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Treo 650 Voice Recording

Over the past year I’ve tested a couple of voice recording applications for my Treo but each time I’ve found something sufficiently ‘painful’ about their functionality to give up from using them on a regular basis. 

Happily however, I recently discovered the Audacity recorder which is by far the best application in this category.

Audacity Audio is a company primarily dedicated to developing professional audio solutions for business but it also offers its Audacity DVR Personal Edition ($29.99) for a more general consumer audience.  I tested both the Personal and Professional editions but I will limit my review to the first since it is likely to be of interest to most Treonauts.

Audacity DVR Personal allows you to record voice memos in WAV format (PCM 8kHz) directly to your SD card or to internal memory and the average file size is 1MB per minute of recording.  Initiating your first recording is obviously and simply just a one click ‘Record’ button away. 


To control the pause/stop etc. while in Recording mode (second image above) you can use either the buttons on the screen or any of the navigation buttons and 5Way which can be customized separately.  More importantly for me was the relatively accidental discovery that I can use my Seidio 2–in-1 Headset’s built-in microphone so that instead of having to hold my Treo 650 to my face and speak into its mic I can now leisurely record without even holding it (this only works with the Treo 650).  I was also able to confirm that recordings are made in stereo since audio was coming through fine on both earbuds of my headset.

The Playing mode offers similar functionality to the Recording with the added option to either append an existing recording at the end of a memo or over any recorded portion and also to forward or backward in xx second increments which are preset in Preferences.  There is unfortunately not yet an ‘insert’ option where you could for example add a voice note after the 20sec section without overwriting your previous recording – I was told by the company that this is quite technically complex but that they are looking to implement this in a future Pro version.

Although the graphics are a little poor, both the Recording and Playing screens above offer excellent information about your recording as well as easy access to other functionalities.  You can see playing time, total duration, available time (from space on card or internal), volume controls, all relevant buttons, filename and an alarm graphic so that you can this voice memo to automatically play at a preset date and time.


The first screenshot above shows the Audacity Audio Alarm pop-up which I had set as a test.  Additionally, the main menu options that you’ll want to set at the beginning are just two.  The Preferences option deals with simple volume, forward and backward second jump increments, file name structure and file location on the card.  The Button Setup option is the one that you’ll probably want to familiarize yourself the most with since it offers quite significant customization but requires a little learning.

Naturally, once you’ve completed your recording you can then share it via beaming or email in a simple attachment.  Audacity DVR also comes with a conduit which will automatically copy your recordings to a folder on your PC every time that you hotsync.  Alternatively, you can copy the files from your SD card with an external card reader or instead use Card Export II if you prefer to do this directly from your Treo.

There’s no doubt that the combination of great recording and playback functionality with fully 5Way navigation button support, built-in alarm and option to record from a wired headset make Audacity DVR Personal Edition an excellent choice if you’re looking to create and share voice memos while on the go.

Audacity DVR Personal Edition
Audacity DVR Professional Edition
Seidio 2–in-1 Headset

Treonauts love to record what’s on their minds

Posted by Andrew on June 21, 2005 at 02:09 PM

Treo Software | Audio

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by Bob Golden | Jun 23, 2005 12:12:01 PM

The Pro edition is fantastic, allowing me to record at 22 kHz, so that the recording can be imported to Dragon Naturally Speaking 8.0 and translated. This product turns the Treo 650 into an excellent voice recorder!
The personal edition is fine, but Dragon won't recognize recordings made at 8 or 11 kHz.

by Slithy | Jun 25, 2005 9:20:11 PM

Just a niggling detail - the recorder almost certainly records in mono, not stereo. The mic is mono, and so it is not possible to record in stereo. On playback, it would be sending the same mono signal to both headphone channels.

by eric hagerman | Aug 5, 2005 2:43:19 PM

Question: Does this allow one to record a cellphone conversation, or only ambient sound (à la a simple microcassette recorder)?

by Ben | Jan 18, 2006 11:13:12 AM

Looking for unlocked codes for Mvoice.

by Aidan | Apr 3, 2007 8:56:11 PM

we use MAc at work is there any products that will work for mac users

by Steven Gould | Apr 6, 2007 4:19:20 PM

The inability to decompress the audio files on anything but a PC makes this one a non-shop for me. I don't care about the lack of auto-sync. I'm perfectly happy moving the files myself. But there isn't an ap out there that can read the compressed files on the Mac and the non-compressed files are too big.

I'm giving it a pass.

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