Recording from radio to SD or USB?


#1

Morning all.
I’m of the old school and don’t use ‘catch up’ whatever.
Can anyone recommend a good Dab radio or music centre that can record to SD or USB?
Please, no suggestions about coming into the 21st century,( note: I did put DAB into my post so I do have 1/2 a step into present day) lol.


#2

My suggestion would be to get a dedicated audio recorder such as the Tecsun ICR-100.

That unit has a built-in FM radio (which it can record from) and records to microSD with up to 32GB capacity. Tecsun has a very good reputation for very sensitive radios, so I would expect the same for its recording quality. Just a pity they don’t do DAB yet.

For recording DAB, you can connect your DAB radio to its line-in port.

If you record in MP3, you can use MP3DirectCut (link) to adjust the volume and split the recording up into individual MP3s, such as to extract an individual radio programme, remove the ads, etc.


#3

Thanks - I am myself looking for a similar device.
Aliexpress sells it for a slightly cheaper price and with free shipping worldwide: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Tecsun-ICR-100-ICR100-FM-Portable-Radio-Receiver-with-Digital-Recorder-MP3-Player-Speaker-Stereo-Radio/32782730664.html


#4

USB is supported more widely, but SD has an unified and compact shape and just requires one USB adapter for PCs without USB port.

I often store data onto SD cards.


#5

Thanks sean for your reply. The Tecsun ICR-100 seems to be exactly what I’m looking for, particularly if i can link it to a dab radio.
It’s available on Amazon.UK for £22. This is very cheap. What is the sound quality like? For this sort of price I wouldn’t expect it to be too good?


#6

Thanks pepst for the link. As I said to Sean I’m amazed how cheap it is.
It’s got a good spec’ and seems to be what I want. I don’t see how I can go wrong for £ 22.
Cheers.


#7

Unfortunately, most DAB radio stations in the UK are broadcast at very low bit rates in the older MPEG layer 2 format. For example, Heart Extra radio (which I can pick up from Northern Ireland) is broadcast in 80Kbps mono, which has sound quality similar to a low bitrate Internet radio station. This webpage gives a good overview of the bitrates across various mediums.

If sound quality is your main concern, I recommend checking what other medium carries the station you are interested in recording, such as from satellite if you have Freesat or Sky. For example, BBC Radio 1 & 2 are broadcast in 128kbps on DAB (similar to 96kbps MP3 quality) and in 192kbps on both Freeview and Freesat. Surprisingly, even a strong FM radio station will usually have better sound quality than the DAB broadcast. Try comparing with a good pair of headphones. Basically, the Tecsun is very unlikely going to sound any worse than the broadcast, unlike recording from a high fidelity source such as a CD player.


#8

Wow! You know your stuff Sean. I wasn’t aware of any of the broadcasting details that you’ve listed.
I think I’ll just go for the Tecsun ICR-100 and experiment. My ears will be the judge and for £22 I don’t see how I can go wrong.
Many thanks for your help.