app talk: Audio Podcasts Made Simple

Instructors who want to make audio podcasts or other audio content available to their students may think they need computers, digital recorders and microphones to accomplish the task, but may overlook the simple solution of using their smart phone’s memo feature or free software that is available.  While the available Voice Memos that comes with ios7 can be used, I would suggest downloading the free app “Voice Record Pro (HD)”, which has more useful features.  This review will concentrate on this Apple-only app, but there are also good solutions for Android users as well.  One notable Android app is “Smart Voice Recorder”.

Besides ease of use, Voice Recorder Pro’s most important feature is the capability to convert from the Apple-specific format (AAC) to the more widely used MP3.  When you complete your recording, you can easily email it to one of the college’s multimedia specialists, who will post it to the streaming server and send you a link to go in Blackboard.  It’s as easy as that.

When you open up Voice Record Pro HD, tap on the red REC button to bring up the record quality interface and choose from low, medium and high.  Tap the REC button again to start the recording.  A large VU meter will appear and while speaking, the level indicator should approach the red 0 mark.  When recording, position the phone as close to your mouth as possible.  This may be done by stacking books or other items on a table in front of you to bring your phone up higher.  You can record straight through or you can pause and start again when you want to.  When you finish the recording, touch the stop button and you’ll see a screen with many options such as play, convert to MP3, send by email, change title and edit.  Use the edit/trim feature to delete blank space before and after your audio content.  If you’re happy with the recording, title it, convert it to MP3 and email it to us for posting.

Here is a quick summary of the directions:

  • Touch the ‘Record’ button to begin, then ‘Pause’ to take a break, and ‘Stop’ to finish your recording.
  • Touch the ‘Back’ button to navigate to a listing of all recordings made.
  • Selecting a recording will bring up a variety of share options including naming, editing and converting your file to an MP3 format.

There are many other voice recording apps available, but no cost, ease of use, mild editing capability, quick conversion to MP3 and good audio quality make it one of the best choices.

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