audio tape 2
Credit: By donovanhouse on Flickr. Some rights reserved

What is it? An app for recording, editing and exporting audio

Devices: iOS and Android

Cost: Free, with paid-for transcription services at $1 (£0.65) per minute

How is it of use to journalists: The best approach for interviewing sources is combining note-taking with an audio recording, if the person and location allow it.

Even if your typing or writing skills are top notch, it's always good to know you have the original audio to compare notes or include as part of the story.

Transcribing interviews isn't most journalists' favourite task for a number of reasons, but the many smartphone apps now available, including Rev, make the process of recording and transcribing easier, and allow users to quickly export and share files.

How it works

To start a Rev recording, tap the red button on the screen – pressing the same button again will pause the recording. Rev also works while you're using other apps or browsing the internet.

The preview button at the bottom of the screen makes it easy to listen back to the audio throughout the recording process. 

This can be helpful if you're in a crowded place and want to double check the sound quality before ending up with a 30-minute unintelligible interview or a muffled quote you were planning to use as a soundbite.

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Screenshot of Rev's recording menu and sharing options.

After you've finished recording, you can add a name and location to your file before saving. Rev's edit function allows you to trim the audio and save individual soundbites, but also merge two or more files by clicking 'append' and recording a new file.

There are a number of default sharing options available within the app, such as email and Dropbox, but you can share to specific apps enabled on your device, like Evernote, Slack or Google Drive.

Rev also has an integrated transcription service, which is a paid-for option at $1 per minute, but new users get ten free minutes (or $10 off their first transcription).

The transcription takes around 24 hours to be completed as it's done by individuals rather than being an automated process, and it is then emailed to the user as a Microsoft Word document.

Check out our other recommendations for audio recording, such as Cogi or Pio Smart Recorder, and this handy list of apps for recording phone interviews.

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