I started recording live concerts in 1993. I began doing this because I was constantly leaving live shows wishing a had a recording of some new version of a song that was played for which I had only previously heard on the studio release. Often times, artists rework a song for live performance, and more often than not, I find the new version to be an improvement on the old – or different enough that it’s like two entirely different songs.
Now that YouTube, dimeadozen.org, etree and so many other sources exist for alternate versions of songs – or unreleased songs – exist, I don’t record live shows as frequently. But for the sources that are streaming only, I do need a way to record from my computer.
So I was digging around looking for a recorder that will capture whatever I play on my machine. I arrived at Freecorder, which captures, with solid quality and unlimited time, anything I play. If I play a YouTube video, I simply hit record before it starts and stop when it’s over. When I hit stop, I send a file – wave, MP3 or whatever I choose, right to my recordings folder. Then I can put it in iTunes or where ever I choose.
I chose to test this on the video for Flight of the Conchords’ “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenocerous” – taken from the HBO show. The version in the show is different than, and superior to (in my opinion), the one that was released on their album. The album version begins with acoustic guitar that is not as strong as the show version, which goes right into a rap beat. (It’s also a good way to get the song “Mermaids,” which was only released on their live CD.)
The bonus, to me, is that it comes with a nice Firefox toolbar app so I can keep it ready, but in the background. If you’re looking for yet another way to add to your iTunes library, this is the tool.