Review: Record voice chat sessions and other audio with Audio Record Wizard

Record audio from multiple sources, including chat, with this shareware.

NowSmart Studio's Audio Record Wizard makes it easy to record sounds on your PC from a microphone, a file, or anything you can plug into your sound card, like a tape deck or TV. It's great for recording chat sessions because it can record sounds from two sources, such as a microphone and Internet feed, and save it all as one file in a range of formats (MP3, OGG, WAV, and FLAC). It can convert and merge audio files, manage MP3 tags, and perform other audio editing duties. Many of its tools are particularly suited to voice recording, such as Voice Activation, File Length Limitation, and Noise Suppression. Audio Record Wizard Version 6.98 is free to try with a two-minute recording limit.

Audio Record Wizard's user interface closely resembles a media player in layout, style, and size. It's a logical design since the program also plays back the recordings it makes. The familiar layout and controls made it easier to learn this tool's ins and outs. By ins, we mean inputs, i.e. Source, which the program lists in a drop-down menu at the top of the window, just above the File display and Level controls. By outs, we mean output directory, file type, and so on, as well as the media player controls in the bottom panel. But there's no need to guess since Audio Record Wizard opens with a Step-by-Step Guide displayed in the main window.

We clicked "Source" and selected our video card's output. We played a video and clicked "Record." Audio Record Wizard started recording the sound feed as an MP3, which played back normally. Next we tried the Line In and Microphone feeds--also successfully. Stereo Mix recorded audio from our motherboard's audio driver, but Audio Record Wizard also recognized all seven inputs on our external Firewire sound card, including analog (Line In) and digital (S/PDIF) sources. But the feature we wanted to try was NowSmart Audio's Computer Sound & Voice input, so we clicked "How to Use" in the Source menu, which opened a Web-based tutorial, entitled "How to record online conversations." Again the results were great. We suggest you try this nifty tool, yourself.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Audio Record Wizard 6.98.

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