Magix Webradio Recorder v1.01

Reviewed by: Jim Huddle, November 2005
Published by: Magix
Requires: Microsoft Windows 98 through XP, 600 MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, 250MB free hard disk space, 16-bit sound card
MSRP: US$29.95

I have rather eclectic taste in music. I like rock, classical and most jazz. I'm not much of a fan of country and hip hop, mainly because I'm moved by the music itself, not lyrics. I also prefer powerful music—the sort of music that makes me react on a very primitive, visceral level. That happens primarily with Mozart and Beethoven, though the Who and Pink Floyd can also affect me that way. What I don't have is the time to assemble, record and compile music to listen to. I also don't have a stereo in the one room of the house that still belongs to me, the loft. She Who Must Be Obeyed insists the stereo remain in the family room. I've done a little searching around for Internet stations but again, I don't have the time to look for what I really want. Since getting Magix's Webradio Recorder I've been a little more motivated however, because it makes it so easy.

If you just want to locate and listen to music, Webradio Recorder handles that easily. It comes with tons of stations conveniently arranged by genre. Magix claims there are over two thousand, and since I didn't count them, I'll take their word for it. The interface is similar to Windows Explorer, and you simply double click a folder to access the stations. Each station listing contains the station name, call letters, genre, encoding type, transfer rate and the URL. Simply double click a station and Webradio will open the URL and begin streaming. At the bottom of the interface are controls that allow you to set the volume, start, stop and record on the fly. Webradio will also show the track name and artist if that information is available. For example, as I write this review I'm listening to SuperTraks and the tune is Behind Blue Eyes by Fred Durst. Not bad by the way, not the same power as the Who, but it's okay.

One of the best features of Webradio Recorder is called Timer Recording. This alone is worth the price of the software. I really like an NPR show called Echoes hosted by John Diliberto. It's on locally Friday and Saturday nights and I never remember to tune it in. Now I just record it automatically and listen to it in the morning with coffee. Setting up Timer Recording is also pretty simple. On the right pane of the program window are three tabs. Click the Timer tab and just drag the station to the pane. A dialog box pops up and allows you to set the date, time, duration and how often you want the recording done. Note that if you are going to record the same show every week, be sure to hit the Advanced button and set the file name prefix. That caught me a couple of times. If you're a real fanatic you can record multiple stations simultaneously, as long as you have the bandwidth.

Webradio Recorder has the features you would expect from a media player, including playlists, an equalizer and visualizations. You can use the Webradio Recorder to burn audio and MP3 CDs or transfer recordings to your MP3 player. Webradio Recorder also features good import and export capability, handling the common files types: MP3, mp3PRO, WAV, CD-Audio, WMA, OGG Vorbis and ASF. You can update the station list from the File menu and the and program itself from the Help menu.

The help included with the software is excellent being both complete and easy to navigate. Magix also includes some video tutorials that are well done.

Pretty slick little app. Recommended.

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