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VCR's for Streaming

It's easy to remember--having been young in the days before iTunes, P2P networking, and Rhapsody--recording songs off the radio. Spending money was hard to come by, and the only price you paid for recording off the free resource called radio was poor quality (not that most of us noticed). Now, fast forward to the here and now when the reality of listening over the Internet to your favorite songs, an inspiring speech, baseball play-by-play, or a public news program is yours. For me, it was trying to listen to a streaming National Public Radio program in the bustle of the workplace that caused me to want to time-shift the interview--record it, slip it over to my iPod, and let it entertain my evening commute.

This week we take a look at two products that make it easy to record streaming media files "off-the-air": StreamDown and SDP. They will help you time-shift a webcast or on-demand stream to a time and place where you really could use it--that five-hour cross-country flight, the sixty-minute rush hour commute, or while waiting for a nip on the line in Minnesota. There are other reasons, too, you might use a downloading utility. If you're using a low-bandwidth Internet connection, they can download and store a high-bandwidth stream for later off-line viewing. You can even use one to record your own webcasts from the Internet, if you need to document the public-facing experience of your customers.

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