Recording audio playing out from a Mac isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but that’s exactly what WavTap aims to resolve with a remarkably simple menu bar item. It makes capturing a Macs audio output extremely simple, leaving you with an audio file that you can then. WavTap is also completely free, which makes it unique among similar OS X apps.
With WavTap, just pull down the menu, select “Start Recording”, and you’ll capture a .wav file of whatever audio is being played on the Mac, whether it’s from a podcast, live stream, video, iTunes, the source doesn’t matter, as long as it’s playing. Once you have the clip you want captured, select “Stop Recording”, and look on the desktop for the wav file. If you favor keyboard shortcuts instead, just hit Command+Control+Space to start and stop the audio capture.
Once you have the audio output file on the desktop, you can trim it down to a more specific section, convert the wav file to an mp3, or whatever else.
For the most part, the simple app works as advertised, though the “Save Last 20 Seconds” option wasn’t as reliable in our testing. Another minor quirk you may run into is after finishing recording, where the system audio may seem to muted and unresponsive. If you find that to be the case, open System Preferences, choose “Sound”, and then select “Internal Speakers” from the device list. Flip over to the “Input” tab and select the Internal Microphone while you’re at it, or you may run into issues down the road when trying to Skype or FaceTime.