There’s no magic to this: you are able to pick up an iPhone from the shop and record, edit and file audio that is broadcast quality without installing a single piece of software.
Just press the red button and it starts recording. As you speak, the app writes a waveform out as it records. To get the best quality sound direct the mic (on the bottom of the iPhone, near the Home button) towards your mouth – about 20cm away. If you’re interviewing someone try to keep movements to a minimum so stand close to your guest. Two golden rules:
1. Don’t worry about invading their body space (but be aware that you are doing and be prepared to step back a bit if they’re unhappy). Culturally, it may be better to stand next to each other rather than facing one another (it stops the invasion feeling).
2. Clean your teeth and carry a packet of mints around with you!
To stop recording you simply press the red button again. This is, in effect, like pressing “pause” because you can press the red button again and it starts recording again. If you’ve finished recording you should press the word DONE. Beware – until you do this it isn’t saved. You could lose the whole interview. So, press the red button and it brings up a dialog box to give your recording a name (the recording is date and time stamped so you can see when it was recorded).
The screen will then change to this one.
If you click on the play icon it’ll play from beginning to end. If you’re happy with it you can click on the SEND icon below the play button and it’ll then give you the standard choices to send the file – Messaging it or Emailing it. As long as the file is under 10mb in size that’s all you have to do – that equates to 14 minutes (and not a second more!) of audio.
But what if you want to do a bit of editing? Well, if you feel like getting your hands a bit mucky you can ‘top and tail’ the audio – sending just the bits you want. Press the Edit button and you’ll see the waveform. Now tap the Crop button (it’s blue and on the right hand side). The blue playhead turns into two red edit handles, one at the beginning of the clip and one at the end. Once you’ve arranged them to your liking, tap Trim. It gives you an option to Trim Original or Save As New Recording. It’s up to you which you choose but saving as a new recording keeps the original there for ‘versioning’ at a later date.
The ability to email out your edited audio means, as a reporter, that you can send your finished item to the producer back at base. In effect, that’s all that Mobile Journalism is. Don’t believe anyone who tries to tell you it’s hard. It isn’t. Welcome to the club.