TechZilla News

 TechZilla News

TechZilla News is a free service of

TechZilla Says:  

If you have a microphone, it's fairly easy to record your voice to say something like "You've Got mail" or something and assign the recording to a Windows event sound. But what if for instance you wanted to record a song that is playing through the sound card from some website or off a cd or dvd? Third-party utilites typically make this easier but can be done with the Windows Sound Recorder.

To do this, First go to START>All Programs>Accessories>Entertainment>Volume Control.

When the Volume control loads, click on the "options" menu option and select properties. Select the  Adjust Volume for "Recording" Options and make sure there are check marks on the Stereo and Mono Mix options and click ok.

Next open the Sound Recorder which is in the same menu group you found the Volume Control. By default the Windows Recorder will only record a 60 sec wav file but there is a workaround. I just discovered this actually...the old dog learns a new trick!

Below is the method recommended by a user in a discussion group I belong to on Yahoo Groups:


Using Sound Recorder the trick to creating a longer recording is to join shorter blank recordings.

Click Start and point to All Programs and then point to Accessories.

Point to Entertainment and then click on Sound Recorder.

Record a "blank recording": Click the Red "Record" button and let it run until it stops (60 seconds). You will see the electronic tape progress as the slider bar moves from left to right. When the tape runs out, the slider bar will stop moving.

Click the Edit menu and then click the Copy command.

Click the Edit menu and click the Paste Insert command.

Notice that the length has changed, you can see the length in the right side of the dialog box.

Repeat step #2 again. Your blank recording should now be 240 seconds

(4 minutes). Using this method, it will double each time you repeat step #2. You can always cut off what you don't use later.

Save the blank recording: Click File and then click the Save command.

In the Save As dialog box, type in a name for the tape. Call it something like Blank (xx)Minutes so you know that it's a blank tape and how long it is.

Close the Sound Recorder and open it up again. Click File and then click the Open command. Open the blank tape you saved. Press the Red "Record" button and record your message. When you're done recording, click on the Square "Stop" button. Click on the Edit menu and click the Delete after current position. You'll see a dialog box informing you that everything after the current position will be deleted. Click OK.

Click the File menu and click the Save As command.

Save the file with a different name. This allows you to keep the current recording and leave your blank recording unchanged.


One user in the group suggested that the file size you create should not exceed 76mb. Wav sound files are typically huge. For example let's say you have an audio cd that has 10 audio tracks and the disk contains 700mb/80min worth of data/time. If each track were identical. The resulting recorded wav file would be about 70mb/8min. Of course these are just rough figures. 

When testing this method I was able to create a 1920sec blank sound file which is actually about 32 minutes or 322mb. When trying to go beyond that I recieved an out of memory error. The recorder is actually only capable of displaying up to 999:99 seconds for both the position and length so my test file when loaded shows 920:00 but is actually 1920:00 seconds. The limit seems to be actually based on the available ram you have and not so much the actual file size so far. I was able to record 32 minutes of a DVD with no problem.

If you did this alot, it would be easy to fill up your hard disk.

Wav files can be converted to smaller compressed files like .MP3 files or .WMA files to save space or used to burn a custom audio cd. The quality is typically better than any of the conversions because it uses no compression to save space. So if you use your WAV files to create a custom Audio cd with your favorite tracks, the result will actually be better 'technically' than those made with other file formats. I say technically because certain sound frequencies are not even audible to the human ear and can be removed during the compression process.

I suppose it would be actually possible to capture an entire sound track from a DVD in multiple parts and burn them to audio cd's. In my case I could pause the DVD at a little before 32 minutes and stop recording and trim the ends. Then save my first segment, and start over with the blank file and keep repeating the process until I had the entire movie done in separate files. Upon completion I could get aproximatel 2 files burned to each audio cd. For a 90 minute movie it would take probably 4 cd's unless I created at least 2 smaller or shorter recordings of about 50mb each.

So while it's illegal to drive and watch your favorite can certainly drive and listen to it if you have a cd player in the car.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend