Recorder for iPhone review

The iPhone’s virtual keyboard is fine for taking short notes, but it’s not practical to transcribe a conversation or preserve a sudden, brilliant idea. Retronyms’ Recorder lets you make recordings on the fly and transfer them by WiFi or email.

A button at the bottom of the main screen triggers audio capture. While you’re recording, meters help monitor the sound level, although you can’t adjust input sensitivity if the volume isn’t right. Recorder saves sounds in the Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF), compatible with all Macs and Windows PCs. The default lower-quality setting is fine for most applications. It uses only 1MB a minute, so there’s plenty of room even on an 8GB iPhone. (Recorder’s high-quality setting uses five times as much memory.)

To send a recording by email, Recorder uploads the sound file to Retronyms’ server and creates an outgoing message with a link to the file. Although you can’t email recordings longer than five minutes, even at the lower-quality setting, you can transfer them to a computer wirelessly. Tapping the sync button displays an IP address that you can type into any browser on the same network to show a list of your recordings, ready to download.

Note that while Recorder works on the iPhone, iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch, it won’t work on original touch models – the second-generation touch supports audio recording via the headphone jack, while the original model doesn’t.

OUR VERDICT

Recorder won’t let you save phone calls – a limitation of Apple’s development software – nor can you set it to record on schedule. We were also surprised to find that the app keeps on listening after you put the iPhone to sleep. Recorder is a useful tool, and a bargain.

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