Monday, 18 March 2013

Recorder Pro

Recorder Pro
By Dava Consulting
Available for iOS platform
In my opinion this is the best audio recording app on the iOS platform.  I have used a number of the audio apps, this app in particularl for over four years.   The app provides you with the choice of audio quality settings low 8kHz, 22kHz to 44.1kHz, and audio formats non-compressed AIFF and WAV to compressed (IMA4 codec) AIFC and CAF.   I personally have my app permanently setup as low 8kHz and AIFC format, this means I can audio record 1/2hr of audio and the file is still small enough to be emailed, approximately 8Mb.  
The app provides the functionality to create folders and rename your recordings, enabling you to organise your recordings effectively.   The audio recording functionality provides record, pause, auto pause (sensitivity can be adjusted), play, rewrite and delete.   The app is fully integrated with mail app and provides access to all your contacts. 
The app fulfills my requirements as an academic in providing audio feedback in an efficient and timely fashion for students.   I use the app twofold:
1.     To provide feedback on student assessment submissions that require very short feedback turn around, (Nortcliffe and Middleton, 2011), the majority students found the audio a good enough quality, more useful and help them improve.   Students found audio more beneficial method of feedback than other methods of feedback, as shown by the following student comments;
“I preferred it, better than written feedback, more descriptive whereas written feedback is quite basic.”
“It just feels more so [interactive], you get written feedback doesn’t feel the same as someone speaking to you”
2.     To audio record feedback conversations with students, whether they take place in a formal, informal or semi formal setting, typically often these are project supervision sessions, (Nortcliffe, 2011).   All project students found the audio quality sufficient and the methodology extremely beneficial during the project supervision, as supported by the following students’ reflections:
“The benefit of audio recording is being able to rewind to pick up on details that you may have missed the first time of hearing. I typically listened to the audio files a few times.”
It reminded me of the discussions that I had with my supervisor. It also helped me in taking down appropriate changes to the required documents.”
It should be noted at the institution I am employed the student email address is configured to their student number, thus making it very straight forward to email the audio file to the learner.  I always also provide instructions in the email message on how to play the file in QuickTime, iTunes, or RealPlayer.   However, for a small proportion of Linux using students (anti-apple and MS) the file format is a problem.  I have asked if the developers would develop MP3 codec format as would make the audio recordings more universally accessible.
Nortcliffe, A, and Middleton, A. (2011) Smartphone feedback: using an iPhone to improve the distribution of audio feedback, International Journal of Electrical Engineering Education Special Edition 48(3), 280-293, 2011
Nortcliffe, A. (2011) About using iPhones/iTouches for project supervision, in Media-enhanced feedback: case studies and methods. ASSET and MELSIG (Ed) A. Middleton, available on-line:, 2011, last viewed 6th January 2013

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