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Using VLC with Audio Hijack

As I’ve mentioned I've been using Audio Hijack Pro to time-shift radio shows. All’s well in radio land except that the files occasionally “skip.” At first I thought Audio Hijack was having a problem buffering until I noticed it happening to the stream itself. That cast suspicion on the apps I use to capture streams: QuickTime Player and iTunes (I need both so I can record two shows at once). I thought I would try using VLC and see if it handles streams better. The only problem was that VLC wouldn’t start playing automatically when called from Audio Hijack Pro. VLC got the URL fine, but it wouldn’t start playing unless you clicked the play button. No good. The solution was to create a playlist file in VLC and have Audio Hijack Pro open the playlist file via VLC.

While I’m on the subject of audio, here’s a little AppleScript that fixes an annoying problem I have with my PowerBook G4. Often when waking from sleep, the audio balance is all the way to one side. This script sets the balance back to centered. Note: it requires System Events, which is not enabled by default. Open the Universal Access preference pane, and click “Enable access for assistive devices.”

tell application "System Preferences"
  activate
  
  try
    set current pane to pane "com.apple.preference.sound"
  on error errMsg number errNum
    display dialog errMsg
  end try
end tell

tell application "System Events"
  tell process "System Preferences"
    tell tab group 1 of window 1
      click radio button "Output"
      tell slider 1 of group 1
        set value to 0
      end tell
    end tell
  end tell
end tell

tell application "System Preferences"
  quit
end tell

I dropped it in the Scripts folder at ~/Library/Scripts so it’s always available. Here’s hoping you don’t have a need for it.

Comments

I recently bought Audio Hijack Pro to record Internet radio, and also noticed that the streams skips when using QuickTime. iTunes works but isn't a good solution because AHP seems to have an annoying habit of stopping/restarting iTunes when the timer kicks off - plus I hate having to clean up those bookmark files it leaves after connecting to a URL. So I tried VLC, but noticed it wouldn't start playing the URL automatically. Your playlist solution works great. It really blows my mind that QuickTime in 2008 would still have problems simply playing a stream - and this is on Leopard with QT 7.4.1. I'm also surprised that the latest version of AHP can't control VLC properly, although maybe that is VLC's fault. I guess it just goes to show you that some problems never get cleared up. Anyway, thanks again for the solution.

Thank you very much for this tip. I was struggling with the same problem, and this post is the first result on Google for { audio hijack vlc }. Worked perfectly.

THANKS for this! I've been using RealPlayer and iTunes, but I now want to grab a 3rd stream and QuickTime has been choppy (even by itself). Now I can use VLC. And the playlist method works for Whamb ( http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/16817 ) also. Whamb is much smaller than iTunes, RealPlayer or QuickTime. I've used VLT to make playlist files for each of my Internet radio stations, and Whamb can use them.

For my stations that have multiple recordings, I'll need to update only 1 playlist file instead of each AHJ entry if the link changes.

I made some comments yesterday suggesting Whamb as a lightweight stream source. Since then I've seen some negative comments about it, and tonight I've had it lock up consistently with one station (sound stops after 14 sec and app must be force quit), but work OK with others. So, recommendation withdrawn.

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