Trending November 2023 # Spatial Audio Transforms Music, Says Alicia Keys And Springsteen Recording Engineer # Suggested December 2023 # Top 16 Popular

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Bob Clearmountain, the US recording engineer who mixed Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. album, says that he hopes Spatial Audio will bring back the days when people sat down and actively listened to music – instead of it simply being a background soundtrack to their lives.

Artist Alicia Keys says that it should, as it completely transforms the experience of listening to an album …

What is Spatial Audio, aka Dolby Atmos?

Spatial Audio is Apple’s marketing term for Dolby Atmos, likely chosen in an attempt to make it sound like an audio format exclusive to the company’s own products. It first launched on Apple Music a little over two years ago.

It’s a form of surround sound, but is significantly more sophisticated than the 5.1 and 7.1 implementations which preceded it. Here’s how What HiFi describes it:

Unlike traditional channel-based systems, Dolby Atmos doesn’t just send audio at discrete levels to each speaker. The technology can also produce up to 118 simultaneous sound objects, allowing the sound designer to place each sound and voice to exact points within the sound field rather than simply assign them to specific channels.

These objects can be manipulated and moved around within the space creating a convincing 3D soundstage.

Spatial Audio requires careful remixes

“The labels seem to be farming this stuff out and it isn’t always being done with the original artist or production team involved,” Clearmountain said. “I know that’s not always possible. But sometimes what comes back are just bad mixes — or strange mixes, anyway.”

Fellow producer and sound engineer Brad Wood agrees.

Wood — who has done mixes in consultation with the original artists as well as on his own — [said] “In general, you have to try to put the tracks into a speaker array so it doesn’t sound too jarring or gimmicky,” he said. “The goal is to feel like you’re sitting amongst these musicians as they’re performing. Like all mixing, it’s subjective, and how you approach it really depends on the music itself.”

Spatial Audio transforms music

But when it’s done right, they say, it really transforms the experience of listening to music.

“Music has become background noise for most people. It’s something in your headphones while you’re out doing other stuff,” he said. “When I was a teenager, I used to listen to an album three, four times through just sitting in front of my speakers, entranced.” That way of listening has disappeared, he said, but he’s hopeful that Atmos can bring it back, “if we’re able to get people to understand what it is and hear it the right way.”

Alicia Keys, who has so far had eight of her albums remixed for Dolby Atmos, is another big fan of the tech.

Keys said that engineers working on her albums “completely reimagined every note, every sound, every instrument, every voice. It sounds like you’ve never heard it before. I mean, I never even heard it like this before. It really is a new experience.”

I was a Dolby Atmos skeptic so far as music was concerned, but quickly discovered I was wrong.

The idea of messing with stereo signals to create an entirely artificial sense of three-dimensional space didn’t strike me as something I was likely to enjoy. The technique involves adjusting both the sound frequencies and phase timings to fool the ears into thinking that each element of the sound originates from a particular position in space. That seemed to me to have great potential to ruin, rather than enhance, the sound reproduction […]

I didn’t get any sense of distortion – the pure audio reproduction sounded as good as stereo. But the soundstage was significantly wider. I went back and forth with the settings, to switch Spatial Audio on and off, and there was definitely no placebo effect at play: this stuff works.

It’s not dissimilar to listening to the same track on a pair of closed-back headphones and then listening to it again on some open-back ones of equivalent quality. You get the sense that the room in which the music was recorded just became twice as big.

What’s your experience of Spatial Audio?

While the AirPods maker is keen to brand it as an Apple experience, you don’t need AirPods to experience it: you can do so on any third-party headphones, after toggling on the feature.

Photo: Caught In Joy/Unsplash

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Best Portable Audio Recording? Zoom H1 Review

Before actually owning the zoom h1, I did do my own research on the product. Everyone’s conclusion was that it felt like a cheap toy. However, I feel as though, while it is all plastic, it still feels sturdy.  I have dropped this mic before and it has yet to crack. (I hope it doesn’t of course!)  And upside to it being all plastic is that it is very light. The build itself is a very small mic intended for on the go usage. It might just be me, but there is something satisfying when you can buy an a product for use, and not have to worry about it getting scuffed up. Coming in an all plastic and cheap form actually makes me want to bring it around more. I toss it into my bag and go. And I think that’s a very important factor when considering this type of product to buy. Just don’t expect a tank when your buying this product. Keep in mind the satisfying buying price of it and you won’t have any complaints.

