Mobile Audio Apps

By Will Sullivan on November 18, 2010 2 Comments Ideas

Mobile Journalism Reporting Tools Guide

Mobile Audio Apps

  VC Audio Pro Monle Garageband
Cost $5.99 $9.99 $4.99
Size 9.1 MB 1.1 MB 369 MB
Must record in app Yes (or import track into iTunes first) Yes  
Multitrack Editing Yes Yes  
Export/Sharing Allows for sharing via IP address entered online Wi-fi, FTP, Audio-copy/paste, Intua Pasteboard Email/iTunes
Render Time Very Fast Slow  
Volume Change Yes Yes  
Upload From iTunes Library Yes No  
Compatible iOS 3.1+ iOS 3.0+  
Recommended? Highly Recommended Not Recommended Recommended
Where to purchase iTunes App Store iTunes App Store iTunes App Store
Manufacturer VeriCorder Technology, Inc. Ochen K. Apple Inc.
  AudioBoo Blue FiRe AudioNote
Cost Free Free Free
Size 1.8 MB 7.2 MB 2.5 MB
Export/Sharing Publish to AudioBoo FTP N/A (Can on full version)
Geo-tagged Yes Yes Yes
Change Quality Levels No Yes No
Timer (Record For...) No Yes No
Compatible with... iOS 3.1+, Android iOS 3.0+ iOS 3.1.3+
Recommended? Recommended Recommended Recommended
Where to purchase iTunes App Store iTunes App Store iTunes App Store
Manufacturer Best Before Media Ltd. Blue Microphones Luminant Software

VC Audio Pro

Review by: Jennifer Elston

VC Audio Pro 

VC Audio Pro
VC Audio Pro

In the beginning of this project when I was experimenting with different audio and video applications, I thought that VeriCorder was going to be my least favorite of them all. They look technically heavy with all kind of editing features that you can do. These applications really do have everything that you find on a computer, which, frankly, scared me. I didn't want to have to do all of the fine tweaking I do on a computer on such a little screen. That being said… VeriCorder products are now my favorite applications. While other applications such as ReelDirector may offer audio slideshows, these apps are not as advanced as VeriCorder. I am by no means trying to sound like a commercial for VeriCorder products, but I have definitely had the best luck with them.

VC Audio is audio editing application from the Canadian-based company. Like all of VeriCorder's products, you can buy a Consumer edition for a price, in this case $5.99, or you if you set up a paid MIMS subscription, you can get the Networks version for free upon setup. Our school has an account with VeriCorder, so we used the Networks version. From the home page, you can manage your settings by clicking on the wheel/cog in the upper right corner. There you can turn airplane mode on and off. This allows for better recording and disables the phone features of your device. You can also manage integration settings such as SoundCloud, email as ringtone and email as M4A (AAC).

If you go back to the home screen, you can click on either the folder (where you will find audio clips and projects, or you can click on the mic to record. You MUST record in VC Audio to have the audio to edit in the program. This wasn't obvious to me and I recorded a few things in Voice Memos hoping to move it over later, only to find that wasn't an option. If you didn't record in the application, there is one bit of hope. If you can email the sound clip to yourself and get it on your iTunes, then you can import from iTunes on VC Audio.

In the editing mode, you can insert a clip by pressing the plus sign. and select a clip. You can listen to the clip, double click it and drag the sliders to where you want the clip to start and stop. Then drag your selection down onto one of the boxes below the waveform. When you are done, push the check mark. There are a lot of more advanced features on this screen. In order from left to right, you can play, zoom, undo/redo, go back to the beginning of the clip, remove the last selection you made, trash, crop, add another clip, export, close and save. Back on the home screen, the buttons are play, add a clip, a building blocks like button where you can see all of your clips and drag and reorder as you please. (This is especially helpful for checking if you have some empty space between clips). Then, there is undo/redo, zoom, back to beginning, two volume editing choices, text, export and home.

The two audio buttons confused me the most at the beginning. I was expecting to make in and out points similar to a computer audio editing program, but that is not the case. The first button which is kind of v-shaped allows you to make the ends louder or quieter. If you select a clip before you do this, it can make a clip fade out a little softer. The second button makes either a clip or the whole selection increase or decrease a percentage.

This didn't work for me every time. Sometimes I would select a clip and the whole track would turn up or down. It worried me a little.

Sharing is very simple - to get the information off of my phone, I click on Sharing and then Start Server. From there, it gives you an IP address that you can enter in a browser on your computer You can download your files from there. This is definitely the easiest part.

All in all, I really like VeriCorder, but if is definitely built for serious audio editing. You can do simple things in the program, but this is meant for those who know what they are doing.


Review by: Amanda Heisey

Monle Audio Editing  

Monle Audio Editing
Monle Audio Editing

I really think that Monle is the best editing application for mobile journalism, if only because of its multitrack editing format. If you're used to editing in multitrack, you're going to be incredibly frustrating with some of the other audio editing applications.

Monle does allow you to fade clips in and out of each other. You can overlap clips and control the volume of each individual clip. It works well if you're planning on doing a voiceover for a slideshow, radio piece, or podcast it would be perfect, but you can't use too many audio bites or the application glitches. Also, the clips can't be too long or the application doesn't handle them well. Basically, keep it short and simple.

