Looking for an audio recorder with a special feature

Hi :slight_smile:

I am looking for an audio recorder app (android) but can’t find what I am looking for.
Perhaps, if such an app exists, someone could let me know?

What I want is an android app that would be perpetually recording, but that would not generate an audio file bigger than X set size, and that when I’d click a button, it would then retroactively save the last, say, two minutes, or 30 sec, whatever.
Like a dashcam does.

I want this because when I am working a manuscript longhand, I sometimes have the best idea ever! (I mean a great way to rewrite a sentence), but on occasions it is long, and by the time I’m done writing it, I forgot part of it, and what I wrote might not always be quite the formulation that initially crossed my mind.
With this app I’d just speak it aloud, click the retroactive recording button, and then transcribe it, without any loss.
I don’t want to have to first initiate the recording, as this would be no better. (The session, yes, but not “oh I have an idea, grab my phone, click the recording button”…)
In other words, I’d just talk to myself, like I normally do whenever I take the bus. – And click the button, if I happen to have said something smart.

Thank you.

1 Like

I have an old recorder with a simple function to activate and record only when I speak. It works very well. I find it amazing that the iPhone doesn’t seem to be able to do the same.


Siri (Apple) will take voice memos, so you can say “Hey Siri, take a note, …” which is more frictionless than clicking around to open an app. Presumably the Android voice assistant has similar.

There’s a big privacy concern with all such gadgets, not only for you but anyone within range. I think that’s part of why they tend to require an affirmative “start recording” signal.

Home security-type devices often have a feature where they’ll save everything for some amount of time, and then you can go back and extract specific clips.

1 Like

I guess that is what I’ll go with for the time being. And will manually delete the file after the fact, so that I don’t bloat my device.
I’ll test this one app, seems like it also have the ability to auto-split the file based on the silence duration.

1 Like

Nudging the seatmate: “Yo, can you write down what I just said? Thanks.”


The app I found (and linked to, above) works fine.
It is not exactly what I was looking for, but good enough of a compromise that I am no longer searching.


You don’t need a recorder that can time travel, after all, just one that can stay present with you, mindful of every moment. :heart_hands:

1 Like

The key feature about this one app that I found is that whenever it starts recording (voice activated), it creates a new file. So, all you have to do to listen back to what you just said, is play the last recorded file. Not fast forward into a file that is 20-30 minutes long.

In short, I have this thing simply waiting idle next to me as I edit my manuscript, and if I have an idea of how to reformulate a sentence, I just speak it aloud and it gets recorded to a new audio file I can easily listen back to. As opposed to before where I’d have the idea, then first “listen” to it in my head, confirm it is better, and finally try to remember it as it self-reformulates even more (and not necessarily for the best) in my head, as I rush to write it down.

It wasn’t a real problem for short and/or simple sentences, but say were talking about a long sentence – or a small paragraph -, it was frustrating enough that I had to do something about it.
And voilà.

Over my last couple of editing/rewriting sessions I had tried a couple of things, including google docs (with STT – which I first thought to be the most promising), but none really worked for various reasons. (I suppose that STT in google doc could have worked, should it understand French better. As it is: the thing is unusable.)
(As for the other voice activated recorders I had tried prior to that, they were all pasting the recorded bits one after the other into a file that just kept growing. – I wasn’t satisfied with that as a solution.)

All said, this app gives me a portable solution that works even offline. :+1:

Thank you, @bernardo_vasconcelos, for the input, and getting me back into searching in this direction. – I had somewhat given up on it at this point. :slight_smile:


That could have worked, indeed.
But for some reason (bad luck, I suppose), the seats in my general area tend to remain vacant. (?)


Reckon it depends on the genre. I imagine brainstorming crime, horror and lewd stuff gets you some breathing room.

1 Like

Right, right.
Although I should add (from experience) that happy rabbits stories - or even something as trivial as debating our grocery list with my other selves – gives the very same results.


There used to be a couple of apps that did this. Heard on iOS and Past on Android. They’d always be recording, but only kept the last x mins (depending on settings) in buffer unless you pressed save.

I first learned about them in a guitar magazine that pitched them as great to have on while you’re practicing and jamming, in case you have a magic moment when that perfect new riff emerges amongst the atonal fluff, but I also saw them advertised towards new parents… an always on recorder that makes sure you can capture your precious little ball of poop’s first words.

But this was maybe 10 years ago, and a quick search makes it look like these are no longer available with no obviously apparent alternatives available — possibly amid privacy concerns. Worth doing a more detailed search though; mine was only cursory.

1 Like

Well, I searched with pretty much all the keywords I could think of.
But I find it odd that such an app wouldn’t exist anymore.
I can’t quite figure out the privacy stuff, since one could simply record all day long, MP3 to a SD card and clip/save the desired “compromising part” after the fact. If one is ill intended, there is no shortage of ways to be nasty. It just makes no difference.

[Edit] I just asked: Even Bing AI never heard of “Past” on android…

Play (Android)

Heard (iOS)

1 Like

Thanks for the search. :slight_smile:
Discontinued though… Oh well. :man_shrugging:
There is another one that claims to do that (“Black Box”), but the devs filled no info…

The privacy issue arises because these apps frequently save not to local storage, but to a cloud service.

So…? Because they are not allowed to spy on us with our misinformed consent, it is not worth designing (or maintaining) such an app?
I mean, it could work 100% offline.
It is not like the “to cloud” part is vital for it to work.

I’m not the developer, don’t ask me.

But I suspect the issue is that they would like to sell premium services, like storage and retrieval across multiple devices, or voice-driven actions (like Alexa or Siri), and for that they need a cloud, with all the cost and privacy implications that come with it.

Yeah, that’s my understanding. If the voice app is merely recording speech, that’s one thing, but if it needs to interpret speech, then it must go to the provider’s voice processing servers on the cloud.

That’s what they want you to believe. And yes, it was true in the past (in terms of required processing power in e.g. mobile devices, and to a lesser extent local storage space / download bandwidth). I think we’re beyond that point for most everyday use cases. Now it’s more about greed.