To be blunt the sound is fantastic.  With an onboard mic that you get with your typical DSLR, you’ll notice the sound levels are not equal. Every now and then I would record a conversation with two people, and while they are at the same exact distance from the camera, every now and then one voice would be extremely high while the other would be low.– Not with the zoom h1. If I aim the mic correctly, the audio is not only equal, but it is also accurate.Another problem that I had before using the Zoom h1 was the fact that my onboard mic picked up a certain humming noise in the background. The h1, as im sure many if not all external mics, fix this problem.  The Zoom h1 mic also removed the audio echo that I received with many other cameras. (Especially webcams)

I do not have a wind filter, as it does not come with one, but I have noticed, to no surprised, that in semi-windy condition, without a wind filter, it does pick up a lot of wind noise.  A LOT. Not a negative thing, that’s typical, but don’t be put off by it and buy a wind filter. (If you intend to work in windy conditions)

The Zoom H1 does cannot be directly connected into your camera. You must manually sync you audio. It could be a major pain, and it is something you definitely want to consider. I believe in the new Final Cut Pro X there is a way to automatically sync the audio, but even then, I would of course rather just have the audio recorded right into our DSLR. If this is a problem, you might want to consider the Zoom H1′s big brother: the Zoom H4n.

The zoom consumes only one AA battery, but I still wish it had a charging feature.  It also does have  tripod screw in so if you have an extra tripod you can mount it equally to your camera.

For a budget mic, I think it is a great product.  I do envy the Zoom H4n, but considering the price this product it is going for, I can’t complain much. It’s a mic, that I use to supplement everything, my DSLR, my webcam, and sometimes even my phone. The only downside I would have to say is, again, you have to manually sync the audio in post production. So do I recommend this mic? Yes, yes I do!

The Zoom H1, your portable audio recorder now the perfect supplement to any DSLR or video recording device. Small and affordable, but what does all of that sacrifice?

Cloud Engineer: Job Description And Salaries

What are the skills a cloud engineer must have?

Cloud engineers have several sub-categories; hence they require a precise or maybe a few distinctive sets of skills to expertise their title. Some of the must-have skills for cloud engineers to become highly skilled are listed below −

Database Skills − Cloud database is a system that manages and organizes the data in an IT system that can be private or public. Hence cloud engineers must possess the knowledge and skills of cloud database management such as Hadoop and MySQL.

Linux − This is a unique operating system that most companies use nowadays. Hence, Cloud engineers are expected to know and understand the administration, maintenance, architecture, and functioning of Linux servers.

Networking − Cloud engineers are expected to have the skill and understanding of public and virtual networks to work on expanding the networks.

Programming − One of the essential skills that a cloud engineer must possess is programming. Knowing programming and its languages is vital in making any cloud engineer come in high demand. Languages such as Java, Python, Golang, .NET, SQL, and PHP are popular programming languages in demand.

DevOps − It is a well-known framework for cloud engineers. Hence having an experience with DevOps can increase your value among employers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) DevOps are one of the skills a cloud engineer must have.

Understanding cloud providers− Technical cloud engineers need to understand the requirement. Everyone offers something; hence, what cloud engineers select for makes not only their skills but also increases their knowledge of the field. Hence understanding the cloud providers is important.

Understanding of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Web Services − Knowledge of open standards is vital for cloud engineers. Open standards such as SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), WSDL (Web Services Description Language), UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration), and XML (Extensible Markup Language) can help upskill your market value and importance to employers.

Recovery and Security − There is no denying that the security of the cloud has been a matter of concern of all time. Hence, the skill of keeping security and being capable of recovering from any loss is mandatory. A cloud database is a valuable asset in itself.

How can you become a cloud engineer?

Nowadays, there is a lot of competition for the position of cloud engineers, but the basic eligibility condition of this job is as below −

Education Qualification − To become a cloud engineer, have a Bachelor of Science in computer science. Similarly, work experience related to engineering or similar is required with skill sets. Also, many companies like to hire a candidate with a Master’s degree in Computer Science, but the job requirement varies.

Certification Required − Many well-known companies like to hire candidates with additional certifications as it’s a plus for their company. Hence apart from learning and skill, one must possess various relevant certificates to increase their value to the employer. A few of the certifications for cloud engineers in respective areas are:

Cloud security.



Programming languages.

Knowledge Required − Skill & practice is the key that plays a very important role in enhancing your demand in the market. Generally, it is seen that employers like to hire cloud engineers with 1 to 5 years of experience, which also includes knowledge of software development, open source technology, scripting languages, and system engineering.

In addition, a cloud engineer with a background in designing web services and building websites is a plus for the employer. With time cloud engineers are also expected to know different languages and gain hands-on experience. Top companies usually prefer candidates with experience and knowledge of AWS, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, Compute Engine, Docker, OpenStack, and Linux.

The benefits you get from being a cloud engineer

These engineers are a highly qualified professional who creates a solution for all the problems related to the cloud base. Usually, the work setting is office only, and they handle all working from there. Hence below are the benefits one gets by being a cloud engineer −

Not all the time is busy; hence workload is nominal to moderate.

It can help you save a lot of money as the payout is good in many companies.

Increases your chances of growth as well as moving to foreign countries as well.

A good balancer works life with security.

Easy work and the possibility of hands-on expertise in many new sectors and skills.

Salary for cloud engineering roles

In India, a cloud engineer’s salary may range between Rs. 3.0 to Rs.12.5 lakh. An average annual salary ranges from Rs. 5.0 lakh to Rs. 5.5 lakh. Yes, there is no denying that higher salary packages are offered, but that comes with the level of experience you have in your specific field and in what ways you are coming to help the company.

