How to download audio from any streaming video

December 13th, 2014 | Edited by | software


Streaming video is great, but sometimes it’s more than you need—or more than you canrun, if you’re away from an Internet connection. If you like to listen to podcasts, lectures, or other audio while you drive, work, or exercise, you should be able to take advantage of the huge amount of content published online every day.
In this article, we’ll show you how easy it is to download just the audio file from any streaming video and save it to your hard drive for offline listening.

Option One: Audio from YouTube videos

If the stream you want to capture is on YouTube (and let’s be honest: most of the time it will be), you can save time and use a tool designed specifically for that platform. There are a number of apps that will do what you want, but a great, free choice is, a web app that makes it easy to capture audio from a YouTube video.
The interface at is about as simple as you could hope for—there’s nothing but a big address bar, where you can copy the URL of the YouTube Video you want to capture and hit enter. You’ll now see an embedded view of the video, along with a few simple controls:

  • From and To: Drag the sliders if you don’t want to record the entire video.
  • Title and Artist: Use these two input boxes to choose a filename for your download, as well as to set the artist metadata—very useful for any software that organized media files.
  • Remove Silence: This option just clips any silence from the beginning or end of the video. A lot of YouTube videos have a splash screen at the beginning or end that won’t come across well in an audio-only file, so it’s worth leaving this checked.
  • Normalize: Keeps the volume of the video in a consistent range, so it won’t sound out of the place with other audio files.

And that’s about it—click on the Record MP3 button to save the audio stream to your disk. Incidentally, if you want to record a video, you can do that from the same interface. Just click on one of the video links directly below the video window.
Note: I was having difficulty getting to correctly download files in Chrome until I temporarily disabled my extensions. This fixed the problem, and I had no issues with either Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Option Two: Audio from anything else

If you want to grab audio from a source other than YouTube, your options are a little more limited. I haven’t found a good audio-only downloader for non-YouTube videos (if you have, please share in the comments), but there are several general-purpose FLV ripper extensions that install into your browser and easily save streaming video as a file on your disk. If you use Chrome, a good option is Video Downloader. And if you use Firefox, tryDownloadHelper.
Once you have the video file saved to your machine, you can use any number of programs to save out the audio track. For reference, here’s how you would do that with the popular VLC player:

  1. Open VLC
  2. Click Media -> Convert/Save
  3. In the next menu, click on the Addbutton next to the File Selection box and browse to your downloaded FLV file. Click Ok.
  4. Next, click Browse next to the Destination box, and choose a location and file name for your completed audio file.
  5. Click on the dropdown box marked Profile and choose “Audio – MP3”
  6. Click Start

VLC will open a new playback window, with the progress bar displaying how far along the transcode is. When it’s complete, you’ll find your finished MP3 on your hard drive wherever you told VLC to save it.


Windows 10 no ‘loss leader’ for Microsoft, but making money may rely on services

December 11th, 2014 | Edited by | software


Microsoft won’t talk about what Windows 10 will cost until next year. But it’s looking unlikely that it will be completely free, either for users or for PC makers building larger devices, after Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said that Windows 10 won’t be a priced to keep users in the Microsoft ecosystem.
“We haven’t announced the Windows 10 pricing framework yet. But the one thing I can tell you that we’ve not had any conversations on is Windows 10 being a loss leader for us,” he said at the Credit Suisse technology conference.
The way Microsoft makes money from PCs is changing. Windows hasn’t been the biggest earner for Microsoft for some time: Turner said it was in third place behind the Office and enterprise businesses.


He also gave indications that Microsoft would look to extend the kind of deals it’s done with makers of smaller devices who get Windows for free but are encouraged to bundle deals like Office 365 subscriptions that bring income for Microsoft. Notebook makers can already get a cheaper licence for Windows 8.1 if they make Bing the default search engine. But Turner seemed to suggest Microsoft would extend that even further.
“We’ve got to monetize it differently,” he explained. “There are services involved. There are additional opportunities for us to bring additional services to the product in a creative way.”
Unlike analysts, who have suggested that low-priced PCs may undermine the Windows 10 market, Turner was notably enthusiastic. “It’s wonderful to see these 9-inch and below devices explode, because that was an area where candidly, I was blocked out and I had no share of what was being built. The $199 laptop, the HP Stream, is an amazing device.”
Turner confirmed that Windows 10 will ship “by late summer and early fall” of 2015. And, he said, Microsoft will reveal what the Windows 10 business model will be “in the early part of 2015.”


