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Chapter 4. Multimedia > Record Voice Memos

Hack 26. Record Voice Memos

Sometimes it is faster and easier to speak a memo than it is to write one.

Some Palm devices come equipped to record voice memos. Devices such as the Tungsten C, Tungsten T, Tungsten T3, and Zire 72 come with the Voice Memo application. Even on these devices, however, you will need to purchase a hands-free headset from palmOne to record voice memos. The headset has a button for recording memos. Push the button to start recording, push it again to stop. Or you can start and stop recording from the Voice Memo application itself.

People seem to have better luck accessing voice memos on their Palm device if the memos are stored on a memory card rather than in internal memory.

Voice Memo syncs with the desktop. On Windows, there is a plug-in for the desktop that allows you to manage and listen to voice memos.

4.5.1. Software Solutions

For Tungsten, Treo, and some Zire models, you have another choice. You can buy software that makes use of a headset to record voice memos. These programs provide the same sorts of functions as the built-in Voice Memo application, except they work on a wider range of devices. Personal Audio Recorder PRO.

Personal Audio Recorder PRO (http://www.toysoft.ca, see Figure 4-14) provides many useful features, including one button recording, playback of memos on the Palm device (including a pause function), and importing and exporting of memos from and to a memory card. Once you have voice memos on a memory card, you can use a memory card reader on your PC to transfer the voice memos. Also, Personal Audio Recorder PRO allows you to email voice memos and set voice memos as alarms. Palm Dictate.

Palm Dictate (http://www.nch.com.au/palmdictate/, Figure 4-15) isn't designed for voice memos in particular. Instead, it is designed for people who need to do dictation and have it typed up. Palm Dictate allows you to dictate into your Palm device, and then it automatically emails the audio out to be transcribed. There are also versions of Palm Dictate available that encrypt the emails to comply with legal regulations.

Figure 4-14. Personal Audio Recorder PRO

Figure 4-15. Palm Dictate mVoice.

mVoice (http://www.motionapps.com) is a voice memo recorder for Treos. It comes with the standard features: storing voice memos in internal memory or on a memory card, playing memos, appending to existing memos, and moving memos between internal memory and a memory card. You can transfer voice messages from one Palm device to another by email or by beaming them via infrared. SoundRec.

SoundRec (http://www.infinityball.com) is a free voice memo recorder. It works on any Palm OS 5 device that has sound recording capabilities, such as the Treo 600. SoundRec supports one-touch recording and exporting to .wav files and the ability to adjust the recording quality (and how much memory the recordings take).

4.5.2. Hardware Solutions

If you want a hardware solution, then you have two choices: get a voice recorder stylus [Hack #51] or find a Palm III or equivalent [Hack #50]. For the Palm III solution, you will also need to locate a device called goVox—the tips for finding a cheap Palm apply equally well to finding a goVox. The goVox is a hardware voice recorder that hooks into a Palm III-class device.

4.5.3. Hacking the Hack

Personal Audio Recorder stores its memos in the Audio folder on your memory card as .wav files. Some music players may be able to play this format directly. For others, you can copy the files to the desktop, convert them from .wav into a more widely recognized format (.mp3 or .ogg) and copy them back to your memory card. This allows you to play the voice memos using a music player instead of the voice memo application. Thus, you can listen to all of your voice memos back-to-back, or you can create play lists containing specific sets of memos.

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