Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Joys of Total Recorder

Without a doubt, one of the most-used programs on my PC is Total Recorder (I have the Professional Edition), which I use to record RealAudio feeds, most notably the BBC4's In Our Time series, NPR programs, Edison's Attic, interviews, All Songs Considered, and whatever else catches my magpie attention.

I use MediaPlayerClassic as part of the RealAlternative package, in my quest to rid all computers of RealPlayer. I'm still a happy member of Rhapsody, which no doubt has Real software entwined about its innards, but that I can live with.

I recently figured out how to use the TR Scheduler, so now I can record the entire In Our Time archives and listen to them on my commute, when I do the dishes, etc. I stack up about 5 programs at a time and set them to record when I'm in bed or at work. And the little MP3s are waiting for me when I get back.

(For the GTD geeks who care, I have the following folder structure: C:\Music\@Inbox\InPlay. The new MP3s go into the inbox, and when I load them on the Digisette, I also move them to the InPlay folder. After I've listened to them, I either delete or archive them.)

It doesn't quite replace Audible--there's room at the table for both. But I'm interested next in digitizing some of our old albums, and Total Recorder includes a plug-in to help clean up those scratchy audio captures. The only thing TR doesn't have is a CD-burning mechanism, but that's pretty ubiquitous. I still use Roxio CD Creator 5 for that (one of the few things I still use Roxio for).

TR is a great program at a very nice price and one of my pieces of Essential Software.