Posts Tagged

audio

Unless you’re a radio producer, the days of needing dedicated voice recorders are long behind us. Mobile phones and tablets have built-in microphones that are perfectly acceptable for private use in listening back on interviews, meetings, lectures, or random musings. And they even tend to do alright nowadays with music at concerts.

But to get good-quality audio, you still need to do some tweaking. And there are apps for that. I’ve searched high and low for the best advanced audio recording apps, all of which include powerful features that help you get the sound just right. If you only want to record quick voice memos, these will all be overkill, but for the professionals who need clear, crisp audio on a budget, they might be just the ticket.
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It is blatantly apparent that journalism is no longer an exclusive vocation. Anyone can become a respected expert simply by publishing a successful blog, and on-the-ground news gathering is now open to any individual equipped with a smartphone. Even traditional professional media outlets are now moving with the times and embracing the phone; the Chicago Sun-Times recently replaced its entire photography department by making iPhones standard issue among its reporters.

There is a difference, however, between the simplistic recording of current events, and great journalism. Truly to captivate a reader, listener, or viewer, a journalist must tell a story and provide a coherent narrative. In most cases, the ability to do this is not a talent, but rather, a learned skill. How much better, then, would Average Joe’s news gathering be if he were to learn this skill? Significantly so, in all likelihood.

That is the idea behind Storymaker, a new Android offering which aims to educate everyone in the art of capturing and presenting the stories around them. This beta app provides a library of tutorials, and pre-built cookie cutter stories to build your report around. The concept is an interesting one, but can an app really turn us all into high class correspondents? Let’s find out…

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Before we get any further, I should come clean — I’m a die-hard Winamp fan. I began using the desktop version back in 1997 and it suited my needs over the years as my music collection grew. When I got my first Android phone, I immediately sought out Winamp’s app for the platform and enjoyed the interface as well as the desktop-to-mobile wifi syncing. But I soon wanted more from my music player and started trying out everything the Play Store had to offer. I still haven’t found a favorite, but GoneMAD Music Player sure comes close.

Perfect for power users, GoneMAD Music Player is packed to the gills with features and configurable options to tweak the app to do your exact bidding. From detailed playback control to lockscreen and homescreen widgets, passing by smart playlists, gesture support and configurable multi-band EQ, this player has got it all. Let’s see how well it handles tuneage with some real-world testing, and how it stacks up against the competition.

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When it comes to media playback on the desktop, few media players enjoy the kind of ubiquitous love that VLC media player from VideoLan does. Over the last few years, VLC has become *the* app of choice for playing all kinds of video and audio files without the hassle of worrying about comapatibility and downloading codecs. The app has been available on a whole host of platforms including Mac, Windows and Linux, but has taken a while to arrive on mobile operating systems — barring a short unofficial stint on iOS before being pulled from the App Store.

All that is about to change now, with the release of the public beta of VLC Media Player for Android on the Play Store. Although it wasn’t the most full featured of apps when it was announced a few months back, the development team has been hard at work adding features at a steady pace along with UI and compatibility enhancements. We will take a look at the current version of the app to try and see how well it stacks up against the host of very capable alternatives that have already established themselves on Android.

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Android devices are often overlooked as tools for musical production. While the selection of suitable apps lacks some of the diversity and big names present in the iOS App Store, there are still ample ways to translate your musical thoughts to reality.

In this roundup, I’m going to highlight some of the best ways to turn your Android into something of a music mate. The apps aren’t all solely for composing, but will provide musical assistance where required and all will fit perfectly on any musician’s device.

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Zombies, Run! is a exquisitely fun and hugely original fitness app. It’s essentially a running game supported by an audio adventure, which itself comes across a little like a radio play. All you have to do is put your earphones in and go for a run. The story unravels as you progress and the audio elements play in between your own music playlist.

If you’ve used apps like Runkeeper or Couch-to-5K, Zombies, Run! offers a very cool twist.

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As an avid music fan, it’s important that I carry some tunes with me wherever I go – which should explain why I still tote around my 120GB iPod Classic. I’ve had music playback-capable phones for quite a while now, but none of them offered what you’d describe as a listening experience. With a smartphone however, it’s a completely different ball game. In a good way.

There are several options when it comes to music player apps for Android devices, including the fairly competent stock app. I’ve been more partial to Winamp though, mostly because I’m very familiar with the desktop version – and I thought that’d be the last music player I’d need to try. That’s when I discovered n7player. It’s slick, it’s well-designed, and it showcases your music collection elegantly. But is beauty only skin-deep? Let’s turn up the volume and find out.

n7player's Music Library (L - zoomed out, R - zoomed in)

n7player's Music Library (L - zoomed out, R - zoomed in)

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Ringtones have different purposes for different people. For some, they are simply a way of discerning their ringer from everyone else’s; for others, they’re used to be able to listen to their favourite song whenever someone contacts them; and for a few, they’re picked for their comedic value.

For years the word “ringtone” was associated with a small handful of jingles – particularly Nokia’s (in)famous one – but in the smartphone age notification tones can range from T-Pain’s newest song to Yoda informing you of a new email. Whatever you look for in a ringtone, you’re bound to find one you’ll love with this selection of ringtone apps.

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