A great blackmail or business tool

First impressions

We had been looking for some sort of recording device for a while to take to interviews and the like and then it hit us – why not just find an app for that? After all, we had an iPhone 3GS (not the latest technology, we’ll grant you), so surely we could use that instead? We had bought a mini tape recorder more years ago than we’d care to admit, and although it had dutifully recorded many interesting sessions, including an interview with Josh Groban we might add, it had finally given up the ghost with a pitiful squeaking followed by ravenous tape munching.

We did some research on the web and found a recommendation of iRecorder. It wasn’t expensive and apparently worked very well. Music to our ears. We downloaded it and started giving it a try. Not bad at all!

How it works

It really couldn’t be simpler. You download the app, and there are two buttons at the bottom of the screen: “Play” and “Record”. The app is obviously only as good as its surroundings, so if you start recording in a really noisy place, you may not be able to hear your subject clearly. But so long as your device is pretty close to whatever or whomever you are trying to record, you should get a nice clear copy.

You can pause your recording (and then resume when you’re ready) or stop it altogether. Once you’ve stopped, a file is created with the date, time the recording began and its length. You can rename it and email it direct from the app if you so desire.

You can also download your recordings onto your computer or iTunes if you hit the arrow pointing down in the upper left-hand corner. This takes you to the two options. One is a web address that you simply have to enter on your machine, and it will bring up your entire list of recordings. You can then save them individually or as a group wherever you like. The other directs you to iTunes File Sharing.

Once you’ve finished with any of your recordings, you can click on “Edit” and delete them if you wish.

When we used it

We had to go to the launching of Appleton’s 50 year rum in Jamaica last year, and really needed something that could capture all the speeches as our shorthand is slim to nonexistent. We had already downloaded and tried out the iRecorder app and it seemed to be a good choice; but how would it hold up at an event like this?

There we were in Kingston and Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller was speaking at the podium. We managed to get our iPhone fairly close to her, but didn’t want to move it in any further lest one of her security detail thought it was a weapon of some sort and smashed it to smithereens.

When the evening was done, we got our iPhone and listened to some of the recordings through its speaker. Hmmm … there was a lot of interference from the noise of the crowd and general surroundings.

We weren’t sure if it would be clear enough. However, when we got back home and plugged in our earphones, we were surprised at the quality. Even with the noise in the background and the distance the iPhone was from the prime minister, we could still hear every word she said. Pretty impressive!

We have since used this handy app at many interviews, and one of the best things about it is that it’s always with us. We may have left our tape recorder at home in the past by mistake, but as we always have our iPhone nearby, we’re never without our iRecorder app.

Final thoughts

When you think of what handheld tape and digital recording devices cost compared to this app, it’s an absolute no-brainer. It is a very simple app – no equalizers or fancy doohickeys that only confuse and annoy. It’s just a great sound recorder that you’ll always have in your pocket.

Cheap. Clear sound. Very easy to use.

None really; great for the money.

iRecorder Pro
Cost: $2.99
Devices: iOS and Android
Rating: E for Everyone

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