Mobility optimize

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.

14 comments
AnnaFlurry
AnnaFlurry

I recommend Recordense audio recorder for Android. It allows to put tags while recording and transcribing, categorize audio neatly and has a quick-start widget.

AnnaFlurry
AnnaFlurry


I use Recordense audio recorder for Android. I can put tags there that allows to transcribe audio easier. Alsoo category system is neat and colouful.

cheesle
cheesle

This article is old, since its author date I've discovered an app called dictomate which offers excellent functionality including a desktop widget record button that I find most convenient in my line of work.  Another cool feature is the ability to add bookmarks and play back from these bookmarked places.


A good job I'd say...  Its free too so it gets my recommendation!


https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.handroid.dictomatelite&hl=en_GB

dbarysk
dbarysk

I just found "Recorder with Tags" – it is extremely easy to use and looks amazing! Looks like I'll stick to it for now. Also it has an ability to put a tag during recording and come back to it later – very useful.

UTTAM P
UTTAM P

I used "Smart Voice Recorder MP3" voice recorder app and I will definitely recommend others. This has hardware button activated background recording, Direct MP3 recording, ‘Sort By’: name, date, size, ascending/descending; share; delete; rename and search capabilities and auto upload to Google Drive feature. Enjoy!

ion_tichy
ion_tichy

I have used 3 alternative voice recorders for personal use, outdoors, and in meetings. All are available from Google Play. Personal Call & Voice Recorder - free and paid versions available - record (11 kHz - 44.1 kHz) and playback - output audio format : 3GP, MP4, AMR, WAV (free version) - able to capture phone call conversations - able to capture voice recordings both personal and in meetings - able to manage voice recordings - able to save recordings to alternate directory/SD card (paid version) - rich complement of settings to configure PCM Recorder - free and paid versions available - very clean simple interface - record (8 kHz - 48 kHz) and playback - output audio format : WAV (free version) - able to capture voice recordings both personal and in meetings - very simple voice recording manager - able to save recordings to alternate directory/SD card (paid version) - very few settings in the free version Easy Voice Recorder - free and paid versions available - record (8 kHz - 44.1 kHz) and playback - output audio format : AMR, AAC, PCM/WAV (free version) - able to save recordings to alternate directory/SD card (paid version) - able to capture voice recordings both personal and in meetings - rich complement of settings to configure I tend to use PCM Recorder for its simplicity and good voice quality both inside rooms and outside in open spaces when paired with my Samsung Galaxy Note (SGN1) smartphone. I use PCM Call & Voice Recording mostly to capture phone call conversations. Easy Voice Recorder is usable as well and I keep it as a backup for testing and comparison purposes.

briesmith
briesmith

Are there any good quality/well featured Voice Recorders which control the characteristics of the phone/tablet microphone? I am particularly interested in an app that will make the mic unidirectional, omni directional by degrees etc by choice of setting. Whether this is even physically possible given the physical characteristics of the mics involved I'm not sure but any input would be gratefully received.

BuckG
BuckG

Did you try Tape-a-Talk? The free version's been pretty good to me. Files format as either .WAV (high quality) or .3GP (lower quality), sample rates from 8 to 44.1 kHz, playback in app, files are sharable any way you like directly from the file system.

mikeh
mikeh

As a recording engineer, I think you might be asking for a bit much. The directional characteristics of a microphone are baked into the design. Once a sound has been converted into an electrical signal, many properties of the signal can be manipulated. Determining polar coordinates of discrete sound sources and systematically removing specific sources would be extremely challenging in a phone or tablet app. We routinely remove or attenuate unwanted sounds in the studio, after the fact - fixing it in the mix, if you will. If you need to control pickup at the source, a multi-pattern external mic is probably your best bet. The Samson CO3U is a well regarded inexpensive USB mic that features switchable cardiod, omnidirectional, and figure-eight patterns.

Matthew G. Davidson
Matthew G. Davidson

Tape-a-Talk has worked well for me too. The other app I like to utilize is Evernote. You can click the microphone for a new voice note instead of entering text. And how about the Voice2Note app/service where you call a phone number and record voice notes then Voice2Note will convert any voice notes to text, place them in Evernote and they're searchable. Check it out: http://voice2note.dial2do.com/

briesmith
briesmith

This is why I made reference in my post to "physically possible", I was concerned that directional characteristics were achieved/achievable through physical design rather than software. I have an Olympus LS 10 digital recorder which supports an external mic; would the Samson you mention work with this device or is there an alternative you mention? The application is personal recording - recording a single voice - in a choral setting (so that individual performance while singing "live" can be assessed).