Download Internet Audio Streams

Streaming Windows Media Player support on the Mac is really bad. Its slow, buggy; simply horrible. However, I really wanted to listen to a show which I could only listen to via streaming WMA format. I started searching the net for a solution and found Mplayer. It worked fairly well, but I really like the ability to skip parts of the show which isn’t possible with a streaming WMA.

I kept searching for a way to download the streaming WMA and put it into a WMA file on my hard drive. Mplayer came though again, using the Mplayer command line utility you can easily download the streaming audio to your hard-drive. The Mplayer command line utility is actually included in the Mplayer OS X GUI application, but, its hidden deep inside the .app package. You can find it here:

/Applications/MPlayer OS X 2.app/Contents/Resources/mplayer.app/Contents/MacOS/mplayer

Just for convenience’s sake I made a symlink to the command line application in my

/usr/bin/

with the following command:

sudo ln -s "/Applications/MPlayer OS X 2.app/Contents/Resources/mplayer.app/Contents/MacOS/mplayer" /usr/bin/mplayer

To download the stream you use the -dumpstream & -dumpfile options with the mplayer command line app, so the final command to download the stream to your HD is:

mplayer -dumpstream "mms://domain.com/stream" -dumpfile ~/Desktop/stream.wma

The above command will download the stream located at “mms://domain.com/stream” onto a file named “stream.wma” located on your desktop. Althougn I haven’t tested it this method should work with other types of streams besides WMA. The only downside I’ve found is that it will download the stream in real-time, so if the stream is 10min long, it will take 10min to download onto your computer. Besides that, this method seems to work great.

I also figured I post links to some resources that I found while searching for a solution:

2 Responses to “Download Internet Audio Streams”


  • You can use CocoaJT to record a stream… and it works!!

    just use the recorder / record a stream option from the menus at the top

  • Have you found a way to get MPlayer to stream WMA in anything other than real-time? It seems that it manages well with RealAudio files, streaming them quickly, but WMA files are streamed only in real-time. Maybe there’s another tool that can achieve this? Of course, I’m approaching this from the Windows world, so maybe the tools you use won’t work for me.

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