Stream Recorder

What Does Stream Recorder Mean?

A stream recorder is a software program used to save streaming media, such as music or video, and store it locally as a file. The process itself is referred to as destreaming. A stream recorder allows the user to save digital content that could otherwise only be consumed via streaming.


A stream recorder is also called a stream ripper.

Techopedia Explains Stream Recorder

The stream recorder saves streaming media differently depending on the stage in the process at which the user is attempting to capture the data. There are three recording methodologies:

  1. URL Snooping: This is the easiest method, which provides the highest quality but is not readily available. It involves requesting the data from a website. Software packages designed to locate and download such data include URL Snooper, Coojah and Grab++.
  2. Encoded Capture: This is the most difficult method but provides higher quality. It involves the use of a streaming protocol such as an encoded media stream within a network stream. However, legal issues may arise with digital rights management, decryption, reverse- engineering and hacking an existing client to extract the desired data rather than decoding it. Data extraction can be done passively offline by capturing the data and then manipulating it to extract the desired data (usually video or music). It can also be done actively online by a streaming protocol program that requests the desired data. There are also a number of programs available to download and capture Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTPM) streams.
  3. Decoded Capture: This method yields the lowest quality data. It involves recording anything that is viewed or listened to, including already decoded data that's passed to the computer’s video or sound card. Decoded capture can be done regardless of the original format or protection on the data, but the quality of this type of capture is low. An alternative, which further degrades quality, is to simply use audio or video equipment to record speaker or video sound and images.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.