Hence the above is a detailed description of everything you need to know about Cloud engineering.

60+ Data Engineer Interview Questions And Answers In 2023

1) Explain Data Engineering.

Here are Data Engineering interview questions and answers for fresher as well experienced data engineer candidates to get their dream job.

Data engineering is a term used in big data. It focuses on the application of data collection and research. The data generated from various sources are just raw data. Data engineering helps to convert this raw data into useful information.

2) What is Data Modelling?

Data modeling is the method of documenting complex software design as a diagram so that anyone can easily understand. It is a conceptual representation of data objects that are associated between various data objects and the rules.

3) List various types of design schemas in Data Modelling

There are mainly two types of schemas in data modeling: 1) Star schema and 2) Snowflake schema.

4) Distinguish between structured and unstructured data

Following is a difference between structured and unstructured data:

Parameter Structured Data Unstructured Data

Storage DBMS Unmanaged file structures

Standard, ODBC, and SQL STMP, XML, CSV, and SMS

Integration Tool ELT (Extract, Transform, Load)

scaling Schema scaling is difficult Scaling is very easy.

5) Explain all components of a Hadoop application

Following are the components of Hadoop application:

Hadoop Common: It is a common set of utilities and libraries that are utilized by Hadoop.

HDFS: This Hadoop application relates to the file system in which the Hadoop data is stored. It is a distributed file system having high bandwidth.

Hadoop MapReduce: It is based according to the algorithm for the provision of large-scale data processing.

Hadoop YARN: It is used for resource management within the Hadoop cluster. It can also be used for task scheduling for users.

6) What is NameNode?

It is the centerpiece of HDFS. It stores data of HDFS and tracks various files across the clusters. Here, the actual data is not stored. The data is stored in DataNodes.

7) Define Hadoop streaming

It is a utility which allows for the creation of the map and Reduces jobs and submits them to a specific cluster.

8) What is the full form of HDFS?

HDFS stands for Hadoop Distributed File System.

9) Define Block and Block Scanner in HDFS

Blocks are the smallest unit of a data file. Hadoop automatically splits huge files into small pieces.

Block Scanner verifies the list of blocks that are presented on a DataNode.

10) What are the steps that occur when Block Scanner detects a corrupted data block?

Following are the steps that occur when Block Scanner find a corrupted data block:

1) First of all, when Block Scanner find a corrupted data block, DataNode report to NameNode

2) NameNode start the process of creating a new replica using a replica of the corrupted block.

11) Name two messages that NameNode gets from DataNode?

There are two messages which NameNode gets from DataNode. They are 1) Block report and 2) Heartbeat.

12) List out various XML configuration files in Hadoop?

There are five XML configuration files in Hadoop:





13) What are four V’s of big data?

Four V’s of big data are:





14) Explain the features of Hadoop

Important features of Hadoop are:

It is an open-source framework that is available freeware.

Hadoop is compatible with the many types of hardware and easy to access new hardware within a specific node.

Hadoop supports faster-distributed processing of data.

It stores the data in the cluster, which is independent of the rest of the operations.

Hadoop allows creating 3 replicas for each block with different nodes.

15) Explain the main methods of Reducer

setup (): It is used for configuring parameters like the size of input data and distributed cache.

cleanup(): This method is used to clean temporary files.

reduce(): It is a heart of the reducer which is called once per key with the associated reduced task

16) What is the abbreviation of COSHH?

The abbreviation of COSHH is Classification and Optimization based Schedule for Heterogeneous Hadoop systems.

17) Explain Star Schema

Star Schema or Star Join Schema is the simplest type of Data Warehouse schema. It is known as star schema because its structure is like a star. In the Star schema, the center of the star may have one fact table and multiple associated dimension table. This schema is used for querying large data sets.

18) How to deploy a big data solution?

Follow the following steps in order to deploy a big data solution.

3) Deploy big data solution using processing frameworks like Pig, Spark, and MapReduce.

19) Explain FSCK

File System Check or FSCK is command used by HDFS. FSCK command is used to check inconsistencies and problem in file.

20) Explain Snowflake Schema

A Snowflake Schema is an extension of a Star Schema, and it adds additional dimensions. It is so-called as snowflake because its diagram looks like a Snowflake. The dimension tables are normalized, that splits data into additional tables.

21) Distinguish between Star and Snowflake Schema

Star SnowFlake Schema

Dimensions hierarchies are stored in dimensional table. Each hierarchy is stored into separate tables.

Chances of data redundancy are high Chances of data redundancy are low.

It has a very simple DB design It has a complex DB design

Provide a faster way for cube processing Cube processing is slow due to the complex join.

22) Explain Hadoop distributed file system

Hadoop works with scalable distributed file systems like S3, HFTP FS, FS, and HDFS. Hadoop Distributed File System is made on the Google File System. This file system is designed in a way that it can easily run on a large cluster of the computer system.

