There are a tremendous assortment of audio recording apps in Google Play’s app database. My favorite recording apps tend to have 2 common characteristics: free and easy-to-use interface. Admittedly, I haven’t tested ever recording app; not even close — I think I’ve officially tested 3. My favorites, for no particular reason than they work, are Smart Voice Recorder or Voice Recorder — I know, original names.
However, I’m not really beholden to either of the apps, so when the developers of the Recordense ($3.34) app actually followed the “pitch a post” process, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to test their app.
Recordense — you know, for recording
Overall, I like the look and feel of Recordense app. The controls are easy to figure out, and the user interface is aesthetically pleasing.
I’m confident that most people will be able to figure out the app’s functions without this review.
However, before I move on much further I want to emphasize that most voice recording apps are not as robust as some dictation apps. Think of voice recorders as something closely similar to microcassette or tape — if people even know what those are — recorders; usually, there’s only one way to record, and that’s forward. Dictation apps, especially dedicated dictation apps, allow the user to scrub around in the recording and insert text without affecting the overall recording. Voice recorders capture what’s said, sometimes even eliminating the ability to go forward. If you’re okay with that, or you want an app to capture the conversation, then Recordense might be your go-to guy.
Looking at the interface
Simply select the red record icon to open the recording menu screen.
Once you’re on the recording menu, simply click the gigantic “RECORD” button — if you couldn’t figure that out . . . — to begin your digital recording. You’ll see a timer that shows the current recording length and the amount of time remaining on your device.
The time remaining depends on your device’s storage capacity. I should mention that if you want to pause or resume a recording, simply click the record button.
The green tag icon to the right of the record button enables you to add tags to help identify the recording.
Tags, for the uninitiated, are keywords search engines (and your device) can use to quickly identify content. In this case, tags “help mark important moments across your recording.” I don’t use tags efficiently, so I’m not about to tell you how to do it. You should certainly try it out.
Recordense also allows you to categorize your recording, which I can understand and actually makes finding your records a little less difficult.
I also like that you can color each category, so if that’s your way of making things pretty and organizing content, go ahead.
The category colors will determine how each recording gets grouped. Your recordings will also have the category color on their background.
Recordense does allow you to share these recordings with anyone in a variety of methods.
Recordense is the first voice recorder that I’ve seen with a widget pack — I realize there are others, please don’t email me or comment about all of the other apps; I’m using this statement as a transition/opening sentence — which is certainly an interesting concept.
There are two different widgets, a bar and single recording, to add power to the program. I’m not sure how much I’d use these, though having quick access to a recording could come in handy some times.
That sounds wonderful, but how do the actual recordings sound?
Recordense has three recording levels: low, medium, and high.
I didn’t notice any difference between the quality of the recording, so if you’re worried about space, I’d select the lowest quality audio setting. Here’s a comparison of three levels:
Some small flaws
I found two flaws, which aren’t really flaws, but more appropriately, “quirks.” First, Recordense only records the audio in mono format, so if you’re a stereophonic person, kiss that goodbye. In most instances you won’t have a problem — dictation often sounds like monotone conversations — and you really can’t tell (check out the recordings above).
The second issue though is a bit more troublesome, and involves file naming and sharing. Recordense allows you to name each recording. Therefore, you’d suspect that when you sent the recording to another person, Recordense would also send the named file. That’s not the case since Recordense saves each recording as an individually named and numbered (Recording 1, Recording 2, etc.) file. When you share the file, the name remains “Recording 1.m4a”, or whatever, unless you change the name. Again.
Sometimes though, like when you send the file to Dropbox, you can’t change the file name before you upload. Thus, you’ll need to remember the file and perhaps the contents at another time.
This is more of a quirk and hassle than any other issue. But, if I wanted to have to rename my files again, I wouldn’t change the names in the first place. Of course, there are a dozen and one solutions or ways to handle this problem — start each recording with “this is a memo for Mr. X’s file”, or “this is an interview with John Smith” — so it’s not really a significant issue in the end.
Recordense works well and is easy to figure out. For most readers, those two positives will be significant selling points. The two flaws aren’t really enormous issues, so most attorneys can find simple “work arounds” for those quirks. Finally, at $3.43, Recordense is a powerful recording solution.
However, its $3.43 selling point is also its biggest problem. Recordense just isn’t significantly robust enough for what it does — I like the idea of tags, widgets, and categories, but I probably wouldn’t use them — especially when compared to true dictation apps, like Dictadroid ($2.99). Recordense is a semi-costly, “one trick pony“. I think a more reasonable price point — full disclosure, my app came free — is $1.99. Fortunately, Recordense offers a “lite” version, which I think most general users can get by with.
The lite version has some limited features — only high quality recording, fewer tags and categories — but when you need to quickly record a voice, Recordense can get that done.
If you can’t think of enough times when Recordense would come in handy (besides Dictation), you’re probably not thinking hard enough. Here are some suggestions (check your state’s laws on the feasibility):
- Initial client interviews
- Non-recorded statements with insurance adjusters
- Accident scene investigations
- Witness interviews
Instead of only writing the information down, why not record it also? You can send the recording back to the office for transcription, or use other services to get a written copy. I should mention that Android’s sharing feature is not secure (since someone will make a comment). If you’re worried about that (it’s still attorney work product) you should find another method to deliver files, or wait until you’re back at the office.
I’m giving Recordense 4 of 5 stars.