Tested version: 2.0.7
Latest version: 2.2.8
Requires Android: from 1.5
Every then and now you come across a situation where you may need to record short audio message with your phone on the fly. Unfortunately, Android lacks a built-in tool for voice memos, so a separate application needs to be installed. In today’s test I’m taking a good look at Voice Recorder, an app with an appealing range of functions.
Features & Use
Before I get started reviewing this app, I would like to mention the fact that Voice Recorder also comes with a widget. The widget is easy to find in your normal widget list and is made up of a start/stop button with a time display. The best thing about is that you can record audio clips in a flash with just one single click.
Let’s now turn our attention to the actual app: Voice Recorder is very minimalist in its interface. The main screen is composed of a time display at the top, a record button and a scrollable list of recorded files. This means that you can easily access you recorded memos via the app itself. You can also open the files directly from the SD card by looking in the com.tokasiki.android.voicerecorder Folder on your memory card.
Sadly, the files don’t include their user-generated names and are listed only according to time and date. As you can see, it’s much easier and faster to listen to your files directly with the app.
A Save As window opens up automatically once you’ve recorded a memo and have pressed the Stop button. Here you can name the file (you can do this via audio input if available on your device), save the file or save and send (via Gmail or Bluetooth). The sending feature worked without any problem during our test. The time and date of the audio recording becomes its file name by default if no other name is assigned. A speaker is displayed in the time display during recording. Before talking about the menu and other options, I would like to point out a few things relating to the audio quality.
Unfortunately, Voice Recorder saves memos as 3GP files rather than mp3s. Most mobile phones won’t have a problem with 3GP files, but this isn’t the case with computers. Most PCs require an extra player or the appropriate plug-ins to be able to play 3GPs; an mp3 format would have been a lot more user-friendly. The sound quality is unreliable just like with most mobile phones whether Nokias, Motorolas or Siemens. The voice memos come out a bit too quiet and high-pitched, but are nonetheless easy to understand. Forget about recording sounds or music because the sound quality will kill your ears. There’s really no excuse for not making the necessary improvements given the fact that modern phones have enough memory, faster processors and better mics. I still haven’t come across a sound recorder that produced really good results.
When you select a recorded audio file with Voice Recorder, you have the following options available:
- Send (With Gmail or Bluetooth)
- Ringtone (Set Recording as Ringtone)
- Edit Title
Additional features are available in the main menu (accessible via the menu button):
- Search by Time and Date
- Timer Recording: Starts recording at a given time automatically from 5 to 180 minutes.
- Preferences: Recording options (Non-Stop, Hide Voice Files from Android Music Player) and email options (Subject/Recipient)
- Donation/Option: You can purchase extra plug-ins that give you more options: Save in mp3 format ($1.80), Record phone calls ($1.40) and send recordings automatically per email ($0.90)
It should be mentioned that the volume settings return to normal after you quit Voice Recorder. When you start-up Voice Recorder the next time, the volume returns to the same level as it was in your last session.
Screen & Controls
Voice Recorder is very well-organized and therefore extremely easy to use. The widget is also very useful and let’s you record audio directly from your home screen.
Speed & Stability
I found a small glitch in the app that repeated itself multiple times. If you don’t select anything in the Save window, the screen of your Android phone shuts off as usual. The problem is that afterwards Voice Recorder ceases to respond to any attempts to record any new memos. You have to either force quit the app using the task manager or delete any audio file – both solutions work. Otherwise, I didn’t encounter any other issues. Voice Recorder runs fast and is definitely reliable.
This is a tricky one. On the one hand, Voice Recorder can be downloaded for free, but on the other hand, most of its best features can only be downloaded at a cost. The mp3 feature should be built-in to the free version of the app. Regardless of all these drawbacks, Voice Recorder is a speech recorder that works well, but – like most of its competitors - it definitely is lacking in terms of voice quality.
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