23) Explain the main responsibilities of a data engineer

Data engineers have many responsibilities. They manage the source system of data. Data engineers simplify complex data structure and prevent the reduplication of data. Many times they also provide ELT and data transformation.

24) What is the full form of YARN?

The full form of YARN is Yet Another Resource Negotiator.

25) List various modes in Hadoop

Modes in Hadoop are 1) Standalone mode 2) Pseudo distributed mode 3) Fully distributed mode.

26) How to achieve security in Hadoop?

Perform the following steps to achieve security in Hadoop:

3) In the last step, the client use service ticket for self-authentication to a specific server.

27) What is Heartbeat in Hadoop?

In Hadoop, NameNode and DataNode communicate with each other. Heartbeat is the signal sent by DataNode to NameNode on a regular basis to show its presence.

28) Distinguish between NAS and DAS in Hadoop


Storage capacity is 109 to 1012 in byte. Storage capacity is 109 in byte.

Management cost per GB is moderate. Management cost per GB is high.

Transmit data using Ethernet or TCP/IP. Transmit data using IDE/ SCSI

29) List important fields or languages used by data engineer

Here are a few fields or languages used by data engineer:

Probability as well as linear algebra

Machine learning

Trend analysis and regression

Hive QL and SQL databases

30) What is Big Data?

It is a large amount of structured and unstructured data, that cannot be easily processed by traditional data storage methods. Data engineers are using Hadoop to manage big data.

31) What is FIFO scheduling?

It is a Hadoop Job scheduling algorithm. In this FIFO scheduling, a reporter selects jobs from a work queue, the oldest job first.

32) Mention default port numbers on which task tracker, NameNode, and job tracker run in Hadoop

Default port numbers on which task tracker, NameNode, and job tracker run in Hadoop are as follows:

Task tracker runs on 50060 port

NameNode runs on 50070 port

Job Tracker runs on 50030 port

33) How to disable Block Scanner on HDFS Data Node

In order to disable Block Scanner on HDFS Data Node, set dfs.datanode.scan.period.hours to 0.

34) How to define the distance between two nodes in Hadoop?

The distance is equal to the sum of the distance to the closest nodes. The method getDistance() is used to calculate the distance between two nodes.

35) Why use commodity hardware in Hadoop?

Commodity hardware is easy to obtain and affordable. It is a system that is compatible with Windows, MS-DOS, or Linux.

36) Define replication factor in HDFS

Replication factor is a total number of replicas of a file in the system.

37) What data is stored in NameNode?

Namenode stores the metadata for the HDFS like block information, and namespace information.

38) What do you mean by Rack Awareness?

In Haddop cluster, Namenode uses the Datanode to improve the network traffic while reading or writing any file that is closer to the nearby rack to Read or Write request. Namenode maintains the rack id of each DataNode to achieve rack information. This concept is called as Rack Awareness in Hadoop.

39) What are the functions of Secondary NameNode?

Following are the functions of Secondary NameNode:

FsImage which stores a copy of EditLog and FsImage file.

NameNode crash: If the NameNode crashes, then Secondary NameNode’s FsImage can be used to recreate the NameNode.

Checkpoint: It is used by Secondary NameNode to confirm that data is not corrupted in HDFS.

Update: It automatically updates the EditLog and FsImage file. It helps to keep FsImage file on Secondary NameNode updated.

40) What happens when NameNode is down, and the user submits a new job?

41) What are the basic phases of reducer in Hadoop?

There are three basic phases of a reducer in Hadoop:

1. Shuffle: Here, Reducer copies the output from Mapper.

2. Sort: In sort, Hadoop sorts the input to Reducer using the same key.

3. Reduce: In this phase, output values associated with a key are reduced to consolidate the data into the final output.

42) Why Hadoop uses Context object?

Hadoop framework uses Context object with the Mapper class in order to interact with the remaining system. Context object gets the system configuration details and job in its constructor.

We use Context object in order to pass the information in setup(), cleanup() and map() methods. This object makes vital information available during the map operations.

43) Define Combiner in Hadoop

It is an optional step between Map and Reduce. Combiner takes the output from Map function, creates key value pairs, and submit to Hadoop Reducer. Combiner’s task is to summarize the final result from Map into summary records with an identical key.

44) What is the default replication factor available in HDFS What it indicates?

Default replication factor in available in HDFS is three. Default replication factor indicates that there will be three replicas of each data.

45) What do you mean Data Locality in Hadoop?

In a Big Data system, the size of data is huge, and that is why it does not make sense to move data across the network. Now, Hadoop tries to move computation closer to data. This way, the data remains local to the stored location.

46) Define Balancer in HDFS

In HDFS, the balancer is an administrative used by admin staff to rebalance data across DataNodes and moves blocks from overutilized to underutilized nodes.

47) Explain Safe mode in HDFS

It is a read-only mode of NameNode in a cluster. Initially, NameNode is in Safemode. It prevents writing to file-system in Safemode. At this time, it collects data and statistics from all the DataNodes.

48) What is the importance of Distributed Cache in Apache Hadoop?

