Can you screen record audio from Spotify?

Spotify is an extremely popular music streaming service that allows users to listen to millions of songs online or offline. Launched in 2008, Spotify has grown to become the dominant player in the music streaming market. According to data from Musical Pursuits, Spotify has over 180 million premium subscribers and claims over 30% of the global music streaming market share

With a vast music catalog of over 82 million tracks, Spotify offers an ad-supported free tier as well as premium subscription plans that allow offline listening and other features. Free users must listen to advertisements between songs, while premium subscribers can enjoy uninterrupted listening. Spotify can be used across a wide range of devices including computers, phones, tablets, smart speakers and more.

Given Spotify’s huge popularity and massive collection of music, it’s no surprise that many users are interested in recording and saving songs played on the platform. However, Spotify’s Terms of Service raises questions around the legality of such actions. This article explores everything you need to know about recording audio from Spotify.

Is It Legal to Record Audio from Spotify?

Recording audio streamed from Spotify is technically against Spotify’s Terms of Service. However, the legality is debatable under copyright law like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The DMCA allows people to make copies of copyrighted content for personal, non-commercial use under fair use doctrine. This means recording a song from Spotify for your own private listening may be permitted. However, redistributing those recordings or using them commercially would likely violate copyright.

Spotify’s Terms of Service prohibit recording, copying, or downloading any streamed content. But violating the TOS is not necessarily illegal, just grounds for Spotify to terminate your account. The TOS exists to protect Spotify’s licensing agreements with record labels.

In summary, recording Spotify audio for personal use in private is technically against the TOS but unlikely to be pursued legally. Publicly sharing those recordings would clearly violate copyright. The legality lies in a grey area depending on context and jurisdiction.


Why You Might Want to Record Spotify Audio

There are several good reasons why someone might want to record audio from Spotify, including:

Creating mixes. Spotify doesn’t allow you to mix and remix tracks into custom playlists from within the app. By recording songs, you can pull them into audio editing software to create original mixes.

Sampling music. Recording snippets of songs can be useful for sampling in your own music productions or mashups.

Listening offline. Spotify has an offline listening mode, but it has limitations. Recording songs allows you to store them locally and listen anytime without an internet connection.

Archiving playlists. Playlists you’ve curated on Spotify could potentially disappear if licencing agreements change. Recording them provides you an archival copy.

Sharing music. It’s easier to share music files than Spotify playlists. Recording songs lets you distribute them to friends.

According to this WikiHow article, Spotify Premium users in particular may want to record music to listen to during trips, commutes or other times when internet access is limited.

How to Record Spotify on Desktop

There are a few different desktop applications you can use to record the audio streaming from Spotify on your Windows or Mac computer.

One popular free option is Audacity. This open-source audio recording and editing software allows you to capture any audio playing through your sound card. To record from Spotify, simply install Audacity, open Spotify and start playing music, then click the Record button in Audacity to start capturing the audio. Make sure to set the recording source to “Stereo Mix” or “What You Hear” to grab the full audio stream.

Another good option is OBS Studio, free and open source software designed for video recording and livestreaming. While mainly used for capturing video, OBS Studio can also record audio alone. Add a Audio Output Capture source in OBS, set it to capture your desktop audio, and hit record to save Spotify streams.

On Mac, Audio Hijack from Rogue Amoeba is a popular choice. It allows you to specifically capture audio from individual apps like Spotify. Set it to record Spotify, hit the Record button, and it will save the audio stream to disk.

The benefit of using desktop apps like these is you get full control and flexibility over the audio recording process. You can record high quality lossless audio, save it exactly how you want, and even edit or enhance it after recording.

How to Record Spotify on Mobile

There are a few different apps you can use to record audio playing in Spotify on your iPhone or Android device.

One popular option is an app called Blackhole ( which creates a virtual audio driver that channels audio from other apps into a recording app like Voice Memos on iOS or an audio recording app on Android. This allows you to capture the Spotify audio cleanly in another app.

To use Blackhole:

  • Install Blackhole on your iPhone or Android device
  • Open Voice Memos or your preferred recording app and switch the microphone input to Blackhole
  • Start playing music in Spotify
  • Hit record in your recording app – it will now capture the Spotify audio

Other apps like Apowersoft Screen Recorder can also capture system audio including Spotify, with video or without. There are various apps to explore depending on your mobile platform.

The key with any mobile recording method is ensuring the audio source is set correctly to capture Spotify system audio, and finding an app that enables high quality recordings.

