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annotate recordingsIf you’re a student or someone who regularly records lectures, meetings, or music, a new feature rich iOS app called Recordium (free for a limited time) allows you to manage, highlight, annotate, edit, and share recordings right from an iPhone.

Though Recordium includes a long list of special features, it has a fun and simple design with a pretty intuitive user interface. It is about as easy to start audio recordings in Recordium as it is in Apple’s default Recorder app, though Recordium runs rings around Voice Memos when it comes to what can be done with audio.

Two years ago, I highlighted and reviewed Blue Microphone’s Blue FiRe The Best Free Audio Recorder For The iPhone The Best Free Audio Recorder For The iPhone Read More as the best audio recorder app for the iPhone, but Recordium now surpasses it.

How It Works

Recordium opens with a simple clean interface. It’s set up with a few default folders for the type of recordings (lectures, meetings, ideas, music) users may capture. Tapping the small blue recording button at the bottom of the homepage immediately sets Recordium into action to annotate recordings.

annotate recordings

When it comes to recording, Recordium doesn’t waste your time by requiring needless taps. When you tap the blue button, Recordium takes you to the recording page and automatically begins recording.

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voice recordings

The red button on the Recording page includes a timer for the recording, and you simply need to tap the button to pause it. The tiny black button next to it, stops a recording and Recordium automatically saves it.

So far, what I’ve described is pretty much what Apple’s Recorder does, but say you want to bookmark or highlight parts of a lecture as you record. Recordium makes that easy. Simply hit the yellow highlighter button. Recordium annotates recordings by marking the spot and continues to record.

The highlight button is pretty cool, but notice the tiny little AP button on the right side. Recordium will automatically pause the recording if the sound you’re recording drops to a designated sound decimal, which you can adjust. This auto-pause is useful for keeping a file size down and excluding gaps in the recording.

voice recordings

Recordium also allows you to adjust the audio input gain (left side icon button), which means if you find the sound or voice you’re recording to be rather low, you can increase the gain to perhaps better the audio. But note, the increase in gain may add a layer of grainy white noise to the recording. Unfortunately, there’s no audio scale or wave length to depict audio levels during recordings, so you may want to test the gain levels, or better yet, move closer to the audio source.

Editing and Annotating

The editing and annotation features of Recordium are probably what makes the app most useful. If you simply need basic recordings, Apple’s Recorder should suffice, but if you need to review various parts of your recordings several times, Recordium does what you need.

You can tap and play Recordium recordings on the opening screen. Tapping the right arrow button on a recording will take you to the Playback page and, as you might expect in an advanced app like this, you can skip ahead and backwards in five second intervals.

voice recordings

You’ll also notice that there is time, date and file size information for each recording.

You can add highlight markers during a recording or in playback mode. While the highlighter is useful by itself, Recordium doesn’t stop there. You can also annotate your highlights or any part of the blue timeline by dragging the time scrubber to where you want to make the annotation and then tapping the + button. (Apple and Amazon could certainly use this feature for their ebook reader apps iBooks Vs. Kindle - Which Is Better? [iPad] iBooks Vs. Kindle - Which Is Better? [iPad] A while ago I wrote a post about places to find free books for the iPad. In that post, I compared the iPad to designated eReaders and expressed the opinion that it’s not a worthy... Read More .)

From there you can add a note, photo, or tag. Each type of annotation is color coded, but you can’t add a photo and note in the same annotation. You can add more than one annotation to the same spot, but you will need to move it over to tap and review it.

voice annotated presentations

Nevertheless, the design of the annotation tools is beautifully done, making the app feel comfortable and practical to use. You can also tap-and-hold annotation markers to bring up the delete option.

Editing Features

Recordium also supports editing functions including Delete, Trim, and Snip. To access these, tap the editing button on the right side of the highlighter button. The first time you use this feature, Recordium will show instructions for how to make these edits.

voice annotated presentations

The Snip button is very useful in that you can select a part of the recording to snip and create a new separate file. This is particularly useful if you need to replay a part of a recording several times.

On the larger iPad version of Recordium, the interface is much easier to use in landscape orientation. You can zoom in and out on the timeline of both versions of the app, but it would be great if you could temporarily hide or move the player buttons out of the way to provide better access to the timeline, especially on the iPhone version.

voice annotated presentations

Other Features

Recordium is nicely designed for labeling and managing your recordings into existing or custom folders. When you slide an audio file to the right, it reveals options for exporting the file to other supporting applications, including Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox There's more to Dropbox than you might think: you can use it for file sharing, backing up your data, syncing files between computers and even remotely control your computer. Read More , Google Drive SkyDrive vs Google Drive - Which Is Best for Office Productivity? SkyDrive vs Google Drive - Which Is Best for Office Productivity? As the push towards web apps has evolved, we're now met with two powerful cloud solutions -- SkyDrive and Google Drive. These two options offer all the tools needed for file synchronization and office productivity.... Read More , Evernote, and Apple’s iMovie How To Edit Video On Your iPhone Using iMovie How To Edit Video On Your iPhone Using iMovie The HD quality of the iPhone 4 and 4S video camera app is just as good as many consumer video cameras. While it may be a stretch to shoot hour-long video productions with an iPhone,... Read More  app. You can also email selected files, rename a title, move a file to a select folder, or delete it.

