Things have come far since I started writing and editing submissions for a newsletter a decade ago. While I had access to a laptop, it didn’t occur to me to use it when I interviewed subjects for my pieces. Instead, it was the usual notebook and tape recorder. Thankfully, those days of interpreting my scribbles, and then of rewinding tape, listening, and painstakingly transcribing the interview, are gone for good.
Instead, there are apps! The first thing I did when I finalized the agreement with my client to write his memoir/autobiography was to explore recording apps. I had already upgraded my technology with a MacBook, and now I needed something I could download to my Mac to replace the tape recorder.
What I found was AudioNote, a notepad and voice recorder app put out by Luminant Software. Designed for note-taking students and employees, this app is also perfect for interviewing a client or the subject of an article. It allows the user to record the subject and at the same time take notes using the keyboard.
I love the features of this app. The interface looks like a notepad―this can be customized to be blank or lined in white or legal pad yellow―at the top of which is a simple toolbar with commands for recording, playback, “rewinding” and fast forwarding. There are also commands that allow the user to edit the text and highlight in yellow, as well as a drawing tool. (I use this last tool to check off passages I have already incorporated into the manuscript.)
This is a very easy app to learn and to use. Once you start typing, the app begins to record the time. During playback of the recording, the words you typed at that point in the recording appear in blue highlight, allowing you to keep the notes and audio in context. You can also tap on a word during playback using the select tool to jump to the time in the recording when it was made.
The AutioNote app is a good deal at only $4.99, or try AudioNote Lite for a free trial run. At 14 interviews and counting, it has not failed me yet.