Thanks very much guys (& gals?) for the recommendations.
Mouser, wow! Thanks for all those links! Looks like some good stuff there. I'll have to look through all the programs, may take some time, but that's ok.
I'm not sure, but I think Total Recorder will just record the sounds going through your soundcard and not just the stream. This is what I want to avoid, incase I'm doing something else on my computer while I'm recording a stream, because all the other Windows sounds will be recorded also along with the stream. Plus it's not free.
StreamRipper and StationRipper are useful for recording Shoutcast and Icecast streams, but I can't usually get them to work for much else.
Here's some of the other programs I've tried that can record streams and I didn't see posted about here so far, or in any of the links :
will record any sound going through your sound card and save as wav or mp3. So you could use it to record any streams that you can hear, but again it will record all other sounds on your computer as well. It also has a long conversion time and no timer function that I'm aware of.
Audio Grabber http://www.audiograbber.com-us.net/
I'm sure many of you have already heard of it, but may not be aware it can be used to record any sound going through your soundcard, like streaming audio.
I can't use this for my ops because it will record every other sound on your computer as well as the stream, but it is still very useful in some cases. And a plus with Audio Grabber is it has a nice timer feature to start and stop your recordings.
Jet Audio http://www.jetaudio.com/products/jetaudio/
free version can be used to record streams, but you can't save as mp3, you have to purchase that option for $9.US It also has a timer feature. But not a freebie if you want to save as mp3 like I do, and it doesn't seem to lock on to the streams as well as some of the other media players I've tested, e.g. it often rebuffers with some streams. Also I can't get it to work with rtsp.
Quintessential Player http://www.quinnware.com/
is a nice one! I really like this one, but again it only seems to be able to get Shoutcast/Icecast streams, for the most part, and I am looking for a stream recorder that will play and record more than just Shoutcast, mainly Windows Media Streams(mms, http and rtsp). I would highly recommend trying this free program though for anyone who wants a real nice free media player with many options.
Screamer Radio http://www.screamer-radio.com/
is another nice freebie. It is simple and records direct to mp3, but it has no timer of any kind. But what I do like about it is you can set it to play the last stream you were listening to when you open the program, but it won't open and "record" the last stream. So you have to manually click record every time. Still this little gem is great at recording a variety of audio streams direct to mp3. It won't record real media though and some others I suppose, I haven't tested it that much yet to know for sure.
I've tried quite a few other Media players also, but most are lacking all the features I want in a free player. I'll probably just have to breakdown and finally pay for one, I'm such a cheapskate.
But till then the search goes on for the ideal free stream recorder.