide divx as well... Know your programs, go ahead and dowload/listen to them. (3, Insightful)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060276)

I've used their site from time to time and wish it was easier to navigate. I also tend to get confused what is local content and what is national; because I'm in Washington, a lot of what seems local is actually syndicated everywhere. So it can be difficult to track down the file you need. But complain -- who me? It's free.

Hmm, I see they're a little slow to pick up the Illinois death penalty pardons story on their web page -- though I did hear it on the air as fast as anyone else had the story. (No, this isn't an invitation for anyone's views on the DP -- it's just a major breaking story.) (2)

rubinson (207525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5063491)

I also tend to get confused what is local content and what is national

Sounds like you're confused about what "NPR" is. NPR is a content producer/syndicator (similar to a tv network such as NBC) not a station in and of itself. NPR syndicates its content to local stations all over the country (and the world).

So when you're listening to a particular program, you want to listen to who produced it (NPR, PRI, your local station, or whomever). The other option is to check out your local station's website. They should have links to the program's homepage. (1)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#5063739)

Well, that's not so easy. Several of our local shows are syndicated, but are not treated the same at the NPR site. For example, the Diane Rehm Show and Kojo Nnamdi Show are both locally produced at WAMU. Both are nationally syndicated. But at it takes some work to find Nnamdi; he's not in the main pop-up menu, though Rehm is. Even if they have some brilliant reason for this, it is aggravating, and a bit like /. Google is a better navigational tool. They need to spruce up.

Divx? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5060790)

You know that's for video, right?

When I Lived in the UK I Wanted To Timeshift (2)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060057)

BBC radio 1 is a pop station by day and a cutting edge music station by night.... when I lived in the UK I timwshifted by just recording big mp3s - I didn't even have an FM card, I just plugged my radio headphone jack into my PC.

Of course... now I've moved to the US which means I don't need to bother with the timeshifting by virtue of geographic location ;-)

But on the down side I only have access to lousy real audio - especially since the bbc is lacking manpower to do this in ogg ;-)

Re:When I Lived in the UK I Wanted To Timeshift (1)

DoctorRad (608319) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066339)

Get yourself on the SoulSeek network [] , and look for room names the same as Radio 1 [] shows... Gilles Peterson Worldwide, Essential Mix, Breezeblock etc.

There's a hardcore of home-tapers over there who have huge archives of BBC shows on MP3.

Dr. Matt...

Re:When I Lived in the UK I Wanted To Timeshift (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5073573)

The bbc website now puts up archives of shows which have previously aired. HTH

How bout a winamp plugin? (5, Interesting)

Screaming Lunatic (526975) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060102)

I listen to Internet radio stations all the time using xmms. A lot of college stations are available at It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to write some sort of plugin for winamp that could do the job.

If the winamp plugin system won't do, how about heading over to the xmms dev mailing list and asking a few questions there.

This already exists... (5, Informative)

Thomas A. Anderson (114614) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060232)

It's called streamripper and you can find it here [] .

It runs on win9x, *nix, and OS X. I found it yesterday after reading an article on

I've been using is since yesterday - works great!

Re:This already exists... (3, Informative)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 11 years ago | (#5078261)

Here's a tip if you want to run streamripper with cron:

57 17 * * 0 screen -m -d /usr/local/bin/streamripper thestationyouwanttorecord:stationsport -d /home/user/streams -l 4200

The above line creates an unattached screen running streamripper that runs for 110 minutes that starts up every week on Sunday just before 6pm (notice the fudge time, 3 min before, 7 min after). Why run it in screen? Well, it lets you call streamripper from a user's crontab file (crontab -e). Also, streamripper does not exit cleanly under linux (known problem under 1.32) and using screen gives you a way to reattach, check the status, and kill the process with a few well placed ctrl-cs.

A nice mod would be to have a followup script to change the name of the saved file (which ends up in the "incomplete" directory, when recording live streams.) Either that, or rewrite streamripper into more of a timeshifting program for live streams (user-specified name for the stream, turn off silence detection routines, turn off overwrite.) Streamshifter anybody?

Re:How bout a winamp plugin? (4, Informative)

-=Zak=- (12712) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060320)

There's also ShoutGrab for recording MP3 streams:

NPR broadcasts in MP3 (5, Informative)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060283)

I've long since set up a system so that my home system time shifts All Things Considered to when I can listen to it at night. Since I've been busy during weekends, I've been recently doing the same with much of the weekend line up on NPR.

The nice thing is that, for NPR at least and most college stations - the ones you say you're interested in, it's easy - they all broadcast MP3 streams which can be nabbed with a simple mpg123 -s url >file.mp3 &, and then sleep 3720; killall mpg123. At that point, you're a simple cronjob away from being done (I start one minute early, end one minute late).

