On August 4, 2008, we reviewed a collection of 13 different voice recorder applications for the iPhone in a roundup entitled iPhone Gems: Every Voice Recorder, Reviewed. This review contains a review of one application from that roundup; additional comparative details can be found in the original full story.
The iPhone comes with a built-in microphone, but didn’t have any voice recording software to take advantage of that feature. Today, less than a month after the opening of the App Store, there are 13 different pieces of voice recorder software. Note that unlike many of the App Store programs, these particular applications are designed specifically for the iPhone, not the iPod touch. Additionally, the base recording quality of all of the apps that we reviewed was roughly equivalent. A few of the apps we reviewed offered higher-quality recording settings, which resulted in slightly improved fidelity when recording from music sources or from distant sources, such as in a lecture hall. However, for voice recording quality purposes, all of the applications that we reviewed provided acceptable quality with virtually no distinguishable differences.
In terms of space taken up by voice recordings, based on the apps that did provide storage information or transfer of voice memos, you can expect your recordings to take approximately 1MB per minute of recorded audio on average, versus 2.5MB per minute on the iPod 5G’s, classic’s and nano’s low-quality mode. Notably, the numbers are not directly comparable because iPhone recordings are currently made in Apple’s Core Audio Format (CAF) rather than WAV, the format used by iPods. The space consumed will also vary somewhat with applications that provide different quality settings, however with the monaural microphone on the iPhone, there’s no current need to record in stereo fidelity. A near-term iPhone software update is expected to add MP3 encoding as an alternative to CAF for greater compatibility of the recorded files.
iRecorder is a polished and iPhone-like, if basic, voice recording program. There is nothing particularly special about it, but it works as advertised, and the $1 asking price is worth it compared to the free solutions which are presently available. Start iRecorder and you are shown the typical list of current memos and recording options:
The controls are fairly intuitive, and there’s really not much to say about this app other than the fact that it makes very nice use of the standard iPhone UI design and works as expected. It offers no additional features beyond the ability to rename your recordings, and like EccoNote does not provide any other recording information (so if you rename your recording you’ll lose the time stamp). However, if you’re looking for a quick and inexpensive application just to record audio with no other frills, it’s not a bad choice.
Company and Price
Company: Simple Touch Software
Compatible: iPhone, iPhone 3G