Apple’s Beats 1 global radio station went online this week, and its programming is already grabbing plenty of headlines. The challenge: just like conventional radio, the station doesn’t (yet) offer on-demand recordings of complete past shows. If there’s a DJ, specific artist, new show, or interview you’re really interested in hearing, you’ll need to tune in live… or, if you have a spare iOS 8.4 (or soon, iOS 9) device, you can use this handy guide to record Beats 1 shows using OS X’s free built-in app QuickTime Player. Read on for the details…
Start by turning Auto-Lock off on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch by going to the Settings app, then General > Auto-Lock > Never. Next, open the Music app on your iOS device, go to the Radio tab, and hit Listen Now on the Beats 1 radio station. Then, once the station is playing, plug your device into your Mac.
Load QuickTime Player on your Mac, go to the File menu at the top of the screen, and pick New Audio Recording. When the window (above left) pops up, click on the little V mark next to the circular recording button and select your connected iOS device, with Quality on High. You’ll notice the gray audio level bars turning white to indicate that the audio from your device is being heard by QuickTime.
Hit the recording button (initially marked with a red circle) to start the Beats 1 recording process, then hit the same button (marked with a gray square) to stop it.
When you stop recording, the window will change to a playable preview, which you can save by going to File > Save at the top of the screen. You’ll get a m4a-format MPEG-4 audio file, playable in iTunes. At this point, you can re-enable Auto-Lock on your iOS device if you want.
Another free alternative, albeit lower quality, is to use QuickTime Player to record Beats 1 indirectly from iTunes on your Mac using the Mac’s integrated microphone as a source. There are other methods to re-route a Mac’s audio to create a cleaner audio source for QuickTime to discover, generally using paid software, but this one is free, and as simple as plug and play.
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