RipShout: rip Shoutcast internet radio stations to your hard drive with RipShout

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RipShout saves the audio from “shoutcast” internet radio stations directly to your hard drive. It will preserve the song’s IDv3 tag info and organize recorded audio by creating a folder for each artist and saving the individual tracks within it.

This has to be the world’s most straightforward internet radio recorder/”ripper”. All you need to do is get the URL of the internet radio station that you want to record; however, the station has to use the “Shoutcast” protocol, which is the most common on the internet, and RipShout will record the audio stream for you. Here are more notes on this program:

  • How it works: once you find a station you like you can (1) click on the station’s link and open it with RipShout, (2) right click on the shoutcast link and select copy shortcut, then paste it into the box at the bottom of the app, or (3) right click on the Shoutcast link and select “save as” to save the .PLS file to your desktop, which you could then open from within RipShout.
  • Don’t have a station in mind? :go to shoutcast.com for an entire directory of these, and a search box to help you find things stations you like.
  • Supported stations: RipShout only records MP3 based Shoutcast radio stations, so make sure that you do not choose AAC format stations. Note: some internet radio streams typically give you a choice between 128kbit and lower quality streams; for recording purposes always go with the higher quality.
  • Recording: you could either do this silently in the background or you could choose to hear what is being recorded either through RipShout’s own internal player or through WinAmp. This did not work for me, unfortunately (my internal player did not produce any sound, and I do not use WinAmp).
  • Organization: in theory RipShout will create a folder for each artist and save the individual tracks within it, and IDv3 tag info will be preserved. In reality the tagging is unpredictable, and the tracks in many cases are not distinct and will simply be strung together in a single MP3 file. You can use Audacity to edit big files and isolate individual songs, though.
  • Memory usage: is a very small 1 meg when launched, and 3 megs when recording, which might be good to know if you are using this to record something in the background while you do other things on your PC.

Wish list: although adding functions to this program will make it larger when it is currently nice and small, I will venture a couple of points below:

  • A browser context menu entry whereby you could just right click on a Shoutcast radio station and choose “Rip with RipShout”… would be very cool.
  • A window within the application that shows the history of what has been ripped to disk (including bitrate) and the option to delete files from that same interface.
  • Fixing the “internal player” preview option, which did not work for me.
  • Not overwriting files on disk. I noticed this when I was recording a news station, where possibly there was no IDv3 tag info, and a latter recording overwrote the earlier one.

The verdict: according to the author, he wrote RipShout because “all the other programs that claimed to offer this functionality either didn’t work or charged you a lot of money and also didn’t work.” I have a special affinity to small programs that do a single thing well, which is what I like about this one: it is minimalist but very easy to use (oh, and it works). I imagine a number of users will not like that it requires .NET framework v3.0 though (comes pre-installed with Vista).

On recording internet radio: I will admit to finding the concept of recoding internet radio stations a little strange, in that you listen to a station then go back and delete all the tracks recorded that you do not want, and keep those that you liked. It seems that there are much easier ways on the internet to (ahem) hone in on exactly what you want; unless you’re simply browsing for new stuff, of course, inwhich case this application would be your perfect companion.

Version Tested: 1.0

Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. requires Microsoft’s .NET Framework 3.0.

Go to the RipShout page to download the latest version (approx 1.07 megs).