Hadoop has a useful utility feature so-called Distributed Cache which improves the performance of jobs by caching the files utilized by applications. An application can specify a file for the cache using JobConf configuration.

Hadoop framework makes replica of these files to the nodes one which a task has to be executed. This is done before the execution of task starts. Distributed Cache supports the distribution of read only files as well as zips, and jars files.

49) What is Metastore in Hive?

It stores schema as well as the Hive table location.

Hive table defines, mappings, and metadata that are stored in Metastore. This can be stored in RDBMS supported by JPOX.

50) What do mean by SerDe in Hive?

SerDe is a short name for Serializer or Deserializer. In Hive, SerDe allows to read data from table to and write to a specific field in any format you want.

51) List components available in Hive data model

There are the following components in the Hive data model:




52) Explain the use of Hive in Hadoop eco-system.

Hive provides an interface to manage data stored in Hadoop eco-system. Hive is used for mapping and working with HBase tables. Hive queries are converted into MapReduce jobs in order to hide the complexity associated with creating and running MapReduce jobs.

53) List various complex data types/collection are supported by Hive

Hive supports the following complex data types:





54) Explain how .hiverc file in Hive is used?

In Hive, .hiverc is the initialization file. This file is initially loaded when we start Command Line Interface (CLI) for Hive. We can set the initial values of parameters in .hiverc file.

55) Is it possible to create more than one table in Hive for a single data file?

Yes, we can create more than one table schemas for a data file. Hive saves schema in Hive Metastore. Based on this schema, we can retrieve dissimilar results from same Data.

56) Explain different SerDe implementations available in Hive

There are many SerDe implementations available in Hive. You can also write your own custom SerDe implementation. Following are some famous SerDe implementations:





57) List table generating functions available in Hive

Following is a list of table generating functions:





58) What is a Skewed table in Hive?

A Skewed table is a table that contains column values more often. In Hive, when we specify a table as SKEWED during creation, skewed values are written into separate files, and remaining values go to another file.

59) List out objects created by create statement in MySQL.

Objects created by create statement in MySQL are as follows:










60) How to see the database structure in MySQL?

In order to see database structure in MySQL, you can use

DESCRIBE command. Syntax of this command is DESCRIBE Table name;.

61) How to search for a specific String in MySQL table column?

Use regex operator to search for a String in MySQL column. Here, we can also define various types of regular expression and search for using regex.

62) Explain how data analytics and big data can increase company revenue?

Following are the ways how data analytics and big data can increase company revenue:

Use data efficiently to make sure that business growth.

Increase customer value.

Turning analytical to improve staffing levels forecasts.

Cutting down the production cost of the organizations.

These interview questions will also help in your viva(orals)

10+ Best Voice Recording Software And Apps In 2023

When I need to record a quick note in a hurry, I turn to voice recording software. Often that’s when I’m on the run, so a mobile device is my first choice. For me, voice memos are usually a quick way to capture information, and not for long-term storage, a placeholder for something I don’t want to forget.

I’ll transfer the information to my calendar, task list, or notes app, then delete the recording. I use voice memo software more like an inbox than a repository.

For quick voice memos, the killer feature for me is convenience, and that will be the focus of this review. Usually, the most convenient recording app will be the one that came with your computer or device. For recording jobs where quality is the priority — say a voiceover for a video or vocals for a music track — then you’ll want a full-featured audio editor or digital audio workstation.

These apps can record and edit quality audio, and we’ve given our recommendations in the best audio editing software roundup.

Finally, we’ll explore the software options that lie between those two extremes of convenience and quality. What features can software developers offer to make voice recording more useful, relevant and accessible?

We’ll explore apps that can synchronize the audio you record in a lecture or meeting with the notes that you take, and also apps that make your voice recordings readable and searchable through machine transcription.

Have you made voice recording a productive part of your life? We’ll help you explore which apps will suit your goals and workflow.

Why Trust Me for This Software Guide

My name is Adrian, and I’ve been using portable cassette recorders since the 80s, and voice recording software on laptops and PDAs (personal digital assistants) since the 90s. I used these devices to remind myself of appointments and phone numbers, capture useful information I came across, record musical ideas, and talk through the contents of writing projects.

In the early days, handwriting recognition wasn’t always accurate, and typing on a tiny, on-screen keyboard was slow and took too much concentration. Voice memos were the quickest and most reliable way to take down information.

I still use voice memos today, but I’m just as likely to use Siri, especially when I’m driving and cycling. A double-tap on my AirPods, and she’s right there to be my digital secretary. There’s a place for both.

What You Need to Know Up-Front about Voice Recording

Before we look at specific software options, here are a few things you need to know about voice recording in general.

Mobile Devices are Convenient

Once you get into recording voice memos, you’ll want a way of making them wherever you are. Mobile apps are perfect, because you’ll have your smartphone wherever you go.

Even better is when your voice memos are synced to your computer, so you can process them when you’re at your desk, or edit them with your desktop software. Some mobile apps are pretty good at editing too.

