What is the best Android recording app?
April 2, 2014 2:37 PM   Subscribe

I am in search of a very good recording app for my Samsung Galaxy S3 that has the ability to transfer the audio to a computer. I need it to record from a few feet away to possibly capturing a whole room. I have tried a few, but they had a lot of "wind" noise. The latest one I've tried is Smart Voice, and when I was about to transfer the file to dropbox so I could try playing it on my computer, it warned me about data charges, so I didn't do it because I don't know how much the charges were going to be. Thank you for any suggestions you have.
posted by madonna of the unloved to Technology (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
when I was about to transfer the file to dropbox so I could try playing it on my computer, it warned me about data charges

Well, of course using your phone's data might incur data charges... it also might not. It depends on your plan. It is easy to find out how much the charges might be: consult your mobile carrier.
posted by kindall at 2:39 PM on April 2, 2014

Best answer: I use Tape Machine. It's pretty good. Upload to Dropbox over wi-fi if you can.
posted by jonathanbell at 2:52 PM on April 2, 2014

The data charge warning is generic to let you know you're using your cell plan's 3G/4G data instead of WiFi. If that's a concern for you, for whatever app you end up using, just connect your phone to WiFi before you upload anything.
posted by Partial Law at 2:52 PM on April 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

You should be able to transfer the recording files through USB connection. Just figure out how to do that for whatever app you're using.

No need to add to the costs (and energy consumption) of network traffic and data storage for something like this.
posted by amtho at 3:04 PM on April 2, 2014

Best answer: Seconding Tape Machine. It allows you to monitor audio, adjust levels, select which microphone (front, rear, Bluetooth) to use, fiddle with quality and compression parameters, and do some basic editing.
posted by unmake at 4:00 PM on April 2, 2014

Response by poster: I am always connected to wifi at home, and that is where I will always be uploading the files. Even when connected to wifi, it says "file size of the recording is 162.1MB, operator's data charges may be applied" when I'm trying to upload to dropbox.
posted by madonna of the unloved at 5:19 PM on April 2, 2014

Best answer: The warning that "operator's data charges may be applied" is just a generic warning, as others have said. Once you've connected to WiFi, it's fine to just click "ok" and go ahead with the transfer - you shouldn't be charged for the data.

As for a recording app, "Tape-a-Talk" seems to get good reviews. However, if you're having the same problems regardless of which app you use, you might want to consider that the problem has something to do with your phone's microphone or the conditions in which you're trying to record.
posted by ersatzhuman at 5:59 PM on April 2, 2014

Best answer: Hi, i think i've used the app you're talking about here - is it "smart voice recorder"? Under that apps settings, in Dialogs & Confirmations, there is a toggle for "high data usage-warn before sending a large file". This (i suspect) would explain why you are getting the warning, regardless of whether you are uploading via wifi or 3g.

I have used the app a bit for work, and found it picked up everything quite well. That said, i just looked at TapeMachine, and despite it being "not-free", it looks better than the smart voice app.
posted by kev23f at 4:28 AM on April 3, 2014

Best answer: Tapemachine is the popular choice for recording on Android. However, in response to this part of your question in particular...

I have tried a few, but they had a lot of "wind" noise.

Switching to a different recording app isn't going to solve that problem. You're still recording using the same hardware, which is where you're getting the noise. You should play around with the positioning of your phone to reduce the noise, and consider using an external microphone.

You can use an external mic with most Android phones using an 1/8" TRRS cable ($3 on eBay, or DIY using this tutorial) and then you can attach any inexpensive 600-ohm unbalanced dynamic mic (Minidisc recorder mic, most Dictaphone microphones, etc.) and record that way. It might take some fiddling but that's likely to get you the best audio quality.

No amount of postprocessing will ever compare to getting a clean input signal into the recorder to start with.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:45 AM on April 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

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