One amusing sidenote - I moved cross country this year, and I now live in an area with a lousy NPR station. I now listen to WUNC in North Carolina, a few thousand miles away, and gave to them during pledge drive. Hell, they played Heather Alexander on thier local music show. Anybody who plays filk is ok in my book.


Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5061138)

Excellent idea. Wonder if I can get this set up before the next broadcast of 'Car Talk'?

Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (3, Informative)

drudd (43032) | more than 11 years ago | (#5062535)

Nearly all NPR programs are now available in Real format from (actually cartalk is only available from the cartalk website,

Yes, you can only listen to the past week's cartalk show, but most other npr shows let you listen to archived shows as well.

In fact, I don't listen to an actual NPR station anymore, I just listen to Morning Edition, All things Considered, and Wait Wait don't tell me online, that way I have the same advantages as having a pvr for radio. (prr?)


Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (2)

theCoder (23772) | more than 11 years ago | (#5063128)

Except that it's all in real format, which means you can't (easily) save it for listening to later (like if I don't happen to be up when Car Talk is on :) Also, while I think Real has a Linux client, I've never tried installing it, so I don't know how well/if it works.

Though, from the original poster, I found that WUNC is shoutcasting in mp3 format -- maybe I can whip up a crontab script to catch cartalk from them...

Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (2)

drudd (43032) | more than 11 years ago | (#5069813)

They aren't streaming cartalk live, they're streaming it on demand. So anytime you want you can listen to the current week's show.

No, it's not as nice as being able to download the file and listen from your harddrive, but I can understand NPR and cartalk's desire to maintain distribution control over their content. All you need for the system they have now is an internet connection.


Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5063158)

How do I get the real stream into Linux?

I saw the stuff on cartalk's site, but why must they break it into 15 little segments? Frustrating.

Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (2)

drudd (43032) | more than 11 years ago | (#5069762)

One of the links is to play all segments continuously.


Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5070812)

That's what I get for being lazy. Thanks.

Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (1)

sofad (123980) | more than 11 years ago | (#5072857)

Where does NPR broadcast in mp3 ?
All I can see is WMA,QT and Real audio ?
Any pointers ?

Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (2)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 11 years ago | (#5073504)

All over the place. NPR is a network, meaning each of the stations is an affiliate. Each station is allowed and encouraged to webcast their content. Just about every NPR affiliate is broadcasting in MP3... I have about 17-18 in my popup list of internet radio stations. I can pick and choose the time zone I want to listen to and also get regional shows. Plus I get PRI (Public Radio International), MPR (Minnisota Public Radio) and the BBC (British Boring Commune) plus the occasional Pacifica (elitist heavy leftist 'we're more public than public radio' network) show.

The key is that NPR has authorized broadcast of their content for free (unlike Clear Channel, Infinity and whatever Art Bell is on), and activly encouraged their affiliates to use the web (where web=internet). This is a Good Thing for them to be doing. Clear Channel, meanwhile, has anti-mp3 psas in heavy rotation. Me? I'm listening to NPR and donating to two groups in different parts of the country (WUNC and MPR). I figure I just *might* be the leading edge of the New Way of entertainment.


Re:NPR broadcasts in MP3 (2)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 11 years ago | (#5078325)

My preferred stations (128k stereo, 44.1) are:

WUGA (Athens, Georgia) - [prairie home companion, thistle and shamrock]
KCSN (Cal State Northridge, Los Angeles) - [the swingin years with chuck cecil]

And one in Alaska (64k mono, 44.1)

KCSM (california) - [riverwalk, live from the landing]

I've been assembling the Saturday schedule I used to be able to find on my local station, KUSC (which is now all classical all the time :P), with the exception of My Music/My Word. It's kind of a thrill when you donate and have them announce your donation from across the country (donations are a good way of convincing them to upgrade and maintain their high quality streaming mp3 connection.) You can find more stations and programs by going to: []

which maintains a listing of public radio stations (mp3, real, winmedia, ogg, qt, etc.) across the world.

I really wish more stations would stream higher quality mp3s, although KCSM does offer a 128k ogg stream. Really, if you want to get pledge money, you need to provide a high quality stream in addition to your low-quality streams. You also need to know what you're doing - streaming a 64k 22khz stereo connection is a waste of bandwidth, use that extra 32k channel and stream a much better sounding 64k mono 22khz!

Done and done. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5060360)

Look here [] for the Streambox VCR program. It's great for both video and audio feeds. Of course, you'll note the disclaimer that it's illegal to use in the United States. *shrug*

Cybercorder (3, Informative)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060361)

Get a shareware windows program called Cybercorder. It records from your sound card in realtime in any format you want. Mp3, ogg, whatever codecs you have installed. It has a great timer system and way of keeping track of lists. Well worth paying for unless you want to spend a weekend dicking around with cron scripts and sketchy software.