For Quality Recordings You Need a Full-Featured Audio Editor

As I mentioned in the introduction, if you want to make high-quality recordings to use in a project, it’s best to use a full-featured audio editor, and not one of the apps we list in this review.

The aim of the apps we cover in this review is to capture information or an idea, so the focus is not necessarily on the quality of the recording.

Equipment That May Help

For basic recording, you can just use your computer or device. They have everything you need, including a basic internal microphone. For greater convenience, or higher quality, you may want to consider using a different mic.

If you can, choose a microphone that will work with your USB or Lightning port. Alternatively, you can connect a conventional mic to an audio interface.

Who Can Benefit from Voice Recording Software

Notes to self. Capture ideas as you have them, especially when it’s not convenient to type. If you think you might forget it, record it. Never lose an important thought. Record it anyway, just in case!

Capture important family moments. Record your kids’ speeches, plays, concerts and other special events. You might even manage to catch your child’s first words.

Record audio at work. Journalists can record their interviews to capture everything that was said, and type it up later. Others can create field recordings, whether they work with animals, traffic, or the environment. For the best quality, consider upgrading your microphone.

Capture your musical ideas. Vocalists and musicians can record musical ideas as they are inspired. Sing or play right into your smartphone.

Best Voice Recording Software: How We Tested and Picked

We’re not so much trying to give these apps an absolute ranking, but to help you make the best decision about which one will suit your needs. Here are the key criteria we looked at when evaluating:

Which Operating Systems and Mobile Devices Are Supported?

In contrast with full-featured audio editors, very few voice recorders are cross-platform. You’ll want to pay special attention to which operating systems are supported. Also, for convenience, you may often turn to a mobile device to record your voice memos, so besides Mac and Windows, we’ll also cover apps for iOS and Android.

Ease of use

Because convenience is king, ease of use is crucial for an effective voice memo app. Is it easy to quickly start a recording? Once you have a number of recordings, is it easy to quickly scan through them to find the right one? Can you rename them? Can you organize them into lists, or add tags? How easy is it to move the information in the recording to another app, or export to a different audio format?

Necessary features

The most basic features you need are just the ability to record your voice or other sounds, and play them back. If you listen to long recordings, the app will need to remember your playback position, too. The ability to easily share your recordings is also helpful.

Additional features

What other features add the most value to voice memos? Two features stand out from the rest:

Some features are part of a different software category which might deserve its own review. That includes apps for recording phone calls and Skype calls, answering machine software, and professional audio editors. We won’t cover them here.


The apps we cover in this review are relatively inexpensive, ranging from free to $25. In general, apps that cost more are more capable, and boast additional features. Here’s what they all cost, sorted from cheapest to most expensive:

Best Voice Recording Software: The Winners

Best Choice for Convenience: The Default Voice Memo App on Your Computer or Device

Voice memos need to be handy. For the ultimate convenience, use the app that’s already built into your computer or mobile device. It will have all the basic features you need, is well-integrated into the operating system, and is there when you need it.

Free, and preinstalled on your computer or device

The new Macs have a pre-installed voice memo app (since macOS 10.4 Mojave when the iOS Voice Memo app is now ported to macOS). Check the iOS details below to see what it’s like, and if you need an app right now, check out your options in “The Competition” section below.

Windows Voice Recorder is found on all Windows computers and mobile devices, and will handle your basic voice memo tasks.

The iPhone has a Voice Memos app with similar functionality. Like the Windows app, it is easy to record and playback a voice memo, as well as share your recordings and make basic edits.

Additional features include the ability to re-record part of your memo, trim from the beginning or end, and delete a section from the middle of the recording. You can open the Voice Memo app using Siri by saying, “Record a voice memo” or “Record my voice,” but you’ll still need to press the red button to start recording.

The Android operating system doesn’t include a voice memos app by default, but your phone may. Android phones are often heavily customized. The Samsung Galaxy, for example, does include a recording app.

Android apps from different manufacturers will vary in features and interface, so consult your user manual for more details.

Best Choice for Lectures and Meetings: Notability

Are you surprised to see a note taking app in a voice recording roundup? Notability (by Ginger Labs) is a Mac and iOS app that allows you to record what is being said at a lecture or meeting while you take notes, and the audio is synced with those notes.

So if you tap on something typed or wrote by hand, you’ll hear exactly what you were hearing when you wrote it. That’s a killer feature — no more scanning through recordings looking for the right part.

$9.99 from the Mac App Store, $9.99 from the iOS App Store (one-time fee)

Recording lectures and meetings is a good idea. Imagine getting distracted and missing a crucial bit of information. You hope it wasn’t important, just to hear the lecturer say, “And that will be in the exam.”

Notability is one of the leading note taking apps available for Mac and iOS. In particular, it’s one of the top apps for handwriting using an Apple Pencil or other stylus. But it also includes a voice recorder. Once you start recording, the synchronization with your notes happens automatically, whether you’re typing or handwriting.

But note that this app is Mac and iOS only. If you’re not in the Apple ecosystem, have a look at our alternatives in “The Competition” section below.

