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Thread: Using my Droid as a recording device

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    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    Using my Droid as a recording device

    Hello everyone this isn't by any means a new technology but I thought I would share with you all the new app I've been using on my Droid X2. I downloaded a app simply enough called "voice recorder" for free off of the android market. Its a simple little app that lets you use the mic on your phone as a audio recorder, there is no limit to length that I can tell and it saves the file to your SD card. Once you hit record it will continue to record even if you turn your screen off, so as long as you can start your recording before the LEO gets up to you they would have no way on knowing your cell phone that is sitting next to you is recording the encounter. Now for the really cool part, once you hit the stop button the app will also email you a copy of the recording, this way if oh... lets say you get detained and somehow your file becomes lost you will still have a duplicate no one can access. I just tested the entire process and it worked flawlessly, I got great quality audio up to about six feet away (became very quiet after that) and successfully emailed myself a copy of the test file. I was then able to download it to my PC and play it using QuickTime.

    All of that being said its not exactly that easy or that fast. Once you hit the stop recording button it will prompt you to either save or save and send. Once you hit the save and send button it opens my Gmail account with the audio file already added as a attachment. (Before your recording if you go under the option menu you can set up automatic receptionists of the emails and they will all be added to the To: and CC lines automatically otherwise you will have to enter them all in manually at the time of the email.) Now all you have to do is hit the send button and its off, you will have a copy of the file stored on your SD card and a back up emailed to your self. I wish the send feature was automatic as soon as you pressed the stop recording button but other than that I can't complain.

    The sound quality is good but as stated above becomes quiet after about six feet for me on my phone. So for now my cell phone could not replace my Olympus voice recorder completely but having enough allowed time to press a few buttons I really like the idea of having my encounter stored at a central server that only I can access
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    I use Qik on my EVO. Allows me to record audio and video and will stream it on internet, public or private if you choose. I'm always on the look out for tamper proof recording apps for Android though.

    Sent from my HTC EVO

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    I've been on the look out for a lockable voice recorder with decent range and quality. Call me paraniid, but I find nothing that would stop an LEO from deleting the files from my olympus.

    I have the original Samsung Galaxy Tab(fits perfectly in my pocket, unlike a giant ipad) wich runs the android OS, I like to use that as a backup because once I close it up it requires one to input a password to unlock... No itchy fingers can acces my files, nor would they even know it's recording, it could go on for hours recording what goes on in the precinct.

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    Regular Member OrangeIsTrouble's Avatar
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    Nice find, I'll give it a try.


    I do have a $50 gift card to best buy that I don't use since I never shop there, was thinking of getting a nice seperate recorder.


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    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Baked on Grease;1592531...it requires one to input a password to unlock... No itchy fingers can acces my files, nor would they even know it's recording, it could go on for hours recording what goes on in the precinct.
    [/QUOTE]

    Password protection works great, until the device is "accidently" dropped, and someone else "accidently" steps on it while picking it up to return it to you. Streaming live to the Internet is a better solution IMHO. I love QIK.

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    Campaign Veteran slapmonkay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire suppressor View Post
    so as long as you can start your recording before the LEO gets up to you
    Save time, worry and forgetfulness, start the recording before you leave for the day or before you go into public. I use openwatch app on my Android and it works good. Quality is good and files are small (less than 50Mb) for a whole day recording from morning to night.

    It can be easy to get in a pinch and either A) forget to start recorder or B) not have enough time to do so unnoticed. Recording the whole day can save you. If nothing happens just delete it at night or store a week worth then purge. Maybe its just me, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

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    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire suppressor View Post
    Hello everyone this isn't by any means a new technology but I thought I would share with you all the new app I've been using on my Droid X2. I downloaded a app simply enough called "voice recorder" for free off of the android market. Its a simple little app that lets you use the mic on your phone as a audio recorder, there is no limit to length that I can tell and it saves the file to your SD card. Once you hit record it will continue to record even if you turn your screen off, so as long as you can start your recording before the LEO gets up to you they would have no way on knowing your cell phone that is sitting next to you is recording the encounter. Now for the really cool part, once you hit the stop button the app will also email you a copy of the recording, this way if oh... lets say you get detained and somehow your file becomes lost you will still have a duplicate no one can access. I just tested the entire process and it worked flawlessly, I got great quality audio up to about six feet away (became very quiet after that) and successfully emailed myself a copy of the test file. I was then able to download it to my PC and play it using QuickTime.

    All of that being said its not exactly that easy or that fast. Once you hit the stop recording button it will prompt you to either save or save and send. Once you hit the save and send button it opens my Gmail account with the audio file already added as a attachment. (Before your recording if you go under the option menu you can set up automatic receptionists of the emails and they will all be added to the To: and CC lines automatically otherwise you will have to enter them all in manually at the time of the email.) Now all you have to do is hit the send button and its off, you will have a copy of the file stored on your SD card and a back up emailed to your self. I wish the send feature was automatic as soon as you pressed the stop recording button but other than that I can't complain.

    The sound quality is good but as stated above becomes quiet after about six feet for me on my phone. So for now my cell phone could not replace my Olympus voice recorder completely but having enough allowed time to press a few buttons I really like the idea of having my encounter stored at a central server that only I can access
    Problem that I have found using the default recorder on my Droid Incredible is that if I receive a call, it stops recording. Do these downloaded voice-recorder apps also pause or stop if a call comes in?
    Last edited by DrTodd; 08-15-2011 at 11:51 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran slapmonkay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTodd View Post
    Problem that I have found using the default recorder on my Droid Incredible is that if I receive a call, it stops recording. Do these downloaded voice-recorder apps also pause or stop if a call comes in?
    My openwatch app will continue to record in every scenario I have hit. It even records the phone call.