FM Radio cards (5, Informative)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 11 years ago | (#5060723)

None of the responses yet seem to have noticed the "antenna" part of your post. Anyway, there is ample support for FM radio cards in linux. Check out drivers/media/radio/* in the linux kernel tree. A number of the TV tuner cards can also tune in to FM. Now then, let's see.

Here is a list of radio tuner apps for linux [] and here's another [] . Also try googling for "linux FM radio tuner card". These apps, along with a sound card (depending on what kind of FM tuner you get) and oggenc/lame and a little scripting (hint: cron job), and you should be in business.

-- Bob

dlink dsb-r100 usb device is all you need (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5061303)

The linux driver is dsbr100.c. It's already installed with my copy of readhat.

Use fmio to tune the device, sox to grab the stream, lame to encode it and cron to orchestrate the whole thing.

dlink dsb-r100 usb device is less than $30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5062255)

This is a very cheap way to do this. It's just a matter of software as the previous AC mentions.

Re:dlink dsb-r100 usb device is all you need (1)

Curt Cox (199406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5063752)

I've been looking for this type of device too. If anyone who has actually done this could post a detailed HOWTO, I would really appreciate it.

I already have a DSB-R100, and tried using a Win2K installation for this. I gave up and uninstalled all the related software, because the driver made my machine too flaky. I guess it's time to try again on a Linux machine.

Here's some dedicated hardware that could be used for a radio TiVo.

Re:dlink dsb-r100 usb device is all you need (1)

patco15 (213842) | more than 11 years ago | (#5064796)

I've been looking for this type of device too. If anyone who has actually done this could post a detailed HOWTO, I would really appreciate it.

I did this, and I found this howto extremely helpful. I made some simple changes to their scripts (lame parameters mainly), but this should give you what you need:

Linux Radio Timeshift HOWTO: []

Dlink dsb-r100 usb device in OSX (1)

HaveNoMouth (556104) | more than 11 years ago | (#5084481)

Here [] is a page describing how to use the DSB-R100 to timeshift radio in OSX.

I've done this. (5, Informative)

adolf (21054) | more than 11 years ago | (#5061395)

I used to have a large rooftop antenna before I moved into this tin box/apartment, and had my own RadioTiVo.

It wasn't at all difficult, though I did spend way too much time optimizing the commandline for LAME and setting levels correctly. I just put a YMF724-based sound card into my headless, does-everything FreeBSD box, plugged it into a 1980s-vintage standalone Kenwood digital tuner (find something similar at a pawnshop or Ebay), and made some cron jobs to run things. The 724 was nice because its ADC stage generally sounded very good, and it had a loopback mode that it could be massaged into which would let you hear immediately if you had clipped the input.

The box, a K6-2 350, isn't quite fast enough to do VBR MP3 encoding in realtime, and I was dead-set on VBR. So, I had it record the entire program as standard 44.1KHz 16-bit PCM, and then run a nice'd encode process on the file after the radio program had finished.

Sometimes, usually on the weekends, this meant that 2 or 3 processes of LAME were running at a time trying to catch up. Not that FreeBSD ever broke a sweat...

It ran extremely reliably, and with an NTP-synced clock, the start- and stop-times were consistantly dead on.

Every few months, I'd burn a CD or two of Car Talk for archiving and nuke whatever was left over.

Of course, there was no way to change stations. I considered briefly the notion of building a machine from mindstorms that would push the radio's preset buttons, but then I realized that nothing but NPR had any programming which I actually wanted to listen to. :) Using an FM tuner card was always out of the question for reasons of noise and interference.

Hint: Use lame's lowpass filter to cut everything above 15KHz. There's nothing there but noise with commercial FM broadcasts, which are already band-limited to 15KHz anyway per FCC rules. That said, resist the temptation to use a 32KHz sampling rate and stick with 44.1. It's what the Nyquist filters and samplerate converters in consumer gear are optimized to work with, and makes burning audio CDs easier. These translate to better sound, overall.

Good luck.

Re:I've done this. (1)

dpotter (95081) | more than 11 years ago | (#5086421)

Of course, there was no way to change stations. I considered briefly the notion of building a machine from mindstorms that would push the radio's preset buttons
Take a look at lirc [] . For about US $1, you can interface an infrared transmitter to your *nix box. This will emulate almost any infrared remote control device, and thus cron could change stations on your tuner that way. If your remote isn't yet supported, then for another US $3, you can turn your box into a universal remote so lirc will memorize the sequences your tuner's remote uses and send those.

Re:I've done this. (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092780)

Good information.

I'm vaguely familiar with lirc, having first looked into it to see if anyone had recorded the output of my Carver cd player's remote, which I'd lost. (Nobody had, but a chance search on Ebay came through with an identical remote several years later, so I stopped looking.)