Best Choice for Searchable Voice Notes: Otter

Long recordings are hard to navigate. To find the right information, you may need to listen to the whole thing, possibly at double speed to save time. Avoid that by making your recordings searchable with automatic, machine-based transcription. Otter offers a convenient way to achieve this, with mobile versions for iOS and Android, and a web version for desktop operating systems.

Note: While machine transcriptions are constantly improving, they are still no replacement for a human typist. So check the transcription carefully and correct any errors, or decide up front to pay for a human to transcribe the recording for you.

The free plan includes 600 minutes of transcription per month, unlimited cloud storage, and sync across your devices. For 6,000 minutes of transcription a month, Otter costs $9.99/month or $79.99/year.

Otter automatically transcribes your recordings, and displays the text while you listen. While machine transcriptions are not 100% accurate at this time, it is helpful, allowing you to better understand, share, and search for what is said. The transcription can be edited to clean up any errors.

Apps are available on the two biggest mobile platforms, iOS and Android. You can also access Otter on your computer through a web app.

Otter’s voice notes are smart, because they combine:



speaker identification,

inline photos, and

key phrases.

Whether you’re a business person attending a meeting, a journalist working on an interview, or a student revising a lecture, the app will make you more efficient, focused, and collaborative with your recordings. You can take photos of a whiteboard or presentation to help you visualize what was said. Words and photos are highlighted in time with the recordings on playback.

Recordings can be tagged with keywords for organization, and transcriptions can be searched so you can start playback at the section you’re interested in. If you take the time to record a voiceprint of everyone in the meeting by tagging the speakers of a few paragraphs in the transcript, Otter will automatically identify who said what during the meeting.

If long voice recordings are important to you, have a close look at Otter. The free 10 hours of transcription a month should be enough to fully evaluate the app for your needs, and for $10 a month you get 100 hours.

Best Voice Recording Software: The Competition

Other Voice Memo Apps

In case your phone or computer didn’t come with a voice memo app, or you’re after something with a few more features, here are some alternatives that are worth considering.


Currently, macOS doesn’t come with a voice memo app. In the meantime, here is an app that works well:

iScream, free


Axara Voice Recording Software ($24.98) is a more capable alternative to Windows Voice Recorder. It looks good, is able to automate the starting and stopping of recordings, and can split them into one-hour files for easier management. It supports recording from a variety of sources.


There is a huge variety of voice recording apps on the iOS app store. A few that offer more features than Apple’s Voice Memo app include:

Smartrecord is also able to include notes and photos, and export to cloud services. It adds unlimited public sharing of your recordings, and folder management. The app is able to recognize and skip silence. The free plan lets you get a handle on whether the app will suit you, and various add-on services are available, including human transcription and text editing.


If your Android phone didn’t come with a voice recorder, or you’re just looking for a better one, here are a few to consider:

Other Apps for Lectures and Meetings

Microsoft OneNote (free) is one of the most popular note taking apps out there. Like Notability, it allows you to record a lecture or meeting as you take notes, and everything syncs up.

For Windows, Mac and Android users, the feature works well, and is recommended. An alternative that works on all platforms is AudioNote. Its cost varies according to platform: Mac $14.99, iOS free (or Pro for $9.99), Android $8.36, Windows $19.95.

A free alternative is Mic Note (Chrome, Windows, Linux and Android). It automatically puts timestamps of your recording in the margin of your notes for easy playback. Recordings can be edited, and basic transcription is supported.

Other Recording Apps with Basic Transcription

Finally, if automatic transcription of your recordings is your priority, Otter has a little competition. Though not as full-featured as Otter, you may like to consider these alternatives.

Just Press Record ($4.99 for Mac and iOS) brings one-tap recording, transcription and iCloud syncing to all your Apple devices, including your Apple Watch. The record button is there when you need it, transcription makes your recording searchable, and sync puts it on all of your devices so your recordings are ready to be listened to and shared.

Voice Recorder & Audio Editor is a free voice recorder for iPhone and iPad that can be upgraded to include transcriptions and text notes with a $4.99 in-app purchase. Your unlimited audio recordings can be stored on a range of cloud storage services, and basic audio editing is available in the app.

Alternatives to Voice Recording Software

To finish this review, we’ll note that voice memo software isn’t the only way to take quick notes with your voice. Web apps and recording gadgets are great alternatives. And intelligent assistants can now act on your voice commands with reasonable accuracy, offering a better alternative to voice recording in many scenarios.

Online Services

And if you want your recordings transcribed so they’re readable and searchable, try Trint. Upload your audio (or video) files, and Trint’s artificial intelligence will turn them into text. The service costs $15/hour, $40/month (includes three hours), or $120/month (includes 10 hours).


Many fans of Evernote try to use the app to organize as many parts of their lives as possible. Why not use it to record your voice as well. The app lets you attach audio recordings to your notes.

Although recordings are attached to notes, they are not in sync as they would be with Notability and OneNote. But the recording feature is handy, and if you use Evernote for your notes, it makes sense to use it for recordings as well.