Firefox is headed to iOS, browser restrictions be damned

December 9th, 2014 | Edited by | software


After years of vowing not to bring Firefox to the iPhone and iPad, Mozilla is changing its tune—and is presumably willing to work with Apple’s rules.
“We need to be where our users are so we’re going to get Firefox on iOS,” Mozilla Release Manager Lukas Blakk wrote on Twitter. TechCrunch believes he was paraphrasing Jonathan Nightingale, Mozilla’s Vice President for Firefox, who revealed the plans during an internal company event.
Mozilla isn’t a complete stranger to iOS. Four years ago, the organization released Firefox Home, which synced bookmarks and tabs from other devices but was not a full-fledged browser. Mozilla shut down the app in 2012. While Mozilla now lets users sync their tabs and bookmarks with an online login, iOS users have been left out, potentially making Mozilla less attractive as a whole.


In the past, Mozilla has said that it wouldn’t offer Firefox on iOS because Apple doesn’t allow third-parties to use their own browsing engines. Chrome, for instance, is based off the same WebKit rendering engine as Safari, despite having its own engine called Blink for other platforms. Mozilla has bemoaned thisdominance of WebKit as promoting a “monoculture,” in which mobile webmasters only target WebKit to the exclusion of other browsers and open standards.
Unless Mozilla has a trick up its sleeve, it seems the organization will freeze its anti-Webkit crusade as it tries to win back lost users.
The story behind the story: While celebrating Firefox’s 10-year anniversary last month, Mozilla stressed its newfound emphasis on privacy, with new features like a “Forget” button and support for the DuckDuckGo search engine, which doesn’t track users. For Mozilla, bringing similar features to iPhone and iPad users may be worth adopting Webkit, even if it is a loveless embrace.


Report: Microsoft will unveil Windows 10’s new consumer features in January

December 4th, 2014 | Edited by | software


Microsoft will take its Windows 10 message of “much better this time, really” straight to the people in January. Late that month, according to The Verge, Microsoft will hold an event to show off the consumer-oriented features in the upcoming major revision of its Windows operating system.
Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 10, which is currently in preview. Windows 8’s shocking, take-it-or-leave-it changes caused many users to, well, leave Windows 8 (or not upgrade from prior versions). Windows 10, as far as we’ve seen in its beta iterations, is blending Windows 7 and Windows 8 to ease the experience for upgrading users.


We’re excited about the improvements we’ve seen so far in the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Let’s hope the January event includes the triumphant (and delayed) return of the Start menu, as well as innovations like Continuum, which lets Windows adjust its interface dynamically for tablet or keyboard use.


Syrian Electronic Army posts hacking message on several news sites

December 2nd, 2014 | Edited by | software


A hacker group called the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) scared visitors to several news websites by posting rogue pop-up messages saying they’d been hacked.
According to reports from users on Twitter the affected sites included those of CNBC, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, OK magazine, the Evening Standard, PCWorld, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.
Not all visitors to those sites have seen the pop-up messages, which read “You’ve been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)” and in many cases the incident was reported by mobile users.
SEA does not appear to have actually hacked the affected websites directly, but instead pulled off the attack through Gigya, a customer identity management platform used by a large number of brands. The group posted a screen shot on Twitter from inside the control panel for the domain at GoDaddy, suggesting that they had control over the account.


The hackers managed to change the DNS (Domain Name System) entries for the Gigya domain, pointing it to messages and images hosted on other servers, reported The Independent, one of the organizations whose website was affected. The issue has now been resolved, the publication said.
“A part of our website run by a third-party was compromised earlier today,” The Telegraphsaid via its Twitter account. “We’ve removed the component. No Telegraph user data was affected.
Gigya did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The screen shot posted by SEA on Twitter was accompanied by a message that read: “Happy thanks giving, hope you didn’t miss us! The press: Please don’t pretend #ISIS are civilians.”
The SEA has used similar DNS hijacking techniques to target news and other organizations in the past, the attacks typically carrying a political message. The group has publicly declared their loyalty to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Page 9 of 16« First...7891011...Last »