Tips for Recording High Quality Audio

Here are some tips for getting the best quality audio when recording from Spotify:

Set the bitrate as high as possible. Spotify uses a bitrate of 160kbps for its normal quality streaming. For high quality audio, aim for a bitrate of 320kbps or higher. The higher the bitrate, the more data is used to represent the audio and the better the quality.

Use a high sample rate. Spotify streams audio at a sample rate of 44.1kHz. For best audio quality when recording, use a sample rate of 48kHz or higher if your recording device allows it. This will capture a wider frequency range and more detail in the audio.

Record in stereo instead of mono. Stereo audio captures distinct left and right channels, providing a richer listening experience. Mono combines both channels into one, losing some positional information.

Adjust the normalize or gain settings on your recording device so the volume level is strong but not peaking or distorted. This gives you the best signal to work with.

Use a direct wired connection from your playback device to your recording device rather than recording over Bluetooth or WiFi. Wired connections avoid compression and interruption in the audio stream.

Set your streaming quality in Spotify to the highest available option to get the best source audio before recording.

Consider using a digital audio workstation (DAW) like Audacity or GarageBand to record. These give you more control over recording settings than basic recording apps.

Test record short samples first to check levels before doing longer recordings. This helps ensure your settings are dialed in for optimum audio quality.

Alternatives to Recording Spotify

There are a few alternative options to recording Spotify audio that allow you to download music or integrate Spotify with other apps and services.

Tools like FreeYourMusic and TuneMyMusic allow you to download your Spotify playlists and library for offline listening. This gives you access to the songs without needing to screen record. However, some download quality restrictions may apply.

You can also connect your Spotify account to services like Plex and Alexa to play music on other devices. This allows Spotify integration with smart home and media center setups.

Apps like Musixmatch display Spotify lyrics in real time as you listen to songs. This combines the streaming music with synchronized song words without recording.

Using Spotify Connect, you can play Spotify audio on external speakers, smart TVs, and other endpoints directly from the app. So you can gets Spotify’s catalog everywhere without capturing the audio.

These alternatives allow you to enjoy Spotify’s library and features without actually recording the audio. They provide options to download, integrate, display lyrics, and cast the music in different ways.

Playlists and Sharing Recorded Audio

One of the great features of Spotify is the ability to create and share playlists of your favorite songs. So after you’ve recorded tracks off Spotify, you may want to compile them into a custom playlist. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to legally sharing playlists that contain your recorded Spotify audio:

First, you can create playlists of your recorded songs and keep them private just for your own personal use. This avoids any copyright issues. However, if you want to share the playlist publicly, you need to be careful. According to community discussions, simply sharing a Spotify playlist link is generally not considered copyright infringement. But once you start uploading the recorded audio files themselves in a public playlist, you may run into problems.

The safest option is to share short excerpts or clips of your recordings, properly credited, as allowed under fair use. You can also share full recordings privately with individual friends. Just avoid widely distributing full recordings you’ve made from Spotify without permission. Ultimately, use common sense and don’t try to profit off shared playlists featuring your Spotify recordings.

Does Recording Spotify Violate TOS?

Spotify’s terms of service explicitly prohibit recording content streamed through its service. According to their Platform Rules and Guidelines, “circumventing any technology used by Spotify, our licensors, or third-party content providers to protect content or the Service” is not allowed.

This means that recording, ripping, or downloading Spotify tracks is against their terms, even if it’s just for personal use. Spotify states that this allows them to properly compensate artists and rights holders through their royalty agreements. They also argue it ensures the best listening experience by controlling quality and formatting.

However, some users debate if recording a short snippet violates the spirit of the terms, as it may qualify as fair use and not significantly harm Spotify or artists. But in general, Spotify aims to prevent any unauthorized duplication of its streamed content, so most experts recommend avoiding it entirely.

Bottom line – recording from Spotify, even just small clips, technically violates their TOS according to their published platform rules. Users wishing to record streaming audio should use alternative services that allow it or properly license the content first.



In summary, recording audio from Spotify may be against its terms of service, but does not seem to be actively detected or enforced against individual users. There are several methods to record Spotify on both desktop and mobile, with varying levels of quality and ease of use. While recording Spotify can be convenient, the legality is questionable and quality limited compared to downloads.

Ultimately whether or not to record Spotify audio is a personal choice. While you risk your account being suspended, this seems rare currently. If you do record Spotify, be mindful of use and sharing – keep it for personal archival purposes rather than mass distribution. Consider purchasing full quality downloads or subscriptions when possible to support artists. And explore the many options Spotify offers for creating sharable playlists and stations legally.

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