I used to make money programming Crestron control systems, so I'm fairly well-versed about IR control.

Thing is, that Kenwood tuner has no infrared capability, nor any externally-accessible control circuitry. It is rather braindead, as is.

I considered Mindstorms just because I thought it'd be fun to build and watch, and the parts could be easily recycled into something different.
But it was too expensive to pursue at the time, thus I left it locked on NPR.

I'd almost decided to use a few relays connected to a parallel port and wired into the unit's front panel, but I moved into an apartment with terrible reception before that got very far off the ground. It'd have been a pretty trivial hack, though.

I'm now doing research on building a Yagi antenna, tuned right between the three stations I want to listen to (all of which are in the same direction and close to eachother on the dial - yay).

Once I figure out an aesthetic (or at least interesting-looking) way to hang it without driving screws into the ceiling I'll probably start recording radio again.

That is, if I can figure out how to tune the impedance using a folded dipole driven element... :-/

How many stations? (3, Interesting)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 11 years ago | (#5061398)

How many different stations do you want to record?

I've been thinking about doing something similar, but I only have 2 stations I want to record off of, which is convenient since my soundcard has 2 inputs. My plan is to get 2 cheap radios with line out and tune each to one of the stations, hook each to one of my line ins, and set up cron jobs to record the shows I want. Seems pretty simple to me.

If I really wanted the radios to be powered down when I'm not recording I could hook theirpower up to relays also controlled by the cron jobs.

I'm sure there are more elegant solutions, but I don't really care that much since this whole assembly will just be stuffed in a closet with my server.

Re:How many stations? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5062198)

PC FM tunner cards that are linux compatable (it just has one setting a 8 bit int in memory that it turns into a fm freq) and provides a line out. They are ISA dirt cheap as in 5 bucks an below at the local computer show. Assuming you not going to record on your new P4 3 ghz box with no ISA slots you should be set. If not you can use that old 386 MB with a pile of isa slots and hat it set the frequency and hook the audio up to your new PC :)

Re:How many stations? (2)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 11 years ago | (#5064752)

Interesting, I'll have to look into that. Unfortunately I don't have the mobo I intend to use for my server yet, so I'm not sure if it has ISA slots or not (The CPU is a slot A Athlon, so the mobo may or may not have an ISA slot).

The main reason I've been thinking of stand-alone radios, though, is ease of setup. I can tune them in using speakers and attach big ass powered antennas as needed (reception really sucks at my house). It just seems easier to do that on a stand-alone box and then just route the sound the the line-in on the sound card.

Re:How many stations? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5065345)

The FM tunner cards at least the one I picked up has an external antena jack and it tunes digitaly so there shouldent be much of an issue with floating signal. Granted my old Sansui dedicated tuner sounds better well I should say a bit warmer.

Yer all thinkin the wrong way (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5061611)

I just hadda point this out cuz its way different from what everyone is thinkin.alls you need is a nice stereo to record from thats digital and works with a remote and get a programmable remote with timer functions. I have a remote from all for one and its got an backlit LCD display and i can set it to press any button at anytime on anyday. Like say i wanted the tv to turn on at 6am, turn on the vcr, change to channel 32, record for 30 mins, shut off, and change the tv over to video2, thats no problem, and its damn easy and intuitive to setup and use.

Know your schedule (1)

99.44 (640358) | more than 11 years ago | (#5061617)

The real power of Tivo is knowing what is on and when. There's all kinds of ways to do the actual recording, from a receiver card to a tape deck on a triac, but it's all worthless unless it's recording what you want to hear.

Re:Know your schedule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5064235)

Check out It bills itself as "Tivo for radio". It has a program guide so you know what's coming on, but it's only in the SF Bay area right now.

DAB radios (3, Interesting)

Random Hamster (76396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5061877)

Not that this helps you at all in the land of 'we don't use the technology everyone else in the world uses' but the Psion WaveFinder can be used in conjunction with and DigiGuide to set up and record programs to MP2 or MP3 files.

DigiGuide is a pay service (something like 5 pounds a year for all TV and radio listing) - you don't need this if you want to set up the time and channel to record manually, but with DigiGuide (and a free 3rd party add on the details of which I forget) you can click on the listings and it will add them to the recording.

Unfortunately the main downsides are that WaveFinders are now only available 2nd hand (e.g. on eBay) and that the software for them only works on Windows (works best on 98) and they are somewhat flakey. There are now new DAB cards for about 100 pounds which are hopefully better behaved, but I don't know what software there is for them.

Nonetheless I am hopeful that fairly soon this will all work properly.

