The majority of computer users have music on their computer, usually in the form of mp3s that they ripped from their own CDs, purchased online or downloaded from the Internet. There are several options available to download music from the Internet, from using free resources like Jamendo to free offers and P2P networks.
Recording music straight from Internet radio stations has never gotten the attention it deserves, as it offers an easy and convenient way of adding music to a collection.
Audials One is not only about music and recording Internet radio but it is a large part of the application. It offers a lot more than that, including unique features that make it a lot easier to find that one song that you have been wanting to have in your collection. How does Internet media recording, audio and video conversions and music collection organization sound?
Audials One will scan the selected folder for music if the selection has been made during installation. The music is added to the database of the program so that it can be managed in the Organizer. Music is also listed on the right side of the interface with the ability to play and browse it directly there.
The two panes can be detached from each other, so that only the music player remains visible on the screen. That's handy during recordings of music as the recordings are automatic and require no user interaction.
All recorded songs are automatically added to the playlist of the most recent songs with options to play, cut or remove files. Even better, Audials One automatically adds mp3 tags and cover art to the music if available.
The Radio tab is the default selection on startup. This screen can be used to record multiple radio stations at once. Radio stations can be selected by genre, e.g. Rock > Metal, Top 40 Charts or from one of the favorites lists that can be created by the user of the application.
The easiest way to download new music is to select a genre at the top, make a selection of the radio stations that should be recorded simultaneously (default 16) and start the recording by clicking on Start recording. A quick no-limits test on a 50 Mbit Internet connection allowed the recording of music from more than 80 stations simultaneously.
Audials One will automatically pull a list of radio stations from its database and start the recording of those stations. It is possible to switch to a bandwidth limit instead which is easier to handle for most users. Users on slow Internet connections may need to reduce the number of simultaneous recordings to avoid corrupt files.
Jobs can be created to record a certain number of tracks based on songs, data downloaded, total duration of songs or time of the day.
There is also an option to automatically convert music into mp3 format if the radio station streams it in a different format.
Lastly, it is possible to configure filters in the options. Filters range from preventing the saving of incomplete songs on the computer (or defining how much at the end and beginning may be missing), filtering radio station jingles, duplicates that are already in the database (unless they are of higher quality) and a so called hatelist that can be used to block specific artists or tracks so that they never get recorded.
Users who configure favorites have a far better option to customize the recording. It is possible to create multiple favorites, for instance for different genres. Favorites can be added and configured in the Manage Stations window. The very same window offers to manage all radio stations in the database, and offers an option to update the station listing and add stations manually to the application.
The station manager offers several filtering options. Stations can furthermore be sorted by various parameters including country, format or bitrate.
A right-click on a station displays options to record that radio station immediately, add it to the ban list, schedule recordings for that radio station, and to add it to the currently selected favorites. A link to the stations website is provided as well if available.
Audials One comes with a search that offers the user an option to find a specific song on radios or websites. The search is partly powered by plugins with the option to add new ones manually. The program links to a user forum of Audials One where users post their plugins.
The converter will automatically convert selected songs into mp3 format, or another one of the available formats (like aac). Users may need to switch the conversion options from the default mp3 wmv to all to mp3, otherwise they end up with a video track if the source is video.
The search is an excellent option to find and download specific music from the Internet.
Another interesting related option is the ability to create wishlists which can then be fulfilled in the program. Fulfilled means that Audials One will search for the selected songs and download them if found. It is basically a batch version of the search feature with additional community features (e.g. to upload the wishlist).
Audials One supports podcasts and users can add podcast subscriptions to the application. A large selection of podcasts is available in the podcast directory. Users can pick a language, select if they want audio, video or audio and video podcasts. A right-click on a podcasts offers to subscribe, or auto subscribe to podcasts. The latter option starts the recording right away.
That's still not everything offered by the program. The converter is used to convert files to the right format. One interesting option here is the ability to convert audio and video files from media as well. Audials One uses records the DVD while it is playing on the screen. Some countries have laws that prevent users from circumventing copy protections. This way the recording stays legal in those countries. The same is true for audiobooks, the second available option. Audials One can furthermore scan for files with DRM (digital rights management) and record them so that they become available without DRM.
It is naturally also possible to convert selected files that are stored on the local computer system.
Audials One offers two additional modules. The first is the capture module which can be used to record Internet media, the screen or sound.
The music organizer displays the current music collection. It offers options to search, reorganize and tag music. It is furthermore possible to sync music with another device easily.
Users should pay a visit to the program's options. They find highly configurable settings here. Important are for instance the audio quality settings for recordings, the output folders and network settings.
The installation of the software is straightforward. It is possible to install it on a hard drive or on an USB storage device. Users will also see a prompt with an option to integrate the existing music collection into the application. That can be done during installation, or later on in the program as well. The import may take some time depending on the size of the local music collection. The actual scan of the selected folder is started on the first run if the integration option is activated during installation.
Downloading music, lots of music, was never that easy. I have seen a lot of programs in the past that made it possible to download music from the Internet but not one was as sophisticated as Audials One. The ability to search for music, the automatic conversions, plugin system, creation of different favorite groups and the customization surrounding the recording of multiple Internet stations at once is superb. The software is ideal for users who want to grow their music collection, and for collectors who have a hard time finding music that they have been looking for a long time.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.