Sound Recorder (Windows)

Sound Recorder (Windows)

Infobox Software
name = Sound Recorder

caption = Sound Recorder in Windows Vista
developer = Microsoft
latest release version = 6.0.6001.18000
latest release date = February 4, 2008
operating system = Microsoft Windows
genre = Sound recorder
license = Proprietary EULA
website = [ Windows Vista Help: Record sound]

"Sound Recorder" is an audio recording program included in Microsoft Windows.


"Sound Recorder" can record audio from a microphone or headset; many modern sound cards allow their output channels to be recorded (the loopback channel is typically called "Wave Out Mix" or similar). The recorded audio can be saved in .wav or .mp3 format inside the .WAV container. Sound Recorder can also open existing uncompressed or compressed .wav files. To successfully open compressed .WAV files in Sound Recorder, the audio codec used by the file must be installed in ACM.

Sound Recorder in all versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista, was based on Audio Compression Manager. It could open and save audio in 8-bit or 16-bit uncompressed PCM format (.wav) from 8 kHz to 48 kHz, including CD Quality audio (44,100 Hz, 16-bit, stereo PCM).

Although it allowed saving only to the .wav container format, it could use any of the installed ACM codecs to compress the audio; typically several voice codecs and the MPEG Layer III (MP3) codec were installed by default. As ACM supported only Constant bitrate (CBR) stereo audio files, Sound Recorder also had these limitations and did not support Variable bitrate (VBR) files or multichannel audio.

All versions prior to the Windows Vista version of "Sound Recorder" could apply some simple audio transformations:

* Convert the bitrate, bit depth and sampling rate of the audio file
* Use Audio Compression Manager (ACM) to compress the audio using installed ACM codecs or convert it to a different codec format.
* Inserting and/or mixing in audio from other files.
* Splitting out parts of the current audio clip.
* Increasing or decreasing volume in 25% increments.
* Increase or decrease playback speed in 100% increments.
* Adding an echo (without reverberation).
* Reversing the current audio clip.


The older version of "Sound Recorder" recorded audio to memory, rather than to the hard disk, and the length of the recording was by default limited to 60 seconds. There are several strategies to extend the length of recording time, however. By recording 60 seconds and pressing the "Record" button again, the user could record another minute. This procedure had to be repeated to record a sound of the desired length. Alternatively, it was possible to open a previously existing blank file of the desired length and record over it. Also, the user could implement the Decrease Speed function several times to extend the length of the recording.

Command line switches are needed as it will not auto-play a file referenced in a batch file, startup folder, or task scheduler event. Use the /PLAY switch to launch the playback automatically. (SNDREC32.exe /PLAY "C:PathFile.wav") Use the /CLOSE switch at the end of the string to close the application. (SNDREC32.exe /PLAY "C:PathFile.wav" /CLOSE)

On computers with more than 2 GB of RAM, Sound Recorder will return an error message saying there is not enough memory. This is a design fault of older versions of "Sound Recorder" and cannot be resolved except by reducing the amount of physical memory. [cite web | title = You receive a "Not enough memory available to complete this operation" error message when you try to record a .wav file by using Sound Recorder | url = | accessdate = 2008-04-14]

Under some circumstances, "Sound Recorder" will not default to the Windows default recording device (set in Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, Audio tab, Sound recording, Default device). In this case, one must manually select it by clicking Edit, Audio Properties.

The new version of "Sound Recorder" included in Windows Vista uses the hard disk for recording audio and can therefore record audio up to any length as long as there is free space on the hard disk drive. Also, tags such as "Artist", "Album", "Title", and "Genre" can be added to the sound file directly from the "Save dialog". However, "Sound Recorder" lacks several features that were present in the earlier version of the program. It cannot open existing WAV or WMA files, [ [ Sound Recorder in Windows Vista cannot open existing files] ] and by default, it only allows saving to the lossy WMA format at 96 kbit/s. (Windows Vista N only allows saving as WAV; on other editions, to force Sound Recorder to save as WAV, the user must start "Sound Recorder" with the command line "soundrecorder /file "outputfile.wav".) [cite web | title = Windows Vista Help: Troubleshoot audio-recording problems | url = | accessdate = 2007-08-21] "Sound Recorder" has been stripped of all basic audio processing features, foremost the ability to play an audio file, but also lacks sample rate conversion, adding echo, reversing the a
udio, changing volume and playback speed, splitting, and inserting and mixing audio. The overhaul of the user interface resulted in the removal of the sound wave graphic display.

Despite major changes made in the Vista version, many users recommend just downloading a superior recording software, such as Total Recorder.

Earlier versions


ee also

* Wave audio format

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