Every week I browse through the Mac App Store in search of new and different and useful apps. Most of the time it’s an exercise in frustration and futility as few noteworthy apps show up there these days. As much as I hate to say it, the Mac App Store is becoming something of a neglected ghost town devoid of big name apps in favor of trinket apps which are copycat versions of one another.
Regular readers will note that I have a collection of audio recording applications for Mac, iPhone, and iPad, a collectibles fetish that dates back to the last century, back when men were men, and audio recorders needed tape and editors preferred to edit with a razor blade and a cutting bar.
Thankfully, those days are gone and in Garageband every Mac comes with a full featured audio multi-track audio recorder which puts to shame what existed just a decade or two ago. But this isn’t about Garageband or Logic Pro or anything with more than a couple of buttons.
This is about Just Press Record, a Mac, iPhone, iPad, and, yes, Watch app that does one thing very, very well. Just Press Record records audio with the press of the Record button. Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch need a single click or press, depending up device, to begin recording audio.
I started with the Mac version of Just Press Record but added the version for iPhone and iPad to get to the Watch version. Yes, it’s possible to record audio on the Watch, and what’s surprising is how easy it is, and how good the Watch microphone is.
How simple can recording be? Just press Record.
Open Just Press Record on your Mac, click the big red Record button and audio recording begins. On the Mac you have a few options for file format and multiple audio inputs, but nothing is easier to use.
Recorded files are saved on the Mac and can be synchronized to other devices using iCloud. Just Press Record works much the same way on each device. On the Mac, click the red Record button to begin recording. Click it again to stop recording. Files can be played back by clicking the Recordings option.
On iPad and iPhone, press the red Record button to start recording using the built-in microphone, then press it again to stop recording. Recorded audio clips are saved to iCloud, too.
What about audio quality?
On the Mac you have the option to change microphones from the Built-in Mic on your Mac to other plugged-in microphones (and mono or stereo; the former results in smaller file sizes). Audio files are recorded as m4a files, essentially MP4. An option to record audio as MP3 files would be handy for compatibility on other devices and platforms, but it hasn’t been a problem for me.
On iPhone and iPad Just Press Record opens up to the familiar red Record microphone button, but with a list of recently recorded audio clips below. I take a lot of audio recording notes so convenience is a big factor when selecting a mobile device recording app (and I’ve tried and used a few dozen on iPhone and iPad).
Just Press Record gets used the most for quick audio recording notes, meeting notes, and ideas because nothing could be more convenient.
Yep, there’s Just Press Record for Watch and it works much the same way, only better. If you’re a Watch owner you know what a pain it is to find an app. Press the crown, look at the little circular app icons, try to figure out which one is which, press and open the app in Watch.
Just Press Record works that way but has a better option. It’s also a complication, and on the Watch that means you can set Just Press Record as a mic icon on the watch face. Press the mic and you get a beep and a buzz and recording begins, complete with an audio waveform so you know recording is taking place.
Frankly, the microphone quality on Watch is remarkably good considering the size of the device. Background noise is minimized and the audio for voice is enhanced. Press the red Record button to stop the recording. Watch is slower than iPhone so it takes a moment to copy the recorded audio to the iPhone, but then it gets synchronized with iCloud and made available to Just Press Record on other devices.
One extra benefit of Just Press Record on Watch is the ability to record audio without the iPhone. Once the iPhone connects back to the Watch the recording is copied (probably moved) to iPhone.
Anyone who wants to capture audio will appreciate the simplicity of Just Press Record and the name accurately describes what it does and how it does it. Highly recommended.