THE MP3 VCR


Tutorial 1: Scheduled recording


The MP3VCR does not come with its own scheduling program. However, the MP3VCR supports a command line interface. This makes it easy to schedule recording of your favorite radio stations!

Here's how to do this, simply:

  1. Setup the radio station as described in the basic recording instructions.
  2. Save the radio station preset as described here.
  3. Generate a command line (or batch file) for the preset.
  4. Program the batch file into the scheduler.

Pretty easy, isn't it? Let's demonstrate with a sample radio station, and Windows XP's built in scheduler program: Scheduled tasks. For this example, we're going to record SomaFM's Groove Salad every Monday, for 1 hour, at 12 noon. Here's how:

SETTING THE MP3 VCR UP FOR SCHEDULED TASKS

  1. If you haven't already done so, make sure that the advanced options are selected! (This will allow you to select timed recording options. Without this, the MP3VCR will record until you stop!)

  2. Load the preset marked "SomaFM Groove Salad". (Or visit SomaFM and set up the station yourself as demonstrated in the basic recording tutorial. ) You should see a screen like this:

  3. Now lets change a couple options.

    "Listen to stream" is checked by default. In this case, we want to record the MP3 stream silently in the background. So, uncheck "Listen to Stream".

    Now, check the box marked timed recording. This will prevent the MP3 VCR from recording forever! All of the timed recording options should appear.

    The default recording time is 60 minutes -- that's what we want. Leave that setting alone.

    Let's check "exit when timed recording is finished". This way, the program cleanly exits when we finish. All recording will happen silently in the background, with no user intervention, with these two options!

    You may want to play around with these options. Particularly, the dated archive option is great if say you want to record a program every week. See the file options for a complete explanation of the dated archive functionality. A complete description of all of the setup options can be found here.

  4. Your screen should now look something like this:

  5. In order to utilize schedulers, a configuration must be saved as a preset. So, we need to save our new settings. Since I want to keep the old options, I'm going to save this preset under a new file name. In this case, I'll call it "SomaFM Groove Salad Record."

  6. The MP3VCR comes with a handy feature for scheduler programs, under the Advanced menu: Generate command line for this preset.

    This feature will open up the following window:

    How is this helpful? In two ways: you can either copy the pre-generated command line to run in a DOS window or use in schedulers; or you can create a batch file which you can execute directly. Batch files are probably the most convenient way to do things. In fact, to use the Windows scheduled tasks, such an option is probably the best method to do things. Let's click Write Batch File now.

    By default, the MP3 VCR will save all batch files in the Scheduler sub-folder of the program (typically c:\Program Files\MP3VCR\Scheduler\). Click Save now.

    You have finished setting up the MP3 VCR.


SETTING THE WINDOWS XP TASK SCHEDULER UP

Now that you have set up the MP3 VCR, you are ready to set up recording in the Task Scheduler!
(The below example can be applied to many other task scheduling programs as well. Once you have set up the batch file, simply follow the instructions for the scheduling program that you have installed.)

  1. Click on the Start Menu and open the Control Panel.

  2. Find the icon that says Scheduled Tasks. Double-click on that.

  3. Double-click on the "Add Scheduled Task" icon.

  4. The wizard will guide you through adding a scheduled task.

    When you get to the stage where the wizard asks you to click the program you want Windows to run, click Browse.

    Browse over to where you saved the batch file above. Most likely, you saved the file in c:\Program Files\MP3VCR\Scheduler\

    Next, select how often the task is going to occur. In this case, we are going to perform this task weekly, so click this option. (As you can see, the Windows Task Scheduler has a lot of options to choose from!)

    Next, select the start time (12:00PM for our tutorial example), and the day of the week (Monday for our example.)

    If prompted, make sure that this task is running under your local account with the correct password. Click finish and the new task should appear in the task scheduler!

You have now set up a scheduled recording. Congratulations!

When the Windows Task Scheduler launches the program, two things will happen. You will see a DOS window pop up (and most likely immediately disappear). You will also see a music note icon in your system tray.

Holding your mouse over the icon will show the recording time, and how long is left. Double clicking the icon will bring up the standard MP3 VCR playback window ; right clicking the icon will bring up the system tray commands. It's that easy!


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