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streamripper - Man Page

rip shoutcast radio streams to mp3 files


streamripper URL [options]


Streamripper records shoutcast and icecast compatible streams, in their native format. The following formats are supported: mp3, nsv, aac, and ogg. The meta data within the stream are interpreted to determine the beginning and end of each song, and stores the songs on your hard disk as individual files. In addition, streamripper includes a relay server for listening to the station while you are recording.



Print help and exit


Print version info and quit

-d dir

The destination directory

Select a different base directory for ripping, just in case you don´t want to dump tons of mp3´s into whatever directory your at.


Don´t create a directory for each stream

Normally streamripper will make a directory with the same name as the stream to place the tracks into, this disables that.

-D pattern

Use a pattern to format the output file names

This option tells streamripper how to form the filenames. If -D is used, the options -s and -P will be ignored. If the pattern represents an absolute path, the -d option will also be ignored. If both -D and -q are specified, -q will only be used to set the start count if a %q token is included.

By default the output files are put in a directory that has the same name as the stream, and files are formed from the artist and title. But you can override this behavior and create the output files as you like. The output file names are generated by substituting tokens with values that depend on the stream, track, or environment. The following tokens can be used for substitution.

    %S        Stream
    %A        Artist
    %T        Title
    %a        Album
    %D        Date and time (per song)
    %d        Date and time (per execution)
    %q        Sequence number (automatic detection)
    %Nq       Sequence number (starting from number N)
    %%        Percent sign

Note On windows you may be required to supply an extra % because the symbol is consumed by the shell. Therefore, you would put "%%S/%%A/%%T" instead of "%S/%A/%T".

The extension (such as .mp3) is appended automatically.

The tokens %D and %d differ because %D gives a unique timestamp for each song, whereas %d gives a unique timestamp each time streamripper is run.

The tokens %q and %Nq differ because %q tries to figure out the correct sequence number from the existing files, wherease %Nq does not. The N is your starting number. For example %32q means start numbering at 32.

-r [base port]

Create a relay server on base port, defaults to port 8000

Creates a relay server on base port. if base port is not specified it defaults to 8000, otherwise whatever you entered for base port. Note that if the -z option is not used, it will keep trying higher ports if the port is unavailable.

-R num_conn

Maximum connections to relay stream

In addition to creating a relay server, you can also control how many clients are allowed to simultaneously connect. The default is 1 client, but if you specify the -R option you can increase this number to <num_conn> clients. If <num_conn> is set to 0, the number of connections is limited only by your processor and network speed. The -R option has no effect if -r was not used to create a relay stream.


Don´t scan for free ports if base port is not available

Disables the "scan for free port" feature. Use it if your paranoid, or don´t like ports being open.

-p url

Use HTTP proxy server at <url>

If you are behind a proxy server, use the -p flag to specify its url. You can also use the http_proxy environment variable to specify your proxy server.

-a [pattern]

Rip to single file

The default mode of operation is to separate the each track into a separate file. But sometimes this is not what you want. Sometimes you want the stream recorded to a single (big) file without splitting into tracks. The -a option does this. If you use -a without including the [pattern], a timestamped filename will automatically be used.

The pattern can be used in a manner similar to the -D flag, but generally only %S, %q and %d are useful.


Don´t create individual tracks

The default mode of operation is to create one file for each track. But sometimes you don´t want these files. For example, you might prefer a single file (using the -a option), or you want to use streamripper as a relay (using the -r option), without creating these files. Using the -A option, the individual files for each track are not created.

-o (always | never | larger | version)

Overwrite tracks in complete directory

When streamripper rips tracks they are put into the incomplete directory until they are finished. Normally, they are then moved into the complete directory. However, when the track is already there, can use this option to tell streamripper what you want to do. There are three choices: always, never, and larger. If you don´t include any of the -o options on the command line, the default is "-o larger" for version through 1.63.4, and "-o version" starting with 1.64.5.

If you use the "-o never" option, this tells streamripper to never overwrite any existing file in the complete directory.

If you use the "-o always" option, this tells streamripper to always overwrite any existing file in the complete directory.

If you use the "-o larger" option, this tells streamripper to overwrite an existing file in the complete directory if the newer file is larger.

If you use the "-o version" option, this tells streamripper to keep both versions, renaming the existing file.


Don´t overwrite tracks in incomplete directory

Normally streamripper writes the files in the incomplete directory, and then moves it to the base directory (the complete directory) when it is done. If the file with the name of the track already exists in incomplete, it will overwrite the old track. When you use the -t flag, however, this will tell streamripper to backup the existing file in incomplete (appending a version number), and then create the new file.

