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Mediaraptor Review: Download Free Music And Videos From The Internet

Mediaraptor 4.2 Platinum Version Reviewed

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Mediaraptor Review: Download Free Music And Videos From The Internet

Mediaraptor search screen

Image © 2010 Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Mediaraptor is a media search tool that records music and videos from the Internet rather than directly downloading them. This method enables you to source free and legal streaming media that you can store on your hard drive for later playback. The software allows you to: encode to multiple audio and video formats; create ringtones, tag and organize your media files, and burn to CD or DVD.

Pros:

  • Wide range of supported file formats
  • Capable of Multi-stream recording
  • Good selection of built-in tools for finding, recording, and organizing media

Cons:

  • No built-in file format converter
  • Web mode slow converting videos

Getting Started

Requirements:

  • Operating system: Windows 7 / Vista / XP (32/64 bit)
  • Minimum CPU: 1GHz
  • Hard drive space: 200 MB+
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Network connection: DSL / Cable

Downloading and Installing Mediaraptor: To get the latest version, simply go to the Mediaraptor website and click the download button. Mediaraptor can either be installed on your hard disk, or on a USB device (400mb free space) to create a portable version. Initially the software runs in full version mode for the first 40 media recordings. After this, it defaults to the freeware version which still enables you to record, but doesn't come with all the 'bells and whistles' of the full product.

Options: Mediaraptor has a wealth of settings to tweak various aspects of the program. You can configure the program's audio quality settings, add plugins to expand Mediaraptor's search capabilities, and manage conversion profiles. You can also set the number of simultaneous recordings and files encoded at any one time. Finally, you can tweak how Mediaraptor synchronizes files with your mobile device (media player, MP3 player, etc.)

Interface: Users of RapidSolution's other products, such as Tunebite, Radiotracker, or Audials One, will immediately be familiar with the user interface of Mediaraptor. There are three main tabs at the top of the screen that make it easy to use the program's different modes. Most of the menu buttons in Mediaraptor use tooltips -- hovering your mouse pointer over each one gives you a quick description of its function. Overall, the interface of Mediaraptor is intuitive and efficient to use.

Features

Mediaraptor Organizer

Mediaraptor Organizer

Image © 2010 Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Searching For Music and Videos: The first tab on Mediaraptor's menu enables you to search for media by typing in an artist's name, song title, etc. You can also click on the Artist button which brings up a large list of artists and genres to get you going. Once Mediaraptor begins searching, you will start to see results almost immediately -- if there are too many in the list, there's a handy set of filter options that you can use to drill-down to something more specific. You can filter the results by media type (videos and MP3s, videos only, or MP3 only), encoded bitrate, rating, or by typing a term in the filter box. Overall, the music search facility in Mediaraptor works extremely well and is very flexible by providing a good set of filtering options. The only downside is that the artist browser list isn't in alphabetical order and makes browsing the list slow.

Wishlist: Mediaraptor's Wishlist makes collecting media on your favorite genre or artist a breeze. After you've built up your list, you simply click on the Fulfill button to start Mediaraptor's seek and record frenzy. The big advantage of this mode is that you can use the full bandwidth of your Internet connection to quickly build up your media library. If you're worried about downloading too much in one go, the program comes with a set of options to limit how much is recorded. You can set: the data limit (Mb), countdown (minutes), time, and maximum track count. This mode works extremely well, but just like the music search mode, the genre and artists list isn't in alphabetical order.

Recording Media While You Surf: The third main feature of Mediaraptor is its ability to record what you are watching or listening to via your Web browser. If you use popular streaming video services such as YouTube, Yahoo Music, etc., to watch music videos, then Mediaraptor can grab the media you are streaming in real-time and save it to your hard drive. This mode can also be used for recording music from Internet radio stations and social music websites. Even though conversion of videos can be slow at times, this mode is extremely useful and an effective way of building up your media library while you surf the Internet.

Supported File Formats

  • Output Audio Formats: FLAC, AAC (M4A), MP3, Ogg, WAV, WMA, WMA Pro
  • Output Video Formats: 3GP, MP4, AVI, Sony PSP, WMV7, WMV9, XVID

Additional Tools

Music Collection Organizer: When you're ready to organize the media that you've recorded from the Web, Mediaraptor comes with a feature-rich organizer that can be used to add additional metadata information like ID3 tags, album art, lyrics, etc. If you want to automatically add metadata to multiple files, then the Autotag feature is particularly useful. Mediaraptor's organizer also allows you to re-organize your collection and import additional media from a friends library too.

CD Burner: Integrated into Mediaraptor is a CD/DVD writing tool that can create CD/DVD data disks (files), or audio CDs that you can play on most CD capable players. It is fully wizard-based and helps you through the process of burning your collection for safe keeping.

Mediaraptor Ringtone Maker

Mediaraptor Ringtone Maker

Image © 2010 Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Ringtone Maker: One of Mediaraptor's great bonus features is the ringtone maker. If you've got a cell phone that supports MP3, AMR, or MMF file formats then why not use your music to make a ringtone? The ringtone maker is wizard-based which makes the whole process very straightforward. You have several options to make a ringtone. You can use media that you have already recorded with Mediaraptor; use one of your CDs to rip a section of music, or even record from external sources such as a microphone, line-in etc. Once you have generated your ringtone, you can transfer it to your cell phone via WAP or download the file to your hard drive for direct transfer using a cable.

Conclusion

If you use the Internet to frequently search for music and videos, and need a way of building up a free and legal media library, then Mediaraptor is a tool worth considering. As well as being able to record music and videos to your hard drive using Mediaraptor's Search and Wishlist modes, you can also switch to Web mode for the convenience of capturing media as you surf. Even though the program can be slow at converting a recorded video, RapidSolution's Mediaraptor is a ravenous beast that quickly builds up your media library with the exact content you want. If you are looking for a great alternative to risky download methods like P2P file sharing, then Mediaraptor is certainly an invaluable tool to use.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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