Anubis

Radio Recorder

 
 

 

Introduction

Anubis Radio Recorder is designed as a single exe file with minimal DLL dependencies. In other words, copy the 'Anubis Radio Recorder.exe' file to your hard drive and run it. All required DLLs should already be available on your machine as part of the standard operating system installation with the exception of an MP3 codec which is required if MP3 compression is to be used (strongly recommended). The MP3 codec is subject to copyright and cannot be shipped with Anubis. Fortunately Microsoft license the 'basic' version of the codec and distribute it free with their Media Player (Version 9 at the time of writing).

System requirements

This section lists the hardware required to run the Anubis Radio Recorder. Anubis is designed to run unattended for long periods of time so a stable system is required. This can be quite difficult to achieve in practice - particularly with regard to sound card drivers. You will need:

  • A radio tuner. Analogue or DAB receivers both work well. I use the Arcam Alpha 10 tuner. I have been quite happy with the Arcam other than its annoying tendency to crash every three weeks or so. (Update: set the Arcam's display so it doesn't scroll - then it's more stable).
  • A sound card. I use a Sound Blaster Live Value with the latest XP drivers which is stable. In order to acquire digital audio directly from the Arcam tuner I use a 'SB Digital Bracket' from hoontech.
  • A stable computer. Minimal computer requirements are 200 MHz Pentium, 64 Mbytes of RAM and as much disk as you can afford - compressing at 56 kbps requires about half a gigabyte per day.

Installation

  • Download the latest Windows Media Player and install. The only component we are interested in is the MP3 codec. You can check this has been installed from Control Panel's 'Sounds and Audio Drivers', Hardware Tab under Audio Codecs Properties.
  • Download the Anubis zip file and unzip it into a convenient directory on your machine. It is advisable to keep the directory path less than 63 characters as long paths may confuse some versions of the MP3 codec.
  • Run 'Anubis Radio Recorder.exe', you will be presented with:

  • User the Stations menu to add a new station, which we shall call Radio 4:

  • Work through the options dialogs setting sensible values. First the Database... dialog. This will allow you to set the directory into which all recorded wav files and schedules (ash files) will be saved.
  • Use the Schedules dialog to configure the schedule provider. Anubis Radio Recorder will connect to the providers public web site and extract the appropriate schedules. If you 'dial up' to the internet you may prefer to do this manually by clicking the Fetch Now button at least once a week. If you have a permanent or on demand connection click the Automatically check box and the schedules will be retrieved at the specified time. Here we have selected BBC Radio 4 with Manual updates:

  • Use the Record Time Range dialog to set daily record times. Total record time must be just less than 24 hours a day. The default times (18 hours a day) are good for Radio 4.

  • Next set the record source and compression format via the Record Source dialog. Notice that available compression formats will depend on the selected record source sample rate. A good set up for FM radio is 22.05kHz, Stereo, 16bit, MP3 Layer3 at 56k BPS:

  • Use the Auto Purge dialog to specify how large the database is allowed to grow before Anubis Radio Recorder starts deleting old audio data. Here we have set 120 gigabytes:

  • The Errors dialog allows error reports to be sent via mail rather than to the screen. This is the recommended approach if you have a permanent or on demand internet connection. Set the server to your SMTP outgoing mail address (which can be found in your mail program configuration dialogs). Use the test button to send a short test message to verify everything is working.

  • Ensure the tuner is connected to the sound card line input. Under windows XP select Control Panel, Sound and Audio Devices and flip to the Audio tab. Click on the Sound recording, Volume button and make sure the Wave input is selected:

  • Under versions of Windows prior to XP, start the Windows volume control application (from the start menu select Accessories, Multimedia, Volume Control). From the volume control Option, Properties... dialog select the Recording radio button and make sure the input selection check boxes are checked:

  • Using the volume control application select Line input with the Select check box. You should see the VU meter flicker in time with tuner input:

  • Leave the volume control application running. Select the Enable recording check box on Anubis Radio Recorder. Use the volume control application to adjust the levels displayed in Anubis Radio Recorder. The numbers to the right of the level meters indicate peek level as a percentage of full scale level. Aim to get these around 90% (100% is bad Okay). These numbers stick at their highest level (peek hold). Click the reset button to reset the peek level numbers. If the volume is too low you might try plugging your tuner into the sound cards Mic input instead. If the tuner levels are too high you may need to install an attenuator between the tuner and sound card.