Record XM Radio on Media Center



When XM Radio first came out, they featured a radio that connected directly to your PC.  This wonder allowed you to capture the audio stream directly to your PC, which could then be edited or converted in any way.  Needless to say, the recording industry was not happy with this, and those XM products have been discontinued.

XM is a great service.  It is way better than traditional FM radio, and offers hundreds of commercial-free music, talk radio, comedy, sports, news and other channels.  It is just begging to be put on your Media Center PC, but how? Here are a few options on how to receive (and even record) XM radio on your Media Center PC.

Use DirecTV
If you have the Choice package from DirecTV then you already receive a lot of XM channels, and this is included with your monthly subscription.  If you can live without the premium XM channels then this is one of the best options for Media Center.  Not only can you timeshift, but you can record and stream to a Media Center extender.

The disadvantages of this is that you have to do some major editing if you want to convert a song to MP3.  XM Radios that support recording often allow you to record just the song you want, and preserves the artist and track information.  If you record this using Media Center, you are essentially recording a video with a black screen (although song information pops up when the song changes). You can’t just automatically record one song… you have to record the channel (so you must start and stop recording manually).

Once you have the raw video file, you must extract the audio from it.  You must convert the dvr-ms file into a standard MPEG file using Auto DVR Converter.  Auto DVR Converter basically just strips out the meta-information included within the DVR-MS format, so conversion happens very quickly.  Once you have the unedited MPEG file you can then extract the audio using your favorite MPEG editor.  You can select and save particular tracks, but you must reference the video portion to see the artist and title.

This is a highly manual process if you want to actually save the recorded files, but it is possible… and it’s free.