Flashback Friday – Use Evernote To Record Meetings, Lessons, Etc.

Flashback Friday posts highlight popular articles from the WBK archive. Today’s blast from the past is Use Evernote To Record Meetings, Lessons, Etc.

Use Evernote To Record Meetings, Lessons, Etc.

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Recently I was pleased to discover that the built-in recording feature of the Evernote note-taking application works very well for recording long meetings without using up tons of space on your smartphone or PC:

A few weeks ago I again participated in Ladies Rock Camp Boston – this time I tried playing a drum kit. I liked it enough that I bought my own kit and started taking lessons with one of the drum teachers.

I realized that trying to take notes during an hour lesson while holding sticks in both hands would not work, so I decided to make an audio recording of it using a 32GB iPod touch. I didn’t want to use my 16GB iPhone 4S because it only had  about 3GB available and from my experience of recording band practices I knew that my recording apps would create very large .wav files.

However, I use Evernote for note-taking, information storage, and writing (I wrote my entire 50K word NaNoWriMo novel in it!) and I remembered that it has an audio note-taking feature. I decided to try using it because once I got the iPod onto a wifi network the recording would be synchronized with my web account plus all of my other devices (PC, Mac and iPhone) to be accessible when, for instance, I was at my practice space.

After recording my hour-long lesson and returning home I synced my iPod with theEvernote server and sat down to review the size and quality of the recording. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that the total size of the .wav file it created was only 6MB! For comparison, the recording of a friend’s under 10 minute recital piece was 65MB.

evernote audio file

I suspect the size difference is due to Evernote applying a good deal more compression to the already-mono recording (the 65MB file was recorded in 16-bit 44.1KHz stereo resolution). So while that means Evernote is not suitable to reproduce music decently, it is perfectly acceptable for recording spoken word meetings and also for my music lesson since that is less about high fidelity and more about remembering what the teacher demonstrated.

Evernote basic is free to use. Evernote Premium costs $45 a year (or $5/month). The differences relevant to recording are:

  • the maximum size file you can attache to a note is 25MB in the free version vs 100MB in Premium
  • the maximum upload usage per month is 60MB for free vs 1 GB for Premium. Both have unlimited permanent storage (i.e., for free you can upload 60MB every month – you don’t have to remove any files to keep the total content a certain size)

Evernote has versions for Windows, Mac, iOS (iPhone.iPad/iPod touch), Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and more – I’ve used all of those except Windows Phone to sync data across all of my devices.

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