A stream recorder is a program that can be used to record and save media that is viewed through streaming, which can be used for either audio or video data. There are a number of different programs that can be used for recording streaming data, and the program chosen will typically depend on the type of media a person wishes to capture or record. Some streaming data can also be recorded using other methods that do not require a stream recorder. Such methods include using an audio card to record streaming audio and saving streaming video by uniform resource locator (URL) snooping.
Also called a stream ripper, a stream recorder is typically used to record or save media that is available through streaming over a network such as the Internet. Streaming media is a type of media that is viewable immediately, rather than through download and playback. These types of media include audio available through Internet radio stations and audio players, as well as video that can be streamed from a website or from a webcam broadcast. There are a number of different programs available as a stream recorder and most of them are designed specifically for capturing streaming media.
A stream recorder will typically be designed to capture certain types of streaming media, and these different types are usually indicated by the software designers. Different media playing programs, such as Windows Media Player® and Quicktime®, will feature different file types for streaming and so various programs may be needed to record from each type, though some programs can capture from multiple player types. There are also different file types used for different streaming formats such as Flash®, which can be recorded using certain programs as well. A stream recorder will typically allow a user to record a stream, save that recorded media in various file types. It may be available as a freeware or require a license fee.
There are also other methods to capture and save streaming media, other than a stream recorder. Streaming audio, for example, can be saved using the sound card on a computer; this is typically done by recording through a simple audio program and selecting the sound card as the source for the recording. Any audio that the sound card plays will then be recorded and can be saved by the user. A good deal of streaming media is also typically saved on a server for streaming, and the streaming service simply does not relay the URL for streaming media when it is played. URL snooping methods can be used to determine the location where the streaming media is coming from, and this location can be used to save the source file.