It’s handy to be able to quickly take a verbal note, to capture a
memorable moment, or to record a meeting or interview. To use your
iPhone for such purposes, you can employ the free iTalk Recorder
from Griffin Technology (better known for iPod and iPhone
accessories). And the company’s first foray into iPhone software is
an impressive one.
iTalk can use the iPhone’s built-in microphone. To use iTalk
with the 2G iPod touch, you need a headset with a microphone; for
example, an iPhone headset, Apple’s In- Ear Headphones with Remote
and Mic, or one of Griffin’s own compatible adapters.
iTalk Recorder’s recording screen is simple and straightforward.
You choose a recording quality–Good, Better, or Best–and then you
tap the large red Press To Record button. Recording length is
limited only by the available space on your iPhone or iPod touch.
(You can give the recording a name beforehand or afterwards.) The
button changes to a large green Recording button that displays the
current recording time; below that is a visual level meter, along
with text displaying the date and time the recording was started,
the recording quality, and a live-updated indicator of the
recording’s file size.
Griffin has included some thoughtful recording features. The
first is that the screen can auto-rotate 180 degrees; this lets you
view the screen properly even if you turn the iPhone or iPod Touch
upside-down. Second, you can press the Sleep/Wake button to turn
off the screen and prolong battery life during recording; iTalk
Recorder will continue to record.
One way in which iTalk Recorder differs from most other iPhone
recording apps I’ve seen is that it doesn’t allow you to e-mail
recordings. (Retronyms’ Recorder, for example, allows you to
e-mail recordings, albeit with some limitations.) Part of the
reason for this omission is the size of recordings: a one-minute
iTalk voice memo will be over 1.2MB in size at the lowest quality
level. Instead, the company provides a free desktop program, iTalk Sync,
that connects to your iPhone over a wireless network to let you
copy your recordings directly.
Having used both Griffin’s approach and the e-mail approach, I
find transferring audio files to my computer using iTalk Sync to be
much faster–and more convenient–than sending via e-mail: you can
transfer multiple files at once, and iTalk Sync’s interface is
easier to work with than sending each file via a separate email
message. That said, if you frequently record on the go and you need
to get your recordings to someone else immediately via e-mail,
iTalk isn’t the right voice recorder for you. It would be useful if
Griffin added the capability to e-mail small recording files.
There are a few minor glitches with iTalk that Griffin says will
be fixed in the next version–for example, your iPhone’s Region
Format must be set to United States in order to save recordings.
But overall I’ve found it to be an excellent voice recorder that
stands out among the many me-too recording apps.
The standard version of iTalk is free, but shows small ads at
the bottom of the screen during use. I found these ads relatively
unobtrusive, but if you object, an ad-free version, iTalk Recorder Premium, is available for
Note: This link takes you to the vendor’s site. From
there, you can follow the link to the iTunes App Store, where you
can download the latest version of the software.