Re:DAB radios (1)

Random Hamster (76396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5061884)

Replying to myself I know, but I see that the PCI card DAB receiver from Modular Technologies has software to do this built in (for Windows 9x and 2000/XP) using the electronic program guide sent with the signal.

Re:DAB radios (1)

petienne (414154) | more than 11 years ago | (#5087230)

Will the electronic program guide guive you the song lists or rather the show lists?

Re:DAB radios (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5062689)

Afaik DAB has worse sound quality than analog FM... Something to do with the lousy bitrate? :) Digital is not the answer to everything, especially when lobby groups work to make digital *whatever* sub-optimal in various ways to deterr fair use...

Re:DAB radios (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5084627)

Wavefinders are still available from Psion:

The software doesn't only work on Win98. It also works properly on Win2k and can easily be made to work on WinXP.

Did this for AM broadcasts (4, Informative)

sobiloff (29859) | more than 11 years ago | (#5062753)

There are some talk radio shows broadcast on AM that I'd like to listen to. However, they're broadcast during the day, and I can't listen to them while I'm at work, so I was in a similar situation.

Unfortunately, none of the PC tuner cards have AM tuners on them, only FM. Makes sense, since my computer equipment seems to generate a lot of interference on the AM frequencies. So, what I ended up doing was buying a GE SuperRadio III and a long headphone extension cord so that I could keep the radio in a separate room and minimize the interference.

Since I'm only running Win2K at the moment, I bought Total Recorder [] for US$12, which lets me make timed recordings in just about any format. (Unfortunately, no VBR for MP3, though, so I record to WAV and then convert using LAME.)

Using the "--present mw-us" flag with LAME, I can compress a three hour show down to 51.5 MB. A full week of both my favorite shows fits nicely on a CD for archiving or sharing.

Re:Did this for AM broadcasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091240)

Unfortunately, none of the PC tuner cards have AM tuners on them, only FM.

Not really true. It depends on how much you want to spend. If you don't mind spending $350 you can get a WinRadio PCI card that can receive the whole radio spectrum from long wave beacons to 1.5 GHz and all the am, fm, television, and everything else in between in any mode you want. Check out

Get a shortwave radio (3, Informative)

sakusha (441986) | more than 11 years ago | (#5062803)

SW radios like the Sony ICF-SW1000T can be programmed to tune a specific frequency at a specific time, and record to cassette tapes, much like a VCR. It should not be too hard to substitute an MP3 recording program in place of the cassette recorder.
SW users have been doing this for years, they are the people you should be consulting.

I have been wishing for the same.. (1)

chipset (639011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5062870)

I have DishNetwork. I can record programs on my PVR (PVR501) and it works fairly well. It is not as sophisticated at Tivo, but works quite well. My favorite features are live pausing and rewind, plus recording of programs. Imagine if Sirius or XM gave that capability to their systems? They already are sending a digital signal, much like the Satellite Broadcast Systems, so it could just be an additional hard drive away. You would need a little 5 GB hard drive, record it to MP3 or some other compressed format and organize it. It would be great!

Re:I have been wishing for the same.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5085550)

Announced at CES last week is a "tuner card" for XM. I know little of the details yet, but it should work for these purposes.

It will not have a digital output - simply put, RIAA et al refused to let XM do it. No digital out period. Ever. They will never make that mistake again (from their point of view).

Check their Website (4, Informative)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5063357)

My local (and favorite) College Radio station [] actually keeps an archive of all their shows for the past two weeks on their web site. I dont know if yours does this, but its really great. If i miss a show i often download it and stick it on a cd tolisten to it during the blues drive or some other show that i'm less than enthusiastic about. Another bonus is that you can back it up and catch the name of the artists from the DJ.

I tried it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5063889)

I use Tivo @ home to record the radio, it works well, i set a manual season pass. I also take the same feed and encode to .mp3 on the fly with Total Recorder on my computer. I find the MP3 more useful because for playback I plug my laptop into the stereo that I want to use the .mp3 on (kitchen, garage, etc.). Tivo needs a fake video signal to record. I switch channels with an old Sony radio that allows you to timer play different stations at different times. I like radio.

I have this working with Replay TV (2, Interesting)

pinbot (199392) | more than 11 years ago | (#5064601)

I have a sony digital fm receiver that takes direct tuning commands from a universal remote that you can program with timer options.

I set the universal remote (AllInOne Producer)to tune the receiver to 104.1 to record a talk show at 10:00 AM. The remote sends powering-1-0-4-1 to the receiver at 10am.

It sends a simple power off command at 3:00 pm.

I have my ReplayTV set up to record channel 813 (on of the Music Choice Channels on DTV) for the same interval.

The replay records the video signal from the DTV tuner (a screen-saver) and the audio signal from the tape outs of the receiver.

