Testing 9 Audio Recording Apps
As my journey into podcasting continued, I decided to look into some audio recording apps.
I road-tested the free versions of mobile audio apps Ferrite, Voice Record Pro, iTalk, AudioCopy, Mixlr, Cogi, VoiceBo, TwistedWave Recorder and Boss Jack Jr. I had 3 criteria when testing the apps:
- Editing abilities
- Overall look/design
- And ease of use and features available on “free” version (exporting, uploading images, etc).
First up: Ferrite. One of the things I really like about Ferrite is that, as soon as you download the app you can begin recording right away.
It’s also easy on the eyes.
However, the free version has a recording limit which is about 60 minutes per recording.
You can upgrade (for a fee) and get cool features like applying effects to your audio (noise gate, compress, amplify tracks).
After recording there are a couple of options to export audio via music or iCloud. The file saves in m4a format.
It also allows you to tag the file, shows the duration of the file, which project you used, the size (in KB), when it was created and the format.
You can record two different audio sessions and then put them together in a project which is pretty neat.
I recorded a “test audio” to which I can edit, zoom, split and even fade the audio out the end. Pretty good considering it’s the free version.
However, I can’t use any more effects or automation in the free version.
I can also save the audio to my iPhone or iCloud. All in all, it wasn’t hard to use and it was easy to learn.
After downloading Voice Record, it started up right away, but had pesky ads at the bottom. You can upgrade to an ad free version though.
As soon as I hit the record button I’m taken to a screen where I can customize the recording to my needs first with either a low, medium or high quality recording.
There’s an option for silence detection as well.
In the advanced tab there’s more customisation: record format, sample rate, bit rate and depth along with channels (stereo, mono) can all be changed.
After recording, the options to export or import seem truly endless.
You can send the file to DropBox, Google Drive, by SMS, Facebook, post it on YouTube, there’s lots of options!
This app is probably the most basic audio recording app, with the least amount of customization available.
The free version only allows you to record and send to email. No ifs, no buts.
If you chose to upgrade the app, you can export the audio with Dropbox or share recordings on Sound Cloud.
The upgraded version also offers no ads feature and increase “limits on the size of recordings that can be emailed”.
What else is available on the upgraded version? Transport controls like fast forward and rewind (which, frankly, should be available in the free version).
I’m not a big fan of iTalk, but it is very easy to use for very basic recording.
First of all, I love the design of this app, more than any of the above. It’s very clean and pleasing to the eye and I’m a big fan of white backgrounds (light text on a black background is just not as appealing).
AudioCopy makes recording exceptionally easy. All I had to do was click on the record button in the middle and recording starts.
There are lots of editing features! Editing allows for duplicate audio, delete, discard ends, fade in, fade out, amplify and reverse (that last one was fun).
After recording, you can share to SoundCloud, paste into Garageband or open it in other sound recording apps.
On my phone, it can copy to Voice Record, TW Recorder and Ferrite. It also allows for iTunes FileShare as well.
This was a very easy app to use for a beginner.
As soon as I download Mixlr it makes a lot of promises:
“Simple way of enjoying and sharing live audio”; “go live on the web in one small press”; “invite friends to listen with you”; “create a conversation with your fans”; “discover artists, musicians…”.
Those are some pretty big claims. Can it live up to them?
On the home screen I get 3 options: Listen, Broadcast or Me.
Listen shows the the most popular audio on the app (some are in different languages!). While listening, you are given options for following the user; you can see who the user is following, how many followers they have, links to social media, and how many likes (hearts) the follower has..
There’s also an option to share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, messages and email. So far, I’m impressed.
The chat option is a neat feature!
Recording is done by clicking a red button, which instantly prompts you to create an account (heavy sigh).
After creating an account you can record and broadcast your audio. The broadcast continues and will only stop if prompted.
I love the design of this app: it’s user friendly and fairly easy to use.
I wouldn’t, however, prefer this for podcasting or even recording. But live coverage of a sporting event is something I would use this app for.
In the free version of Cogi I can record myself, add notes and tags to my recordings.
I tried sharing it but it doesn’t recognise any apps on my phone that could open the audio file.
I can’t edit the audio file in the app either.
The interface is not appealing in the least (as I said, I’m not a fan of light text on dark background!)
It’s fairly simple and easy to use though.
VoiceBo (rhymes with Face of Boe? Anyone?) also asks you to sign in and fill out a form (I chose to sign up through email but you can sign in via Facebook as well).
It then forces you to follow 3 featured users before you can continue.
And then you’re asked to sign in again.
I find the design a bit clunky (circa early 2000s). It’s not easy to navigate and I don’t particularly find it aesthetically appealing.
You can add tags, pictures and location to your “bo”.
You can also make it private, direct or public.
You can only share it via social, sms or email.
I can also go to my feed and see what others have shared. Although you can like and comment which is pretty cool.
There’s not much available on the free version of TwistedWave. However, I can import audio from a number of sources, from Dropbox to iPod Library.
I have a few customisable recording options (hZ, mono or stereo).
The recording in this app is fairly simple (record and stop button). But I can’t unlock any editing features (price is $8.49 to unlock).
However, the app does allow you to export to a number of places which is nice!
The podcasting community recommended this free app! Seems like it’s quite common for people to record in Boss Jack, edit in TW Recorder and then import back to Boss Jack to upload.
I love the design: very clean and appealing.
It’s a little trickier to learn to record than other apps, and to add the different sounds (in particular locking the recording).
The Cart Store allows you to add free music to your audio recordings, which is really helpful.
This app also allows export to many platforms.
Let me know if there’s any other audio recording apps you love in the comments below!