Hardware Options

Instead of a software solution, some people choose hardware. Modern dictaphones and digital voice recorders use solid state storage that can store many hours of audio, record for 48 hours or more on a single battery charge, and have higher-quality built-in microphones. Because they’re dedicated to just one task, they are easy to use and have dedicated buttons for easy access.

Recording devices like this are useful in many ways. In fact, when my SoftwareHow teammate JP had to do the speaking part of a language test, the conversation was captured on a digital voice recorder. Interested?

Most of us already carry a smartphone wherever we go, so it’s understandable if you’re reluctant to carry a second device. However, many people still find hardware recorders an excellent alternative.

Intelligent Assistants and Dictation Software

Throughout the last few decades, I used voice recording a lot, especially when it wasn’t convenient to type.

“Fred’s phone number is 123456789.”

“Don’t forget the meeting on Tuesday.”

“The dentist appointment is at 2:30 on Friday.”

These days our devices are more intelligent. Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant are able to hear phrases like that, and actually record the phone number in our contacts app, create an appointment in our calendar, and add entries to our notes app. So I’m less likely to record my voice, and more likely to say, “Hey Siri, create a dental appointment for 2:30pm on Friday.”

Or instead of using voice recording to dictate documents, consider voice dictation software instead. This is now available on most phones and computers, or you can purchase a third party app like Dragon. Instead of recording your voice into an audio file and transcribing it later, your devices will interpret what you say and type it as you speak.

Bowflex Transforms The Workout Experience With Samsung Tablets

Today’s consumers expect intelligent technology integrations in many of the products they buy, including their home fitness equipment.

Nautilus, Inc. strives to deliver breakthrough technology with its line of Bowflex® fitness equipment, but was struggling to achieve the desired integration while still keeping its products affordable.

A new partnership with Samsung eliminated the cost obstacles and freed Nautilus to innovate with groundbreaking software delivered via Samsung Galaxy tablets that mount on Bowflex products such as the Max Trainer®.

“We want to make sure that everything we design offers a really legitimate, really effective workout,” said Julia Eschman, director of consumer experience, Nautilus Home Fitness Solutions. “On top of that, we try to create experiences that are more engaging and more motivating, so that our customers continue to use those products for the life of their ownership.”

Customer experience enhancement had been a challenge in the past. “We were kind of always left to the mercy of what we could afford for technology,” Eschman explained. “Samsung really opens up opportunities in that space to finally become more modern and relevant and be able to offer touch screen experiences to our customers.”

“At this point we are just getting our feet wet,” she added. “Having the option for the tablet to come with the product helps the user feel like there is a dedicated device that has all the features they need, and it’s presented in a much more sophisticated way because it’s a full-color touch screen experience. From a sales perspective, it’s shown really positive results.”

Personalized workouts delivered through artificial intelligence

The partnership with Samsung has put Bowflex on a continuous improvement path, where they can deliver a seamless user experience while refining apps such as Max Intelligence and deploying them automatically.

“The reason we chose Samsung for the partnership for the tablet is that it was immediately customizable for our needs,” said Wes Citti, digital product line manager at Nautilus Home Fitness Solutions. Samsung Knox Configure is the linchpin of the mobile technology initiative, because it enables Bowflex to custom configure every tablet before it’s delivered.

“[Knox Configure lets Bowflex] curate the experience for our customers, so if a customer wants to buy a machine, the tablet comes preloaded with everything they need to get up and running,” Citti explained. “We wanted to make that experience as seamless as possible, so when people buy the Bowflex product in the form of the Max Trainer and subscribe to the Max Intelligence platform, they’re getting an AI personal trainer to design custom workouts for the Max Trainer based on where they are today. Because it’s an always-online app, it will check for updates.”

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The Samsung Galaxy tablet is configured to automatically download updates to the software and even to the firmware built into the Bowflex machine.

“What Knox allowed Bowflex to do was ensure that what they wanted to have on the tablet was always there,” said Fred Less, enterprise sales senior professional for Samsung. “So if I, as a customer, accidentally factory-reset my tablet and lost my Bowflex application, my workout videos and my history of working out, Knox allows that to be recovered and stay on the device to create a consistent experience for the end user.”

He added that Bowflex has made good use of all that Samsung has to offer, from hardware to software to integration expertise. “You need someone to integrate these pieces and put them together to deliver something that is meaningful to someone’s business,” he said. “Samsung Business Services provided the resources to facilitate logistics, stage kits, provision devices and make sure every SKU was the way it should be.”

More innovations ahead

Pairing tablets with home workout equipment is just a starting point. Bowflex has already transformed the home workout experience, but the journey is just beginning. The future possibilities are limitless.

“We have lots of ideas for what we want to do in the future with those types of devices,” said Eschman. “Embedding them into our products and then figuring out how we integrate what we do with off-product experiences, like using Samsung Health or wearable devices. Our team really gets excited about the future of that.”

Ready for the next step in your fitness journey? Learn how wearables can help create a more engaging fitness experience.

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