I wrote this program because I noticed that my PalmOS device (LifeDrive)
contains quite a good hardware for recording sound, but (surprisingly) there
was no good software
which could fully use its potential. The VoiceMemo application which is
supplied with it is able only to record at a telephone quality and uses a
lossy compression. Apparently there was some third party software which can make
better recordings, but not only it was not free, it was also very expensive.
So I decided to write a free, simple program which records better.
Better Recorder is released under GNU Public License.
Hosted at Sourceforge.
project information and downloads
Note that Better Recorder records the sound in a raw format, without any
compression. Remember that CD-ROMs used to hold only 74 minutes on 650 MB,
because that's how much uncompressed 16-bit stereo 44100 Hertz audio needs.
Betterec gives mono recordings instead of stereo (I think my device has no
hardware for stereo recording), so they are two times smaller. You can also
reduce your sampling rate.
Note that the device may be too slow for recording at higher sample rates;
for me, the sound breaks from time to time when recorded at 44100 Hertz
(I suppose that the internal disk is too slow). Don't use sample rate which
is too high for you.
How to record
It's very simple. Change your sample rate if you want, by either entering
a new number, or picking one from the menu. (The hardware only supports
sample rates shown in the menu, but all standard sample rates are here).
You can start and stop recording by either pressing the button at the
bottom part of the screen, or by pressing one of the hardware buttons
(the 'Microphone' button and the scrolling buttons work here; note that
'up' can only turn it on, 'down' can only turn it off, and the rest toggle
If your sample rate is not too high, you will see two rectangles.
(I've turned them off for high sample rates, to get extra speed.) The right
one shows what the wave looks like, and the left one shows how much of it
are in different parts of the scale. (OK it's hard to explain... e.g. if
there is no sound, then the wave will be a constant 0 function, so on the
left graph everything will be in the middle which corresponds to 0) If
on the right graph the tops or bottoms of the waves touch the top or bottom
of the graph, your microphone overdrives (i.e. the sound is too loud for it)
which reduces the quality of the recording. (I've added these because I
thought that the bad quality of VoiceMemo recordings is from overdriving,
and I wanted something which could detect it, but apparently it is because
of bad compression.)
How to play your recordings
The recordings are saved as WAV files in the /record/ directory on your
memory card. Each time you start a new recording a new file is created.
For simplicity Betterec does not contain anything to play the recordings,
so you need to use another program. The WAV format is very simple and most
programs which play sounds can read it (you should not have any problem to
play them on your computer), but pTunes somehow cannot. Maybe you can force
the default VoiceMemo software to play your recording, I don't know.
I use TCMCP.
If you like this program, or you have any idea to make it more useful (and maybe you want to implement it yourself),
please tell me at longuens *at* users.sourceforge.net.