How to record streaming audio with Audacity in Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)

I’ve been transferring everything I do with computers both at home and at work from Windows to Ubuntu Linux. Volume ControlOne of the things I did regularly in Windows was to record either streaming audio or audio from a device plugged directly into my sound card. I have a long term project to get all my old cassette tapes digitized. In Ubuntu 8.04 I installed Audacity from Synaptic, then selected each input device in turn under Edit>Preferences>Recording but none of them worked or produced an error.
The solution was however quite simple and not with Audacity at all. I opened up the master volume control on the Ubuntu panel by right clicking on the icon and selecting Open Volume Control then selected Edit>Preferences.Volume Control Preferences Next make sure the boxes marked Mix and Mix Mono are checked then Close. SwitchesClose the Volume Control and then re-open it and select the Switches tab and check the box for Mix and close again. Finally in Audacity in Edit>Preferences set the Playback and Recording devices to ALSA:default. That’s it, now anything playing through the sound card be it streaming music or from an external device such as a tape player can be recorded.

16 Replies to “How to record streaming audio with Audacity in Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)”

  1. I don’t have a Mix and Mix Mono checkbox. What I have is:

    “Select Tracks to be visible:
    Master
    PCM
    IEC958 (what on earth is that?)
    Digital
    Docking Mic
    External Mic
    Internal Mic”

    But no “Mix” or “Wave out” or anything like that.

    This is an an HP dv2000 laptop, “Audio device: Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller”

    Any ideas about how to enable recording of all audio streams? Of course I could use a cable to connect mic in to line out but that seems a bit clunky.

  2. Peter, you could always try resetting Audacity by deleting the audacity.cfg file which is in the .audacity-data folder. When you run Audacity again hopefully it should detect your sound card etc.

  3. Thank you for this tutorial! As a relatively new ubuntu user, Google has been invaluable for finding information. I initially tried changing the devices under Audacity’s preferences but to no avail. It’s highly unlikely I would have figured how to get this to work on my own and given up on it.

    =)

  4. @Seoras, he’s not talking about audacity. you should recognize what he means, being that you wrote the article. *hint* I don’t have a Mix and Mix Mono checkbox.

  5. Mike, I know Peter was talking about the switches available in the volume control preferences in Ubuntu, not Audacity. I didn’t know what else to suggest and resetting the audacity.cfg file has worked for me on other systems.

  6. Thanks seoras,

    Woyked poyfectly!

    Now I have a beeeg challenge to offer you: how about a tutorial to install snd (the Linux equivalent of Cool Edit Pro) in Hardy?

    If you have enough lifetimes to do so, I have enough to follow the steps!

    Regards,
    Sam, Hardy Heroin Addict

  7. Excellent tips. I have been trying to fix this problem for almost a year and your solution is the first one that I’ve read that actually works. You need to post this solution in the Ubuntu forums.

  8. It works fine.
    The most important tip is to edit preferences in the volume control tool.
    The only one defect is a little loss of quality due to a first numeric to analog conversion followed by a second analog to numeric conversion. It would be a good idea to post this solution in the Ubuntu forums.

  9. Seoras, thanks a million for this. I’ve fumbled and stumbled around for hours on various installs, finally hitting on the right combo–your summary is a great little reference to hang onto. Has it been published in Ubuntu Forums?

    mike

  10. thanks, i got it and it is recording now. but the problem is every time i have to check the mix box in volume control(sound preference!! any way out?
    one other problem is my browser window was very fast loading youtube video ,now it is too slow and greys out and hangs !!
    (firefox an opera) any solution??
    pl

  11. Thanks Seoras!
    I’ve been struggling for quite a while, all the time wondering what was wrong with Audacity.\
    One note… you say:
    “Open Volume Control then selected Edit>Preferences.Volume Control Preferences Next make sure the boxes marked Mix and Mix Mono are checked then Close.”
    I could only check one or the other – choosing one deselects the other.
    I haven’t experimented yet but I’ve found that choosing mix mono allows the recording to happen.

    Thanks again

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