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    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    My Thunderbolt came with a voice recorder pre-installed, however, I noticed that it stops recording if a call or text message comes in.

    Can you check the app you're using to see if it stops the recording when a text message arrives?

  10. #10
    Activist Member FireFighterchen's Avatar
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    I have the EVO 3D. HTC came out with a recording widget that works with the voice recorder pre installed. Right next to that widget is a lock key that locks my phone. The only way they will get rid of the recording is if they take the sd card out and destroy it. Stepping and breaking the phone will do nothing unless they somehow snap the card deep inside it (even then it probably could be retrieved by electronic technicians.) If they somehow broke or lost the SD card that was under the battery, they were hiding/destroying/tampering with evidence, and I would ASSUME the case be dismissed fairly quickly after that. One thing I wonder, and haven't tested, is if the file is lost if it runs out of battery or the system crashes (phone gets smashed) during the recording. Say they do detain you, and take your possessions, you have the phone recording, screen off and locked, but it's out of your hands for 10 hours. The phone will surely die with all that going on in the background. What happens to the file if the system crashes?

    This is a list of tests that should be run to see if your android device is up to the recording challenge (compiled from other posts in this thread, and some I think were missed):

    Tests (my answers)
    • How fast can you turn it on? (under 2 seconds)
    • Where does it save to? (SD Card > recordings)
    • Will the recording turn off if-

    1. The screen is turned off? (no)
    2. You receive a phone call? (stops the recording but saves the file, I might be able to get around this by putting an airplane mode widget next to the recording widget)
    3. You receive a text? (no)
    • Will locking (if applicable) stop the recording? (no)
    • How far can your recording hear clearly? (about 10 feet)
    • Will the recording be lost if the phone runs low (power saver mode) or completely out of battery during the recording process? (will try next time I am running really low on battery)
    • Will the recording be lost if the phone gets smashed during the recording process? (Yes, I pulled the battery during a recording to mimic a phone crash/smash)


    So all in all, as long as they don't break it during the recording, and I don't get a phone call, I should be ok.

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran slapmonkay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainsail View Post
    My Thunderbolt came with a voice recorder pre-installed, however, I noticed that it stops recording if a call or text message comes in.

    Can you check the app you're using to see if it stops the recording when a text message arrives?
    The app I use works with phone calls, texts, using the internet and everything else that I have run into. See the post above yours.

  12. #12
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I've been using Tape-A-Talk on my Droid X. It records to a WAV file and will record till it runs out of room. I have 2 stages of security to access my desktop so the only other way to shut it off is to pull the battery.

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    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    I have herd a lot of people talk about Qik could I get a little more of a description? I think it saves to a online storage space? Will it save automatically or is it a few step process like my voice recorder app, it it will save online automatically I could see it being more useful
    "Fight like you train, train like you fight"

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire suppressor View Post
    I have herd a lot of people talk about Qik could I get a little more of a description? I think it saves to a online storage space? Will it save automatically or is it a few step process like my voice recorder app, it it will save online automatically I could see it being more useful
    If you have the app open you record and it saves to website automatically.
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    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapmonkay View Post
    Save time, worry and forgetfulness, start the recording before you leave for the day or before you go into public. I use openwatch app on my Android and it works good. Quality is good and files are small (less than 50Mb) for a whole day recording from morning to night.

    It can be easy to get in a pinch and either A) forget to start recorder or B) not have enough time to do so unnoticed. Recording the whole day can save you. If nothing happens just delete it at night or store a week worth then purge. Maybe its just me, but I would rather be safe than sorry.
    I looked into openwatch and watched the video explaining there app on there website. I'm not sure I like the idea of automatically uploading to a strangers server, a stranger who will then go through my entire recording and decide if they feel it has any redeeming value or not. It is also unclear if I would have any access to it after I upload it
    "Fight like you train, train like you fight"

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    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbait View Post
    I use Qik on my EVO. Allows me to record audio and video and will stream it on internet, public or private if you choose. I'm always on the look out for tamper proof recording apps for Android though.

    Sent from my HTC EVO
    I did look into QIK and installed it on my phone the only downside to it is if you want to use the video function I would have to hold it in front of the cops face taking away the element of surprise. I could still put it in my pocket and use as a voice recorder and get black video if I wanted but noticed as long as I am recording my screen will not shut off but if I turn the screen off in the middle of the recording it will stop and save the recording from that point, I am no sure what happens if I get a incoming call while recording. The downside to the app is after reading the personal info I allow the app to collect about me I decided to not only delete the app but also go online and delete my profile
    "Fight like you train, train like you fight"

  17. #17
    Campaign Veteran slapmonkay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire suppressor View Post
    I looked into openwatch and watched the video explaining there app on there website. I'm not sure I like the idea of automatically uploading to a strangers server, a stranger who will then go through my entire recording and decide if they feel it has any redeeming value or not. It is also unclear if I would have any access to it after I upload it
    It does not automatically upload. When you stop the recording it asks if you want to upload it at which point you can agree or not. I believe you can access the recording from there site if you upload it. I have yet to upload anything so I am not 100% clear on how there site handles it. I use it mainly for the recorder part which is good quality and can run till my battery is dead without interruption.

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