Sunday, March 29, 2009

Microsoft Surface

A few days ago Microsoft launched its new computer - Microsoft Surface. This computer looks just like a coffee table but is actually a highly sensitive piece of equipment that has a computer embedded inside. There is no need for a keyboard or a mouse - it is touch sensitive.

This computer looks very good. It actually looks like a coffee table and it seems to be very sensitive. It is selling to businesses only currently at £8,500 in the UK. Microsoft want to release it to public soon. It is a very good idea and I like it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Recording your favourite radio program/station - Tutorial

Sorry for the long delay but this is a very long post and I have been busy.

It is not often I write a tutorial but I discovered something exciting and I wanted to share it. Some knowledge of computers will be required.

In this tutorial I will show you how to record a radio program using the VLC media player. The VLC media player is a very good program which plays most file formats and can even play DVDs on you computer without a decoder. Many of you may already have this but if you don't I strongly recommend that you do. You can download it from here: VLC Download - just click on the link. It is most likely to be virus free but run a virus scan on it anyway.

After installing it, open it up. it will look something like this (if the images are unclear just click on them for a bigger picture):

Then follow this link: and type in the radio station at the top of the page. You should get the radio station you want. For example if I want Radio 1 a page like this would come up:

Here, according to which browser you use you will need different instructions:

Under the "Windows Media Player" section click on the image that says a number and "Stereo" that represents your station . It will take you onto a new tab. Here copy the address and paste into Notepad.

IE and other browsers:
Under the "Windows Media Player" section hover over the image that says a number and "Stereo" that represents your station .Then, on the status bar, the address will come up. You will manually have to remember and copy it into Notepad. If the status bar is not visible (at the bottom of the screen) enable it. It can be enabled in the View section in the toolbar.

After doing this go back to VLC and click on the "Media" menu and then click "Convert/Save" A window like this should come up:

Click on the "Network" tab. Then copy and paste the address from Notepad.
The window should now look something like this:

Now click the "Convert/Save" button. A window like this should come up:

Now is the decision making time. If you want to listen to the station as it is recording then tick the "Play Locally" option. After this click the "File" checkbox and then click "Browse". Choose the location where you want to save it and type in the file name.

Now you will need to know about audio file formats to do the next this next bit. If you don't then just type ".mp3"after the file name go to the next paragraph. If you do though you can type in any audio file extension after the file name. I prefer ".mp3" as they are small but have good audio quality
Now click save you should get back to the window you were on before. In the "Encapsulation" tab click the "RAW" format and then switch to the "Audio codec" tab. Here, select the "Audio" checkbox and then make the codec the same as in the "File" window. Keep the "Bitrate" 128kb/s and the "Channels" 2 as most radio station are not better than this.
Then if you are happy with everything click the "Save" button...
And Viola! there you have it! The file should be saving and playing (if you chose this option) perfectly. When you want to stop recording just click the stop symbol.