The app’s preferences allow you to change the audio quality of recordings, from best CD Quality to the storage-aware Low. Recordium supports AIFF, WAV, CAF, and MP4 audio file formats. In the Settings you can also reset the tutorial so that instructional images will pop-up when you use different parts of the app.

More To Come

Finally, instead of asking you to rate the app, Recordium includes a Wish List button, indicating that the developers definitely want to respond to the wishes and needs of the app’s users. You can actually vote on features that have already been requested for the app, which include Dropbox Sync, iCloud Support, Password protection, and a Tag List.

annotate recordings

If you want excellent sound quality in your recordings, you will probably want to look into Tim’s article on mobile audio adapters and microphone accessories Better iPhone Audio & Video: Adapters, Microphones And Accessories For Superior Sound [iPhone] Better iPhone Audio & Video: Adapters, Microphones And Accessories For Superior Sound [iPhone] Last week I rounded up a few of the best apps for capturing video and the accessories you might want to consider if you want to get the most out of your iPhone’s video capabilities.... Read More . Recordium will probably provide everything else you need for managing and editing your recordings on the go. Let us know what you think of this unique app, below.

Download: Recordium for iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad (Free since launch, for a limited time)

Are there any other audio recorder apps as good as Recordium? Add your recommendations in the comments!

  1. LGilman
    September 22, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Can one append/insert new audio with an existing file? If so, or if they would add that simple feature, this two-buck app would rival a $500 Olympus voice recorder . . . no, surpass it, with the auto backup features. I'm buying this, alright, but would like to push the developers to extend the edit capability to include not only snipping but adding. Not a huge challenge one would think . . .

  2. Henders
    July 5, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I'm sure it's a fantastic product, but far too complicated for a newbie like me! I can't even find how to delete my 'practice' files! Good luck with it - I know that it will benefit more advanced users. But for me it's back to basics and my little Panasonic voice recorder. Thanks anyway. Regards

    • Bakari Chavanu
      July 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Henders, look back in the article under the "Other Features" section. It shows an image of the finger gesture movement, in which you slide a file to the right to reveal a set of actions that include putting the file in the trash. If you're new to the iPhone, it's definitely not a obvious feature. Don't give up on the app if you think you could really use it. It does have some very good features.

  3. Kyem Ghosh
    June 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Loved this app.. I was looking for a descent voice recording app and I was using Quick voice lite. Never liked the app! N I didn't want to pay for pro app to share my voice more than 3MB. But this app, its awesome!! Even it was paid (well it is free for some time), I would have bought it. Editing voice was awesome! But while snipping, the app was crashing. Obviously, the developers asked not to get the new update and they promised to fix bugs and make it perfect, so I didn't write a review yet. Well even till now, it amazed me!! 5stars for the app. And thanks Bakari, without your article, neither I could have known this app nor could I get it for free... Thanks

    • Kyem Ghosh
      June 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Oh!! One more feature!!! I can transfer the recordings to my pc directly over wifi. Man!!! Too great!!!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Kyem, thanks for your feedback. The developers definitely put a lot of time and consideration in developing the app, and it looks as if they are not done. This is the kind of app that makes the iPhone worth owning.

      • Kyem Ghosh
        June 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm

        Yeah.. Really the developers deserve a huge appriciation. Bugs are minor and temporary. I'm never worried about bugs! Well I'm using the app in my iPad and really the big screen adds up big space to do more... Enjoying:)

        • Bakari Chavanu
          June 11, 2013 at 10:53 pm

          I bet it's also easier to edit on the iPad, than on the iPhone. This app is probably very useful for students who want to record and study lectures. Are you a student?

        • Kyem Ghosh
          June 12, 2013 at 2:16 am

          Yes! A really big space for editing. Yes I'm a student cum Musician cum a writer for some local journals (freelancer). And I've started using this app the fullest since yesterday after downloading. I've got recorded two lectures of 45 mins each. Recorded some clips when I was humming n singing a song. Well I could trim certain areas with unwanted sound to reduce memory usage. And obviously the mp4 format is awesome. So good quality in such a low size!! Really!! It should be picked up as an editor's choice app.

        • Kyem Ghosh
          June 12, 2013 at 2:20 am

          One more thing.. The clips can be organized in folders and can be shared no matter what the file size is. One of the best thing in the app...

        • Kyem Ghosh
          June 12, 2013 at 2:56 am

          Got the update... Major bugs are fixed... 5/5 for recordium

        • Bakari Chavanu
          June 15, 2013 at 6:20 pm

          I was just telling my daughter about using this app, for she's reluctant to take written notes in class, and I told her that because she can annotate the audio recordings, it's a great and quick way to review the lectures. I'm looking forward to using it when I attend my next presentation.

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