You can't add audio from other programs stored elsewhere on your iPhone, so if you decide to go with this application be sure to record in Monle. You can't bring in exterior songs from iTunes either. You can audiocopy and audiopaste between apps, but only certain applications use this function. You can also upload or download to/from an FTP host, but at times it's difficult to get the finished audio off the program.

It offers a really helpful video that communicates exactly how to work the editing functions and the capturing functions. Without these, the program would’ve taken even longer to warm up to. It's not difficult to learn but it's definitely quicker to watch the video than to go through trial and error.

I still ran into complications while trying to edit. The application closed on me multiple times. If this happens, you've lost everything you've been working on unless you saved your session. I highly recommend saving frequently. I also had an issue when I tried to delete a large portion of a clip. The program would freeze on me, and I would have to let it rest for a few minutes before I opened it again. This starts to happen more as you add clips to the session.

I feel like this application has potential in the future, it just needs more updates. It has some flaws right now but after they're worked out it might be one of the most useful field editing tools.


Review by: Amanda Heisey

AudioBoo Social Audio Application  

AudioBoo Social Audio Application
AudioBoo Social Audio Application

I would describe AudioBoo as the Twitter of audio clips. A person can post their short audio clip to AudioBoo and the other users located near the author can click on their post to listen in. It's an interesting concept, and not unlike tweets and Facebook status updates. This way, the application allows people to really experience where the author is and what is happening. It's a simple record and publish format that can be picked up by any social media user.

Radio personalities, show hosts and musicians mostly use the application right now. It's not widely used in certain areas, so the selection of Boos you can listen to is small. In a bigger city you would have more of a chance to hear interesting and diverse Boos.

You cannot edit on AudioBoo, so once you press "Publish" you have to be ready for your recording to hit the social media waves. I highly suggest checking it out; it's a good tool to use to promote an event before or, as it is happening. For breaking news it has the potential of being a tool used by journalists as they are covering the story. People could turn to this application for current stories breaking in different parts of the world. It has the potential of being more intense, informational, and engaging as Twitter.

Blue FiRe

Review by: Andrew Dumas

Blue FiRe for Blue Mikey 

Blue FiRe for Blue Mikey
Blue FiRe for Blue Mikey

Blue FiRe is a recording application for the iPhone that does exactly that. It lacks many bells and whistles, but it is an effective recording tool. Blue Microphones also makes a mic called the Blue Mikey, which has been reviewed elsewhere on this site. The difference between recording with the Blue Mikey using this application and recording with the iPhone's internal mic is marked, but I can't say for certain whether this application really is, as the quickstart recording suggests, optimized for use with that hardware, or if it's just a difference in microphone quality.

Either way, when you want to actually record something, it's a simple process. The screen will flip 180 degrees so that you can point your microphone at your target. Then you just hit the "plus" button, and then press record. You can select the options on the bottom of the screen without effecting the recording, meaning you can change the quality, size, total length, name and location of the clip. You can also set markers. Once you're done, you can then export your audio file using the FTP setting, but make sure that your computer and your phone are on the same WiFi.

Other than that, there isn't much more to this application. It's a pretty solid choice for field recording, but there's no editing ability included in it, so it's literally just a recording tool. If you're wanting more from your application, then I suggest you look elsewhere.


Review by: Jennifer Elston

AudioNote Lite  

AudioNote Lite
AudioNote Lite

AudioNote Lite is a free recorder and notepad in one. You can create yourself a voice memo to yourself about what work you need to accomplish that night. To create a new note, press the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner. As the recording goes on, you can press the text "T" tool and jot yourself notes about important things mentioned in the recording. When you type, it creates a timecode of your text. When you listen to the note in playback mode later, you can press the link on the text and it will start from that moment.

My favorite function of AudioNote is that you can make a drawing by pushing the "/" slash key. This works the same as the text tool. If you are giving yourself directions and want to draw a left and then a right, you can do this. Like the text function, when you press the link on the drawings, it will take you to that timecode that you made the drawings in the recording. You can make the drawing during the initial recording, or during playback.

This application is great because it is free, but it always asks you to upgrade to the full version when you open the app. The upgraded version has unlimited recording and you can share notes by email and over Wi-Fi. That is the main problem with AudioNote - you cannot send the note anywhere. I recommend this application if you are just recording something simple, like you grocery list or even voice notes on ideas for your next radio script. If you are just recording a note for yourself, then it is fine, but if you need the audio to be sent somewhere, such as an email address or an audio editing application, you better fork over $4.99.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)


Monle and more

Thank you for sharing this. its very helpful. I do agree that Monle is fantastic, but it will not work properly on my iPhone 4 .
There is two crusual things. It crashes in most mixdows and with use of Cut/pase function with Report It Live . Sorry to say. There is more people mentioning this on the web.

Fire 2 is much better than 1

They've improved the app with Fire 2 adding a bunch of new recording and sharing features. I use it to post clips to Soundcloud, and do minor editing on the fly. The single track is limiting but I'm getting the hang of it. It has one glitch that bugs me when adding a photo to a sound clip (for sharing), but other than that I highly recommend it for audio field reporting.

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