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I want to record sound from a particular microphone on a Windows 7 for an extended period of time.
The computer is on 24/7. How can I achieve this?

My neighbor is causing problems saying that I'm making noise even when I am not home. I thought of the idea of recording sound levels in my flat for factual evidence in-case this ever turns sour.

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Is it the neighbor from the next house 30 yards away or the one from the next appartment behind the wall? – ott-- Feb 7 '13 at 21:50
Behind the wall, to be honest she seems like one of these crazy lady with 5 cat types. – Sam Feb 7 '13 at 21:51
Can't you just add a mike to the PC in question and use recording software? – Paul Feb 8 '13 at 0:34
@Paul Yes, the main issue is how to archive all this data into a usable format. – Sam Feb 8 '13 at 0:43
PSA: In some states it is illegal to record conversations without consent of the parties involved. – ioSamurai Apr 30 '15 at 15:28
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Short answer
Create a scheduled task and use ffmpeg together with a batch file to record your microphone.

Long answer

  1. Download ffmpeg-XXXX-win32-static.7z for Windows and extract it with 7-zip or Winrar

  2. Copy Bin\ffmpeg.exe to a folder of your choice (You can delete the other files & folders)

  3. Create a new text file and paste the following code.
    Save the file as record.cmd in the same folder as your ffmpeg.exe

    @echo off
    mkdir "My records"
    set outputpath=My records\record_%date:~-2,2%%date:~-7,2%%date:~-10,2%_%time:~-11,2%%time:~-8,2%.mp3
    ffmpeg -f dshow -i audio="My microphone" -y -t 01:00:00 "%outputpath%"
  4. Replace My microphone with your own microphone name.
    To get the name, open a CMD Window and head over to your ffmpeg.exe.
    This command lists all available devices: ffmpeg -list_devices true -f dshow -i dummy enter image description here

  5. Create as scheduled task (Win+R » Taskschd.msc) and point it to your record.bat.
    Let it run each full hour so ffmpeg can split your audio in 1-hour files.

The result after some hours

enter image description here

Additional help

  • All used commands are explained at the ffmpeg documentation
  • It is possible to execute the whole process in a hidden window or in the background
  • It is also possible to start and stop the task per shortcut
  • Change the record time ("01:00:00") or output path ("My records\record") to your needs
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This is a pretty slick solution, and should be easy to port to other systems that can run FFmpeg. – Breakthrough Jul 31 '13 at 18:28
You can even use AWS CLI to upload recent recorded files to your S3 bucket. Thank your for your great answer, worked like a charm! :) – renatoargh Nov 9 '15 at 20:31

Maybe try out: (Can save audio to file)

Otherwise I'd Google around for 'free audio recording software'.

Most audio recording software doesn't seem to be in the realm of surveillance management but you can certainly start a recording one day and come back the next, stop and start again etc.

Placement of the mic is also important since it's pickup probably isn't as good as your neighbors' ears.

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