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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Extend the 60-second limit in Sound Recorder

You know that annoying 60-second limit in Windows XP's Sound Recorder? (Vista doesn't have it, but don't get me started on what else it doesn't have...) Some suggestions people have are using the Decrease Speed function, clicking the Record button quickly after it stops, or simply using another program. However, if none of these options are doing it for you, I've got a more geeky solution involving a hex editor, such as XVI32, which I'll be using.

You can't really remove the limit, as it works by allocating enough memory for that long a recording, but you can increase (or decrease, if you really want to) the amount of recording time it gives you. Now, you can't go crazy and set it to 9,999,999,999 seconds or something, as you need to have enough memory. (Audacity gets away with this by recording to the hard drive.) 5 minutes, however, is more than enough for most purposes.

(If you're using XVI32, skip the next paragraph.)

First, you're gonna need to convert that to seconds. 5 × 60 = 300 seconds, or 0x12C. Inside the EXE, the limit is stored as a 4-byte long value. You may think that as 4 bytes would be 00 00 01 2C, but the bytes are reversed. Instead, it's 2C 01 00 00. It's confusing, I know, but it's just the way it is.

Anyway, make a copy of Sound Recorder, and open the copy in your hex editor. The limit is stored at address 0x628E, so goto (in XVI32, it's Address>Goto...) that address. Follow the instructions below:

If you're using XVI32:
  1. Go to Tools->Encode number...
  2. Type 300 (or however many seconds) in the text box.
  3. Select "longint (4 bytes)" on the left.
  4. Select "Overwrite at current adress [sic]" on the right.
  5. Click OK.
If you're using another hex editor:
  1. Switch to Overwrite mode if necessary, usually using the Insert key. You should be able to tell which mode you're in by looking at the status bar. It should say either Insert (INS) or Overwrite (OVR).
  2. Type in the four bytes you calculated above, such as 2C 01 00 00.
Now save, and run your modified Sound Recorder. It should give you a different limit, as seen in the "Length:" box on the right after clicking Record. Now, if you're so inclined, you can replace your original Sound Recorder with the new one.

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