I use a scheduled task in DVarchive to unload it from the ReplayTV unit to my pc via my home network, and listen to it on my pc using the real player.

I use Total Recorder and MP3 Splitter (2, Informative)

BlueGlow (63079) | more than 11 years ago | (#5065063)

Total Recorder for Windows is excellent and inexpensive software to do this. I have an old Sony FM tuner/amp connected to the line-in on my Sound Blaster Live. Total Recorder does scheduled recordings straight to MP3 from the line in. It does this with the line-in muted so I can listen to MP3's, play games, whatever while it's recording radio from the line-in. I wrote a small app to rename the MP3 files from my own radio show listings file. I record at 64K so one hour of radio is about 28 meg. I use MP3Splitter to split the one hour MP3 file into 30 pieces of two minutes each. I edit out commercials and/or NPR newsbreaks and then copy to my MP3 player or burn on to audio CD. The splitting is a big convenience since most MP3/CD players were made to play 3 minute pop songs, not hour long radio shows.

Total Recorder is available from [] is $12 for the basic version and $35 for the advanced version. I use the basic version. The advanced version now has better automatic file naming, stream recording, etc.

MP3Splitter is from [] . It's lacking in command line options, but I use the defaults and the shell extension "Quick Splitter" from the right click in Win Explorer to minimize input. Their download seems to be down right now. Try left menu "Downloads" then choose mirrors. Here is a working download link: []

Try VCRadio (1)

blintz (127145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5065188)

VCRadio []

It is a non-free solution, but supports most of the radio pci/isa cards and external radio tuners.

I am not affiliated with this company, but I was doing research on this and found this to be one of the better solutions. I hope it works for your needs.

FM and AM plus Software to do what you want. (1)

blintz (127145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5065902)

In my previous post, I mention VCRadio [] which is the windows software that costs $18 and will record anything you tell it to at any time. Also, for getting FM and AM stations on your computer, try Radio-Man which plugs into your RS-232 (serial) port. Radio-Man costs $15 and can be found at [] , go to Search Desc. on the lower left margin and type in "radio".

Radio TiVO for Windows (2, Interesting)

DoctorRad (608319) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066356)

Radiator [] is an excellent freeware FM radio application. Auto-tuning and timer recording are available.

Dr. Matt...

Digital Radio (1)

handler55 (640554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5067632)

In the UK, you can link together a WaveFinder with DigiGuide, DABDig and WinDAB to automate the recording of digital radio transmissions.

Re:Digital Radio (1)

Paul Webster (642876) | more than 11 years ago | (#5114839)

FYI - DABDig not limited to DAB.
It also tries to schedule into some other apps including DVB stuff and Leadtek Winfast.
Others might work - if they support TVPI/TVVI (TitanTV format)

CC Radio VersaCorder (2, Informative)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5070067)

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the CC Radio VersaCorder. It's not digital, but it does record FM and AM shows. You tell it the time and it records at 1/4 speed, so you can record those 3 or 4 hours shows on one side. And if you want to listen to it on the go, you use the player which plays the 1/4 speed tapes. It is not digital and it doesn't have a built-in tuner, but hook it up to a radio, or any other device, like a phone to record conversations. C. Crane makes many different products for radios so you might want to take a look at their . []

I'm doing it now, but it's a pain in the (#(*$& (2, Informative)

gmiller123456 (240000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5070421)

I've been doing this for quite some time now with my Hauppage TV/FM tuner card, but you have to schedule so many events for each show that it becomes a real pain:

-- First you have to schedule an event to kill any radio processes currently running.
-- Then you have to schedule a process to start the tuner on the station you need.
-- Then you have to start recording. I've yet to find a utility which will record at a specified time with no user interaction which is both free and runs on Windows. The "Absolute MP3 Player" is the closest thing I've found requiring you to only click a button. But you have to add your schedule to it too! And you don't get to tell it where to put the MP3's.
-- Then you have to stop recording.
-- Then kill the tuner app.

Worst of all, you have to listen to what's being recorded. There may be a solution for Linux, but unless you're ready to move your tuner card off your Windows box, there isn't a solution for Windows that works very well.

If you plan to change the schedule often, then my advice would be to forget about it, or start developing your own.

I submitted this exact same question several months ago but was rejected :(

Re:I'm doing it now, but it's a pain in the (#(*$& (1)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5080584)

You could use WinBatch to do all the keyboard and mouse movement automation. It's a very slick, albeit archaic, way to schedule redundant and tedious tasks that have no other way to be automated.

total recorder and the haugpage (sp) tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5072019)

I 'nettivo' the ron and fez show and used to 'nettivo' the opie and anthony show every day. I have a windows box with 250G raid 5 array in it.

I used windows for this becuase the tuner didn't crash as the curses based linux tuner that I was using did.

I have several scheduled tasks lined up on the pc.

