One commenter asked me in another post how to record audio that would otherwise be played through the speakers.  The specivif example this commenter referenced was “recording audio from youtube videos.”  While there are much better ways to rip the audio from youtube videos (my favorite is the online youtube movie/audio ripper You don’t need to download or install anything, just paste in the URL of the youtube video)   recording the audio that your computer is outputting can be useful in other situations as well.   The method has also changed in the most recent Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid, so if you knew how to do this in 8.04 it might not be the same way anymore.  Here is a guide for my favorite method to do this.

Ubuntu 8.10 included the PulseAudio controller instead of ESD (is this correct? I’m not sure if it replaces ESD totally.) .  In my opinion this is much better than ESD and it has much more control.

Even though pulseaudio may be installed by default, the pulseaudio volume control is not.  To do this, install pavucontrol in synaptic or run the command:
sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

now just press alt-F2 and run “pavucontrol”

If you don’t have any ausio playing at the moment, it should look like this:


In order to record an audio stream other than the default (which should be the mic, unless you have changed settings elsewhere), go to the “recording” tab, and click on the down-pointing arrow (more like an upside-down carat).  Now select the “monitor” of your default audio output.


Now you can start playing whatever audio you want recorded, and it will record that instead of the mic.  If you want tohave this as the default, you can, under the “input devices” tab change the show setting to “all input devices”, then click the arrow next to the audio source monitor you wish to record, and mark it as default.

Hope this helps,