Mobility

Top four Android voice recorder applications

After combing through numerous Android recording apps, Jack Wallen lists his top four favorite and why.

Considering the on-the-go nature of business, having the ability to quickly and easily record a memo or notes can mean the difference between having (or not having) your information on hand. If you search the Google Play Store for "voice recording" or "memo," you'll come up with numerous hits. So, which ones are the best options for the busy professional?

I've combed through the masses of recording apps to find what I believe are the cream of the crop. Each of them offers features that are sure to meet the needs of the on-the-go professional, while others definitely exceed the average memo recording needs.

With that said, let's take a look at which top four Android applications made the cut and why.

1. eRecorder: Voice memo recorder

This free application (there's also a paid version without advertisements) works great out of the box. With zero configuration, you can record memos, meetings, and more. And although eRecorder (Figure A) isn't resplendent with features, what it does offer should be just enough for anyone looking for a solid recorder that outperforms the built-in Android app. Here are some of the eRecorder features:
  • Low: 8KHz, Medium: 22.05KHz, High: 44.1KHz
  • A simple interface
  • Audio import/export
  • Save to Dropbox and SoundCloud or share with text message
  • Unlimited recording time
  • Memo tagging
Figure A

eRecorder running on the Verizon-branded Razr Maxx HD.

Pros for business

  • Outstanding pick up, even in larger rooms
  • Background recording (record while using other apps)
  • 3G file transfer
  • Auto-save when incoming call interrupts recording

Cons for business

  • Few playback features
  • Can't control recording or playback with physical device buttons
  • No way to convert files or save them in different formats
  • No voice-activated recording or silence skipping
  • No Bluetooth support

2. Smart Voice Recorder

This app goes a bit further than eRecorder (Figure B), making it a better choice for business users who are looking for a bit more control. With Smart Voice Recorder, you can skip silences, configure sample rates, calibrate and test your mic, and determine where recordings are saved.

Smart Voice Recorder does a fantastic job of recording single person memos and group meetings. The quality of the audio is surprisingly good (for a free app), and the skip silence feature goes a long way to shrink recording size.

Figure B

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Pros for business

  • Silence skip
  • Date-based naming
  • Record from 8kHz (phone quality) to 44.1 kHz (CD quality)
  • Background recording
  • Mic calibration and testing (manual or auto)
  • Built-in share (Bluetooth, email, Gmail, text, etc)

Cons for business

  • No playback options
  • No Bluetooth mic support
  • No save to cloud services
  • No voice-activated recording

3. VoiceRecorder Pro

If you're looking for a voice recorder that allows you to do timed recordings, considering purchasing VoiceRecorder Pro for $3.00 (USD). You can set the start time and the duration, and then just wait for the recording to begin. This is a fantastic method to keep you from forgetting to record important meetings or other business-related events. VoiceRecorder Pro is the paid version of the free Voice Recorder, which is a much lesser application.

The quality of recordings with VoiceRecorder Pro is solid — you can change from low, middle, and high quality — and you can convert your files (the default is .wav) into .mp3 format.

Another very nice feature is time tagging. During a recording, if you open the Time Tag slider (on left side of the interface), you can tap the Time Tag button, and a window will appear. In that window, type a name for the time tag, and click Save. You should now see the time tags appear as you play back the file (Figure C). Figure C

Tap the Next Tag button to jump to the next time tag in the file.

Pros for business

  • Timed recordings
  • Convert to .mp3 format
  • Timed tagging makes for quick jumps to specific sections
  • Set mail sending settings (Subject and To fields)
  • Background recording
  • Hide voice recordings from music player
  • Forward and reverse in playback

Cons for business

  • No Bluetooth support
  • No voice-activated recording

4. Voice PRO

If you're looking for a mac daddy recorder, you should definitely shell out $12.96 (USD) for Voice PRO. This app is designed for recording music, so you can add special effects, alter tempos, edit, convert (even convert YouTube videos to audio), and much more. One of the most helpful features for business users is the Voice to Text feature (Figure D), which converts recorded memos to text. The recording needs to be clear (extraneous sounds can effect conversion results), and it's not always 100% accurate; but when it is accurate, the text can be synthesized or exported for use. Figure D

Converting voice to text takes a few steps, the first of which is done from the FX menu.

Voice PRO offers a lot of features that probably aren't warranted for business memo usage (such as the adding of background music, remove vocals, etc). However, the features it does offer make this one of the best tools for the task you will find.

Pros for business

  • Voice to Text
  • Speed control
  • Edit/splice files
  • Convert to various formats
  • Time tagging
  • Background recording
  • Call recording
  • Insert tag notes
  • Bluetooth support

Cons for business

  • More features than necessary
  • Not a "one button" app

If you're looking for an application to help you record meetings, memos, briefings, and more, you owe it to yourself to give one of these apps a try. Out of this selection, you'll certainly find a tool that will give you everything you need for business-ready voice recordings. Did your favorite voice recording app make my list? If not, be sure to tell us what your favorite recording app is (and why) in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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