Friday, October 26, 2018

And now for something completely different: Make your radio station Power Mac your recording radio station Power Mac

So let's say you've turned your Power Mac into your household radio station. If you're like me and you use the Mac as a repeater to transmit a distant station into your house, you might want to record that audio. Now that Clear Channel iHeartMedia is locking down a lot of their podcasts to their app, for example, you can make an end run around their forcible registration crap by just recording content off the air yourself.

My machine uses a RadioSHARK 2 as its repeater source as previously mentioned in our last article on this topic, and if it were simply a matter of recording from that, you could just (duh) use the RadioSHARK's own software for that purpose as designed. But on my machine, I'm using the Shark with my own custom software to tune and play through USB audio; the RadioSHARK software isn't even involved.

The easiest way to skin this cat, especially on a stand-alone machine which isn't doing anything else, is just to AppleScript QuickTime and use that to do the recording. Unfortunately most of the how-tos you'll find to do this don't work for QuickTime 7 because the dictionary became wildly different (better, too, but different). Here's a quick AppleScript to make QuickTime 7 record 60 seconds from the currently set audio input:

tell application "QuickTime Player"
        close every window saving no

        new audio recording
        start (first document)
        delay 60
        stop (first document)

        close (first document) saving no
end tell
What this will do is close all open documents (just in case, to have a predictable state), then create a new audio recording, start it, record 60 seconds from the default audio input, stop it, and then save it to the Desktop as an audio-only QuickTime movie named something like or Audio, etc. Despite the saving no at the end, the file actually is saved, in fact at the point where the recording is stopped no matter what you actually do at the time you close it.

If you don't like restricting this to the "first document," you can also do something like set new_movie to id of front movie to get the ID of what's recording, and then use start movie id new_movie and so forth to reference it specifically. Modifying this for the general case without having to close windows and so on is left as an exercise for the reader.

On my radio station Mac, I have a cron job that pipes this to osascript (the commandline AppleScript runtime) to record certain radio shows at certain times, and then copies the resulting file off somewhere for me to play later. There doesn't seem to be a way in this version of QuickTime to change the default filename, but since I don't use the system to record any other audio, I always know the file will be stored as ~/Desktop/ and can just move that. Best of all, by using QuickTime to do this job while the USB audio streaming daemon is running, I can still listen simultaneously while it records if I like.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some queued up Handel on the Law to listen to, simultaneously the best and worst legal show on radio.

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