This is useful for streams that don´t have meta-data. Because these streams only have a single file, reconnects will cause overwriting the existing file, which is not desired.


Truncate completed tracks in incomplete directory

When you are not overwriting files in the complete folder, the duplicate files will normally stay in the incomplete folder. This option tells streamripper to truncate the files to zero bytes in the incomplete folder if they are a duplicate.


Don´t auto-reconnect

Normally streamripper will be very aggressive and try to re-connect to a dropped stream. This option disables this behavior.

-l seconds

Run for a predetermined length of time, in seconds

Usually, streamripper runs until it crashes. Or rather, I meant to say that it runs until you kill it, yes, I´m sure that´s what I meant. But you can instead tell streamripper to run for a certain length of time, and then exit using this flag.

-M megabytes

Stop ripping after this many megabytes

Use this flag to tell streamripper to rip a certain number of megabytes, then stop. As of version 1.64.5, megabytes are defined as 2^20 bytes.

-q [start]

Add sequence number to output filenames

When the files are copied from incomplete to complete, the filename can be prepended with a sequence number (beginning with 0000). This can be used to, for example, show the order that the files were created. If desired, a starting count can be used with -q to begin the sequence at any number you like.


Don´t add ID3 tags to output file

Mp3 files have two different kinds of header information which describe the contents of the file: ID3V1 and ID3V2. By default, only ID3V2 is included in the mp3 files generated by streamripper. If you use the option, then neither are included.


Add ID3V1 tags to output file


Don´t add ID3V2 tags to output file

-k count

Specify the number of files to leave in the incomplete directory.

Usually you start ripping in the middle of the song, so the default is to leave one file in the incomplete. But sometimes you want to discard extra tracks generated by a stream, because they are advertisements, the station intro, broken songs, etc. Conversely, some streams always start you at the beginning of a complete song. In this case, you could specify "-k 0" to save the first song.

-m timeout

Timeout to restart connection

Some streams will "hang", which means they haven´t disconnected, but they aren´t sending any data. When this happens, if you used the -m flag, streamripper will shut down the stream and reconnect after <timeout> seconds of inactivity.

-u useragent

Use a different UserAgent than "Streamripper"

In the http request, streamripper includes a string that identifies what kind of program is requesting the connection. By default it is the string "Streamripper/1.x". Here you can decide to identify yourself as a different agent if you like.

-w parse_file

Use customized parsing rules

This tells streamripper to use custom meta-data parsing rules. Without this flag, streamripper will use its built-in parsing rules.

There are two cases where you want to do this. In the first case, you are using a stream that changes the meta data within a song. Usually this is a thank-you notice or possibly an advertisement for an upcoming show. When this happens, the current track will become split into fragments. To prevent this, you can tell streamripper to ignore meta-data.

The second case you might want to use this is if the artist and title information is sent in an unusual format. For example, they might be separated by a comma instead of a hyphen, or there might be an extra advertisement attached to the end of the meta-data string. In this case, you can tell streamripper how it should identify the title, artist, album and track from the metadata string using regular expressions.

See the file parse_rules.txt, which is included in your distribution, for examples of the parse rules.

-E external_command

Use external command to get track information

Some streams do not send artist or title information using metadata, but instead send this information using other means. For example, some streams update the current artist and title using html or xml. Another example is icecast 1.x, which sends metadata through a UDP socket.

Streamripper can get artist and title information from these kinds of streams using a helper application, specified using the -E option. The helper application works by finding the title and artist, and writing it to stdout. Streamripper reads the output of the helper program, and splits the tracks accordingly.

To help you in creating external commands to use with streamripper, please look at the example file fetch_external_metadata.pl, which is included in your distribution.


Save debugging log

This creates a file called "gcs.txt" that contains all sorts of debugging information.


Quiet operation

Don´t write any text to the console, except error messages


Write output to stderr instead of stdout


Set silence duration

The volume must be less than xsd_min_volume for a period of time greater than this.


Set search window duration

This is how long to search for the silence. 1st number is msec before nominal center, 2nd number is msecs after nominal track change position.


Set offset from center of silence window


Set amount to pad before and after splitpoint. The 1st number is the number of msec to add to the end of each song. The 2nd number is the number of msec to add to the beginning of each song.


Don´t search for silent spot

This is a shorthand for the following combination of options: --xs-search-window=0:0 --xs-silence-lenghth=0 --xs-offset=0 --xs-padding=0:0. Note, however, that streamripper will still decode the stream in the region near the meta-data change, in order to split at an exact mp3 frame boundary.


Use capisce´s new algorithm (Apr 2008) for silence detection.


