APP OF THE DAY: Easy Voice Recorder Free (Android)
A baby's first words, a memo to yourself or recording an important interview - all things for which you'll need a voice recorder. In times gone by, that would be a job for the dictaphone, but these days smartphones are more than capable of stepping up to the plate.
So, today's app recommendation is Easy Voice Recorder, which has both paid and free versions. We tested the free version, but there are more features - as you would expect - in the paid-for option.
Easy Voice Recorder Free
- Free (Pro is £2.56)
- Google Play
Of course, the actual features of Easy Voice Recorder are predictable. The app is split in to two parts. The first is the recording section. There's not much to confuse here: you'll see a counter which tells you how much you've recorded along with information about the quality and data rate. There's also a handy counter that tells you for how long you can record before your storage is full.
At the bottom, there are three control buttons. On the left, a record control; in the middle, a pause button;and on the right, a stop button. Having both pause and stop is handy because pausing means you don't generate a new file each time, but create one big file. We found this handy when someone was going off at a tangent and we didn't want to wade through it again later.
Just because the app is free doesn't mean it doesn't have some impressive settings. You can select from AMR, AAC or PCM recording modes. PCM is the best, and doesn't apply much compression to the sound files. AMR is the "worst" quality, with AAC being in the middle. To be honest, for most things AAC would be totally fine and is well supported, as are the WAV files generated by the PCM option.
You can also chose the sample rate, which is handy for controlling the quality to space ratio. The default is 16000hz, which is brilliant sounding. You can, however drop the quality down to telephone levels, or push it up to CD quality. To be honest, CD quality is probably asking a bit much of the microphone built in to most phones, but the quality out of our Razr was surprisingly good.
You can chose filenames too, and have dates appended to them for clarity. There's an option to play audio, either internally or trigger the stock Android player. We found the internal option worked really well though, and can't see much reason for changing.
There are also options for troubleshooting. For example, with the default settings meant that when the phone went to sleep, the recording stopped. You can fix this here, so make sure you try these settings before heading out for that interview of a lifetime!
The second section is simpler, and really just lets you see and play back your recordings. As with most Android apps, you can also share files in the usual manner. Which might be handy - we can certainly think of times it would be useful to quickly upload a clip to our Google Drive or Dropbox.
So if you need a quick and simple recorder, look no further: Easy Voice Recorder gets our vote.