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Jan 6, 2019

A voice-activated recorder for iOS


Some years ago I picked up an Olympus hand-held digital recorder which served me well for some translation work as well as for evidentiary purposes during assaults by a drunken psychotic. I also used it on many occasions to record ideas for projects and other things while out and about.

But juggling several electronic devices at once has never been easy for me, and I kept losing the little recorder in jacket pockets, suitcases, desk drawers, etc. I still have it, but it's been some weeks since I could tell you where.

I use the Voice Memos app on my iPhone, but for me its continuous recording feature is inconvenient, and I don't like pausing and resuming the recording frequently. It's too distracting. The Olympus device and an old tape recorder I used decades ago both had a convenient voice activation feature which avoided excessive dead space.

Being the technosaurus that I am, it took a long time to realize that there is probably an app for that these days. And indeed there is. Several in fact. I downloaded the iOS app depicted above, and in the days ahead I'll be using it for a few translation projects to evaluate what I consider to be an improved version of the three-step translation workflow I demonstrated a few years ago in a remote conference lecture in Buenos Aires using the now-defunct Dragon Dictation app from Nuance. Stay tuned.

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