Tells streamripper what codeset to use for the file names when it writes to your hard drive.


Tells streamripper what codeset to use for the id3 information.


Tells streamripper what codeset is being used for metadata in the stream coming from the network.


Tells streamripper what codeset to use for metadata that it sends to your player on the relay stream.

Getting Started

The easiest way to get started is to find the URL of a stream you want to rip, usually I find the URL by loading it up in winamp or xmms and querying for the source URL (right click on the playlist). Once you have the URL you can begin ripping. For example:


This would rip Monkey Radio (as of 1/10/2001), it places the tracks into two directory´s one called "Monkey Radio" and a sub-directory "Monkey Radio/incomplete" the incomplete directory is for tracks that streamripper does not know the begging or end of. The first and last tracks your rip for instance, would be in incomplete.

Listening to the Relay

You can listen to the stream while you are ripping by creating a relay server. This is done by using the -r option.

  streamripper -r

When streamripper starts it will display what port it´s relaying the stream on. It defaults to 8000 but you can choose another port. To listen to your relay server, open up XMMS or Winamp and enter your machine name with the port as you would any other stream. For example, if you are using the default relay stream, you would want to open up this URL:


However, if you are ripping an ogg stream, you usually need to tell the player that the stream is ogg, which can be done by appending ".ogg" to the stream URL.


Similarly, if you want to watch an nsv stream while you rip, you need to tell the player that the stream is nsv, which can be done by appending ";stream.nsv" to the URL.


Splitpoint Detection

Streamripper automatically splits tracks based on detection of a silent near the meta interval where the track changes. However, this method is imperfect, and sometimes the track splitting occurs is too early or too late. These options will fine tune the track splitting capabilities for streams that use cross-fading, which causes streamripper´s automatic silence detection routine to fail.

Various --xs flags can be used to add an offset for streams that have a meta interval that comes too early or too late, to add extra padding to the beginning and end of each song, and to decide where the length of the search window and silence window.

Default splitting

The default spitting algorithm is used when no silent point can be found. Suppose you have a meta-int with track change information at the time "mi" (see figure below).

If the xs_offset is positive, the track separation point "ts" is later the "mi" point. If xs_offset is negative, "ts" is earlier than "mi". Once "ts" is determined, a user-defined "prepad" and "postpad" are used to determine where the next track begins "ntb", and where the previous track ends "pte". The interval between "ntb" and "pte" will be copied to both songs.

|           /ts
  xs_offset |
  /ntb      |         /pte
    prepad    postpad

Silence separation

Splitting based on silence separation is similar to default splitting, only slightly more complex. Again, suppose you have a meta-int with track change information at the time "mi" (see figure below).

A search window "search_win" is determined by the xs_offset, pre_sw, and post_sw field. The beginning of the search window is at: mi xs_offset - pre_sw and the end of the search window is at: mi xs_offset + post_sw.

If there is a silent interval of length "silence_win" within the "search_win", the center of "silence_win" is selected as the track separation point "ts".

Once "ts" is determined, a user-defined "prepad" and "postpad" are used to determine where the next track begins "ntb", and where the previous track ends "pte". The interval between "ntb" and "pte" will be copied to both songs.

      xs_offset |
            ts\ |
      |-------+-|---------| *search_win
       pre_sw |   post_sw
          |---+---| *silence_win
/ntb          |         /pte
      prepad    postpad

Usage Examples

Rip from a stream:

  streamripper URL

Rip from a stream for one hour:

  streamripper URL -l 3600

Rip the stream, putting the mp3 files into the directory /my/music/stream1:

  streamripper URL -d /my/music/stream1 -s

Rip the stream, creating a single file and don´t create individual tracks:

  streamripper URL -a -A

Rip from a stream and create a relay stream at port 9000:

  streamripper URL -r 9000

Rip from a stream, creating a relay stream at port 8000, and allowing twenty clients to connect:

  streamripper URL -r -R 20

Splitpoint Usage Examples

Each of my songs contain about 5 seconds of the previous song. How can I fix this?

  streamripper URL --xs_offset=5000

Each of my songs contain about 5 seconds of the next song. How can I fix?

  streamripper URL --xs_offset=-5000

Each of my songs contain between 5 and 10 seconds of the previous song, but it depends on the song. How can I include all of this zone within both songs, and edit them later?

  streamripper URL --xs_offset=7500 --xs_padding=2500:2500


Please check out the following web sites. Linked to the streamripper home page is a forum that can can be used to chat and ask questions.

Streamripper home page:


Sourceforge project page







Copyright © 2000-2002 Jon Clegg, © 2004-2009 Gregory C. Sharp. Free use of this software is granted under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).