One starts and stops the haugpage radio tuner. There are plenty of command line options to make it scriptable.

Total Recorder ( does the actual recording. It works well. Once and a while I have to bug my dad to go into the basement to reboot it after a power loss. The old xeon board that is running it won't boot with out some keyboard pressing.

I am 200 miles away and have been listening to my favorite shows for about 1 year now!

TiVos do not just record. (1)

cbiffle (211614) | more than 11 years ago | (#5074101)

Many of the posters have, I think, misinterpreted what a TiVo is. A TiVo -is- a glorified VCR, but that's not why it has captured geek hearts and minds (mine included). The key is that the TiVo downloads the program guide and parses it, removing any need for you to manually calculate when your shows begin and end, and enabling it to automatically find and record episodes of shows you've watched or shows it thinks you might like.

So chances are, connecting an FM radio to the line-in on a soundcard and scheduling LAME from cron is not quite what was intended here. The original poster notes that some of the stations in question change format frequently during the day, in which case it is doubly important to have some intelligence in the recorder so that it can adapt and pick out the diamonds in the radio rough.

As for my own suggestions, I've actually been giving this some thought recently after getting a radio again (had mine stolen). Something like the GNURadio project, a wideband multichannel receiver, could pull down RDS streams (Radio Data Service, which transmits at least station identification and sometimes program names) and parse them for TiVo-like functionality. Alternatively, you could see if any of the stations in question export their schedules using RSS or some such (some college stations do) or pull down and parse their coming-up-next webpages.

I agree! (2)

Bill Kendrick (19287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5075693)

I get to listen to various NPR shows (and cool and weird shows on the local university station [] ) pretty much only when I'm in the car. This means whenever I'm on the way to work, or on the way back... so some days I get to hear what's on at 8am... some days, what's on at 10am.

Heck, I've even missed a word or part of a song (busy driving, or passenger saying something), and had the itch to hit some imaginary 'instant replay button' like I have on my TiVo remote. :)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of this... frankly, I thought maybe I was just odd. ;)

Replay Radio! (2)

jelwell (2152) | more than 11 years ago | (#5076046)

Replay Radio []

This works great for any internet streaming radio shows!

Use SoX and fmtools (3, Informative)

Alowishus (34824) | more than 11 years ago | (#5078529)

I have a radio card in my computer which feeds through my sound card's input line.

Using the 'fm' utility from fmtools [] , my script tunes to the proper FM station and sets the volume.

Then I call SoX [] to grab the output stream in WAV format from the soundcard, and pipe it through to lame, which turns it into a mp3 in realtime (takes about 40% CPU time on my 1GHz P3).

The command looks something like this:
sox -t ossdsp -c 2 -w -s -r 44100 /dev/dsp -t wav - | lame -h -k - "radio-`date +%Y%m%d-%k%M`.mp3"

Put all that together in a script that's called by at or cron, and you're in business!

Tivo-like? (1)

Stevedust (560058) | more than 11 years ago | (#5079842)

The problem you'll have in trying to make it a Tivo-like unit is the acquiring and providing of accurate listings for all the small radio stations (as well as the larger ones!). A Tivo can only operate as it does (all the clever automatic recording of other programmes you might like) because it has a well-maintained, categorised listings database.

Tivo ... npr (1)

opainteractive (641028) | more than 11 years ago | (#5079906)

I use this site all the time, check it out.. here is a cached version F-8

8-second rewind feature (1)

chad_r (79875) | more than 11 years ago | (#5080335)

The Tivo feature I wish I had for radio was the pause and the 8-second instant rewind feature. In addition to recording programs, the box is always recording a rolling 30-minute (or more--dunno, mine's old) period to its memory/disk buffer. If you need to pause the program you are watching, or if you missed something and want to rewind, the option is available at all times, not just when you had the foresight to hit the record button.

The various ways of capturing sound card input are fine for archiving scheduled programs, but what kind of setup allows for buffering of a live audio stream?

What if you just connect the FM receiver output to the Tivo input? Will it complain about the lack of a video signal?

Give Messer a try (2)

mjprobst (95305) | more than 11 years ago | (#5080541)

Go to and give Messer a try. It's meant for recording lectures and presentations on a regular schedule, but it can obviously be made to record recurring radio programs. I've used it for this purpose in the past. Can write to .wav or directly to .mp3 files.

Big $$$ to be made (1)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5080686)

There is big money ($$$) to be made if someone can make a Tivo-like device for home and car radios. This device will enable home users to record talk shows at specific times without user intervention, just like the Tivo so we can fast forward past commercials, also to enable the archiving of the program to our computer in different formats so we can take them on the go on our MP3 players. This same one device will be compatible with a device that will be installed in our cars that will enable us to play the recorded shows from our home/pc device/program. The car Tivo-like radio will provide a 30-minute buffer and an 8-second rewind function and, as stated before, to play our recordings from another device encoder, and maybe add additional data to the storage medium to eject it from the car device player and take it with us.

