Going to a two-day workshop - would like to audio record on my MacBook
January 28, 2019 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I have to attend a two-day training session in mid-February, and I'd like to record the different speakers and presenters. I'm not going to hold up my iPhone for eight hours a day, but I am going to be taking notes on my laptop. Is there a good program for OSX or app for iOS that can do hours upon hours of audio recording?
posted by tzikeh to Technology (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think you'll also maybe need an external mic. Otherwise if you're using the keyboard, the internal mic will pick up those sounds as well. Or maybe experiment with the internal mic first, before you go.
posted by carter at 1:05 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]

Also, check out the legality of taping without everyone's consent. it varies by jurisdiction.
posted by maurreen at 1:07 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]

The two answers above this were my first thoughts. But, assuming everything's good on those ends, the standard Voice Memos app on iOS, or now included in MacOS Mojave, should do the job just fine.

(I also recommend an external mic.)
posted by General Malaise at 1:16 PM on January 28

If you don't have Mojave, Audacity is sort of the bog standard audio recorder.
posted by jessamyn at 1:42 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]

I would suggest breaking up the recording into chunks rather than recording for eight straight hours. It'll be far easier to work with, and if by chance there is a file issue, you won't lose everything.
posted by jonathanhughes at 1:55 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]

I like to use an app called AudioNote (there are versions for both Mac and iOS), which combines an audio recorder and a text editor. You start the recorder, and then your notes are associated with a timestamp in the audio. Hours and hours of undifferentiated audio are a complete pain to work through, but it's easy to type a quick note when you hear something you may want to refer back to, and then you can go back there and listen to just that bit later. There's a mix of free and paid versions, but there's a month trial on the paid version.

OneNote does this too, if you have Microsoft Office.

Agreed that you'll pick up a lot of keyboard sounds if you use your laptop's internal mic.
posted by zachlipton at 2:12 PM on January 28

In all honesty, you’re better off recording with your phone as your computer mic is pointed at you.
posted by captainscared at 5:09 PM on January 28

I use Voice Record Pro. It's great, has audio compression built in, and has never failed me.

Do not use the built in Voice Memos app on iOS. As recently as last year, an incoming call on the phone would cancel and delete an ongoing voice recording. I've had this happen to me twice -- an hour into a voice recording, a single call will mean that your recording is deleted.

If you're interested in searchable notes, would suggest finding a tool like the ones zachlipton recommends.
posted by suedehead at 5:49 PM on January 28

QuickTime Player actually does audio recording, it's built in to all recent OS X versions. Open it, then go to the File menu bar option and choose New Audio Recording. You can also choose an input device if you wanted to use a USB microphone. I've recorded hours of audio with it, I'm pretty sure you're just limited by disk space.
posted by odinsdream at 6:31 PM on January 28

I like Pear Note because it codes my notes with the audio.
posted by advicepig at 9:23 AM on January 29

I don’t have a specific recommendation but there are many external microphones for iPhones and iPads. Podcasts had the need and the market provided. You can get everything from standard omnidirectional mics to booms, from amateur to professional. Pairing this up with one of the apps recommended above could be a very good setup.
posted by tcv at 5:20 AM on February 2

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