Record system audio using Audacity on Mac

On Windows PC, you can record computer sound directly using Audacity. See how to record system sound using Audacity on Windows 10 PC. Unlike in Windows, recording internal audio on Mac using Audacity however requires extra software. If you are searching for the solution to record system audio or online music on Mac or MacBook, this guide is just for you.

Do a search for Audacity with Bing or Google. Download and install Audacity, one of the most popular open source audio recorders and editors.

Step 1. Install SoundFlower virtual sound card for Mac

To record audio or music from internet using Audacity, you need to install a virtual sound card on Mac. We recommend Soundflower, free virtual sound card for Mac. You can follow these steps to download and install Soundflower virtual sound card on Mac.

Once you have configured the virtual sound card on your Mac or MacBook, recording internal sound using Audacity becomes really easy.

Step 2. Output sound from Mac to SoundFlower

On your Mac, click the Apple icon from the left corner of top menu bar, go to System Preferences > Sound > Output, select Soundflower (2ch) as the sound output device. 

output sound to soundflower 2ch on mac

Step 3. Record system audio using Audacity on Mac

audacity record sound from soundflower on mac

Open Audacity. Choose Soundflower(2ch) other than the Built-in Microphone as the recording device. Start recording your audio clip by pressing the Record button (a red circle in square). Click the Stop button to stop your audio recording. Optionally click the Play button to play the recorded audio in Audacity. If you decide to save the recorded system sound or streaming music, click File menu from the top menu bar, choose Export >> Export Audio, choose AIFF or other format you need from the File type box. Optionally choose a name and location for the recording. Finally click Save.

Now you know how to record streaming music from internet using Audacity, capture streaming audio from a website or just any sound playing through your sound card on Mac.

Update Sep 2019: this article was originally published in Jul 2018 and has since been updated. in this update, we added the new virtual sound card Soundflower to replace the outdated virtual sound card for Mac. It can help us easily capture internal sound from Mac system.

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