We know we all like listening to talk shows, NPR, Rush Limbaugh, lawyer or home and garden shows, including ART BELL's Coast-To-Coast (I know, Art is gone, but I still feel it's Art's baby) for use day-walkers who can't stay up at night and listen about the latest government conspiracy or alien abduction.

the final feature: CD-R/W offloading :) (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 11 years ago | (#5085388)

a) talk-show time-shifting is what I'd like this for, too :)

b) some of us like Art Bell / heirs to be late for insomnia cure. Best way to dream about aliens ...

c) I'd really like such a recorder to have a CD writer either included or attachable, so shows could be offloaded. With a CD-RW and ogg format for files, talk radio in particular could put *many* hours on one disk.

c') Of course, since there is not (yet!) a portable hardware player that will play ogg files from CD-RW, this is still pide-dreamish, but not a complete pipe dream ...

The hardware already exists - may require hacking (1)

FreakyZeke (641066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5081023)

I got the coolest mp3 player for Christmas. It's the Archos Jukebox FM Recorder. Basically, it's a 20gig hard-drive mp3 player that will record from any source using the line-in jack. BUT, it also has an FM radio built-in and it will record from the FM tuner. Unfortunately, this must be done by manual control. It came bundled with MusicMatch Jukebox which will record to your pc any available line input and even includes a timer for delayed recording. This still doesn't have much 'smarts', however. It won't turn on the Archos device or change the station, but if you leave it turned on and tuned to the right station, it should work. Bottom line is this: the hardware exists as an integrated unit in the Archos Jukebox FM Recorder to do exactly what you're asking. Hopefully some industrious (and more skilled than myself) person can develop a hack to add the necessary brains to the device.

Re:The hardware already exists - may require hacki (1)

mikewhittaker (313040) | more than 11 years ago | (#5086520)

I emailed Archos with the suggestion about a time-record feature last year. Got an email back saying 'someone would contact me'.

Never heard anything.

Some companies don't see a good idea when it's staring them in the face !

Use radio & sox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5085573)

I have a no-name TV/FM Stereo card in my computer, and in the past I have used radio and sox via a small cron job.

Small, lean, and works just great. I could never see any point to writing something cute or pretty, as command lining it works just fine.

The quality exceeds webcasts (at least as far as a dial-up user goes) and while not having the full dynamic range of a CD player, I can burn them to CD and play them in the car just fine - the quality is still superior to my car's FM receiver.

Existing Radio's and software (1)

c4m (641260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5085684)

Someone else mentioned DLink USB Radio's (which are rebadged Gemtek units. is a site for Radiator - an aftermarket app for use with the above (and many other brands of radio card). A great application that does pretty much all the things you're asking.

This is a start... (2)

mcg1969 (237263) | more than 11 years ago | (#5085874)
I don't believe it can do timed recording, but it seems like something it could be upgraded to do...

Portable, Digital, and Automatic Radio VCR (3, Informative)

StevenCorn (605946) | more than 11 years ago | (#5086157)

A cool stand-alone hardware solution that's not quite a radio TiVo (but close) is the Radio Program Recorder (RPR) ( [] ). You can set it to automatically record any AM or FM talk show in your area. It has an AM/FM radio, a Sony digital recorder, and an FM transmitter (a wireless audio link to nearby FM radios) in a neat case that is smaller than a portable CD player.

The model RPR-X340 (5.6 hour capacity) has a USB link and software for uploading a recorded broadcast talk radio show from the recorder to your computer. You can also translate audio files from the computer to the recorder for listening on the go.

You can leave the RPR in your car while you're at work and it will record your favorite talk show. When you get in the car to go home you can listen to the show through your car radio just as if it were on at that time. You can also remove the tiny recorder and put it in your pocket for listening while on a walk or jog.

You can use Winamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5086774)

You can run the task scheduler in WinXP and have it start your radio, then have a task set up to run a winamp link using the line-in plugin, started by using an .m3u playlist link. You can set the output of winamp to any codec you have on the system. I've found that 24/22 mp3 works fine for talk radio. A long show in this format is ~50 megs. I've actually gotten this to work, but now I use cybercorder, which will also start the radio and record for a preset time. As for changing stations, well, I plan on checking out VCRadio next. Hey now.

D-Link USB works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5090621)

I did this recently. The D-Link USB FM radio works
well, and the tune/record code was easy to write,
and it runs out of cron and does oggenc.
I haven't gotten around to converting on the fly,
which would allow pausing live programs.
It's tougher to track down a reliable program guide!
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