One of the many advantages of carrying an all-in-one device like a smartphone is the ability to record notes to myself, whether it’s short reminders or dictation of study notes. A device with some storage space can even store longer recordings including lectures and meetings. The old micro-cassette recorders and other voice recording technologies have easily been made obsolete by the near-ubiquitous recording features of the current generation of phones.
The only drawback for me was the AMR format that is standard with Android sound recording apps. If I’m going to be recording, I want to use the standard MP3 format that can be played on pretty much whatever device or software I’m using and can be recorded in various bit rates to balance the need for quality against the length of the recording and the space available. After comparing a few apps, I settled on the Hi-Q MP3 Recorder from Yuku.
This app does what all great software does; it provides a user-friendly interface with the most important features within easy reach while still providing some powerful options off to the side for users who don’t mind digging a little deeper. The front screen is intuitive with four basic icons; the standard Record and Stop buttons and icons for the list of recordings and program settings. The settings include an option to ask for a file name on the completion of a recording so there’s the choice of either saving recordings with a specific name or letting the software use a time stamp for the name.
The main screen also features a reminder of how much space is left for recording and this can be displayed in hours (which is the default) or bytes. Having some previous experience in working with sound files and formats, I found some other interesting and useful features under the options screens.
- Both bit rate and sample rate can be changed as needed although the sample size setting is stored in the Troubleshooting section and the program recommends against changing it unless necessary. The bit rate setting actually shows the kilobytes / second storage rate with eight settings from 32 kbps up to 320 kbps. Sample sizes of 22, 44 and 48 khz are available in addition to the unspecified default setting.
- Mono and stereo recording depending on your device’s capabilities.
- The minimum free space will stop recording if your device’s space falls below the specified setting.
- The program’s memory-resident widget runs in the notification tray and provides quick access to the recording function without having to load the program from the apps list.
The only thing that I see as missing from this app is a noise cancellation feature like the one found in the basic Sound Recorder app that came with my Alcatel phone. Otherwise, I’ve found this to be a handy recording program with good sound quality for anyone who prefers the MP3 format.
Application: Hi-Q MP3 Recorder
Description: MP3 voice and audio recording for Android devices
Version reviewed: 1.18.5
Full version: $3.99 – includes widget to record with single tap.
Free version available – recordings limited to 10 minutes.