I'm looking for a Windows Software that would constantly record in the background the last X minutes (e.g. 30 minutes) of audio being inputted into the microphone whenever my PC is on, much like a Cockpit Voice Recorder.

I often times brainstorm ideas or writings out loud, so this would be very useful to be able to immediately go back to something I just said and hear the exact way I said it without having to remember to push "record".

Does any such program exist?

  • What price is acceptable? Can you define "in the background" a bit more precise? One way is thinking of background = no visible window. Another way of background = run at low priority ("background thread"). Running at low priority can cause audio issues like missing sound. In what format should the sound be saved or shouldn't it be saved at all? Does it need to have integrated playback capabilities or is recording and saving only ok? Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 22:04
  • @laggingreflex: this question does not have strong requirements yet. What are your needs? See questions above. Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 22:05
  • @ThomasWeller thanks for the good questions. For me, "in the background" doesn't matter. Mp3 should be an available format. Integrated playback, again for me, doesn't matter. The strongest requirement is that it should record only last X minutes and discard (or keep discarding) any audio before that which was not chosen to be saved. If you're familiar with the Xbox Game DVR feature in Windows 10 or similar functionality provided by Nvidia, it has a "record that last X minutes" of game play. I need something like that, but only for the audio from the microphone. Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 14:40

3 Answers 3


You need What did I say?:

  • works on Windows: yes, requires .NET 4.5
  • constantly records the last X minutes of audio: yes, configurable time span
  • in the background: once configured, the window disappears and changes into a notification icon
  • being inputted into the microphone: the source can be selected if there are multiple
  • whenever my PC is on: not implemented yet. You would need to add the application to the Autostart folder for the moment.
  • go back to something I just said: left click the notification icon to save the recorded audio to a WAV file which you can play (right click brings up the window again)
  • available for free

What sid I say screenshot


  • no integrated playback. Just saving as WAV is possible at the moment.
  • no support for MP3 due to licensing issues.
  • some options only available via command line, not via user interface (e.g. sample rate, bits per sample, channels)
  • check the list of known issues
  • not a commercial application, do not expect the best support

Disclaimer: I am the author of this tool and I have written it just for this software request, because I think it's a cool idea and I could use it myself.

  • @Freaktor: I made the software open source, link fixed. Unfortunately I can no longer provide digitally signed binaries. Commented May 27, 2021 at 11:27
  • 1
    @user: I have made the software open source now. Link fixed. Working on release of binaries. Commented May 27, 2021 at 11:29

Option 1:

  1. Get Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder

  2. Set your microphone as your audio source

  3. Go to Settings > Record Settings > in the advanced put a check on "Automatically skip silent passages in the process of recording"

Advanced Settings Preview

Option 2:

  1. Record your microphone input the entire time
  2. Use Audacity to remove all silent gaps
  • 1
    If I read the question correctly, it's not about skipping silence. You may be talking 10 minutes, then notice you said something important, hit a button and get the last 7 minutes (the configured time) saved to disk. This does not imply that there were 3 minutes of silence. Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 7:32

Seems that RecordPad could fit, althought not free. The most important feature: "Record only when you are speaking with voice activated recording".

See also the "Record Settings", from its detailed features page with screenshots: the program allows you to set a "maximum recording time", and choose what the program has to do once this limit is hit: stop or start recording a new file, which seems convenient for you.

The "Transmit" and "Output" settings may be of help for you too, since you can configure what to do automatically for each recording once is done (sending to FTP, mirror to a folder or execute an external tool -say for cleaning your oldest files?-, and also you automatically set a new file name pattern (sequence number and others, so you could always easily find your 'last' or even older records).

I think it's a pretty flexible solution if no other software matches exactly your desire. Claim to work on Windows 10, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1, and there are also versions for Mac, Android & iPhone.

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