So right now I’m using the AudioNote app on my iPhone. The app popped up a little window saying that I could upgrade to the new AudioNote 2 which has higher quality recordings. You get a free trial month and then it switches to an annual plan of $9.99 USD ($12.49 CAD) per year.
I’m not really sure if I need the new version of AudioNote. To be honest, I bought AudioNote when it first came out and the original price was $4.99 Canadian…. Now it’s in the iTunes Store for $14.99 US and $20.99 Canadian.
AudioNote is a fantastic notetaking program. Here’s why.
Reason 1. You can both type and add drawings into your notes.
All you have to do is switch to pen mode and you can start to annotate pictures or circle words.
Even better, you can switch to highlight mode and you can highlight certain lines that the teacher said was important.
Finally there is a photo mode which allows you to take a picture and insert it into your notes. So, you could take a picture of a diagram from the textbook and then switch to pen mode to annotate certain parts of the diagram and then switch to textmode and start typing some notes.
I only wish that Google documents could let you draw diagrams in addition to typing notes. It would be a game changer.
So many of my students like to type on their phone and take notes, but the problem is you can’t circle words or add highlighted lines easily. And then some students get sucked into trying to draw a Google drawing and it just doesn’t work easily.
Hmm. Maybe Google will buy out AudioNote one day…
Reason 2. Your notes are synced to the audio recording
But what makes AudioNote even better is that all the time that you’re taking notes, you’re actually recording a voice memo and more importantly it syncs to the text and the drawings that you’re taking in your notes.
This means that when you play back the audio it highlights the notes that you took, the words that you typed, and the diagrams that you drew as it plays along in sync.
Reason 3. You can type in new notes as you listen back to your audio recording
What’s even cooler about AudioNote is that it makes a great review tool because as you are in playback mode you can actually type and draw in new notes and AudioNote is smart enough to be able to sync the audio recording with the new notes that you’re typing.
Reason 4. Touch a word you typed and AudioNote will jump to that part of the audio recording
It gets better because when you’re in playback mode, you can touch a word that you typed or line that you drew and it’ll jump to that part of the audio recording.
Also, there’s the traditional time scrubber which lets you move forward and backwards in the audio recording, so kinda like in a regular video you’re able to move forwards or backwards just by moving the slider
I also like how , as you’re typing, it adds a little timestamp of what part of the audio recording it’s at on the left margin.
How could you use AudioNote in the classroom?
I need to use this app more.
1. Note taking at University
I think if I was a student at university or college, this would be a great app to take notes in because you can record the professor teach through the lecture and then later on when you’re reviewing your notes you have the original audio recording and it’s synced to your notes which is pretty cool.
Although this would be a great tool for the classroom, I think in terms of privacy issues, this would be a harder sell. I’m not sure teachers would want every word they said to be recorded, or for students to be recorded, unbeknownst to them. But in university, a lot of students are ready taking audio recordings of the lectures, so this is an app that does it one step better.
2. Note taking in meetings
I think I should use this app more in small group meetings, especially as long as everyone around the table knows that this is an audio recording app. Sometimes in a meeting someone says something and it’s brilliant but then you can never get it exactly the way they set it in the moment is lost. But with AudioNote, it’s kind of like “live” pictures on an iPhone. You can scrub back a few seconds to see what the person said.
3. Recording lessons for students to watch later and interactively jump around to different sections of the lesson.
Teachers could use this app to record lessons to share with students. The teacher would have to pay for the app, but you can export or share the AudioNote file to students for free. And students can download a free AudioNote viewer program for Windows and Mac computers.
The Mac and Windows version of AudioNote lets you view an unlimited number of AudioNote files, but you restricted to only a little bit of recordings. Chances are, some students and families will think they have to buy the software, which isn’t necessary.
Still, this might be a neat way to do a math lesson. I suppose you could record the file at home, draw the diagrams and equations out as you’re talking through a problem. And then afterwards, when you teach the lesson, afterward students who didn’t get it could simply view the file and watch the parts that they got stuck as a work through their own questions.
You could also do this with a literacy lesson. Take a picture of the paragraph that you’re analysing. And then talk through your thinking process as you highlight or circle or draw words on the picture of the paragraph. This would be a great tool for your visual and audio learners and students who maybe didn’t catch it the first time. (Or, students were absent.)
It might be hard to record the note live in front of the class (because sometimes announcements happen, or classroom management needs to happen…), But you could prepare the lesson beforehand at home, or maybe using a headset and tweaking the volume settings might let you record only your voice and not some of the background students talking.
Should you buy AudioNote?
I would get the AudioNote lite version to try the program and see if it works for you.
You could also get the AudioNote 2 version and see if the program works for you. There is a one month free Pro trial that you could test out to see if the AudioNote 2 version is better than the AudioNote.
I feel like there other demo apps/whiteboard apps that let you annotate notes for lessons that might be better or cheaper than AudioNote – I think that something I’m going to look into myself.
But as for taking notes? I think AudioNote is way better than Google docs because it’s so easy to combine text and drawings. (But Google Docs is so much easier for students because so many schools live in the Google ecosystem. And it’s easy to switch between a Chromebook and your phone and your computer at home.)
If you have AudioNote, should you switch to AudioNote 2?
So, with all of this, I’m not entirely sure I need to upgrade to AudioNote 2. I bought this app in 2011 for $4.99.
Seven years later, the app costs $16 more on the Canadian iTunes Store. Sure, if the app publisher had an annual subscription model of $10 a year, they would’ve made $70 off of me. But to be honest, at that point, I’m not sure if I would use AudioNote. I only use it every now and then because of the privacy issues of having to let people know that you’re recording them. It doesn’t always work.
Also, I’m not a fan of the monthly or annual subscription model. I like buying my apps and having it forever.
Finally, I’m not sure that you get a lot more features out of the subscription version of the AudioNote 2 app.
It says you get higher quality recording but I don’t find the audio recording that bad. I use it in meeting notes so that I can remember what we say in our group. The audio recording for that is just fine.
With the subscription version of AudioNote 2, you get the ability to import pre-recorded audio. I guess if you’re a university student and you’re trying to turn your audio recorded tapes into your notes, I guess that’s a good thing. But then you still have to type your notes and again anyways because it won’t automatically sync to notes that you’ve already taken in a different program.
The Pro version of AudioNote 2 says you get “time of day” time stamps, which I guess means that you get the actual date recorded into the note and the actual time? I’m okay with it just being the timestamp of where it is in the audio recording so like 10:00 minutes into the audio recording.
All in all, I think I’m gonna pass on upgrading to AudioNote 2.
How could you use AudioNote in the classroom?
Here are some links:
- Get the AudioNote app
- Get the AudioNote2 app
- Get the AudioNote Lite app
- Download the Windows or Mac version of AudioNote
About this post…
I wrote this post using Nuance Dragon Professional Individual 15and Microsoft Office 365.
There were 1,566 words in the first draft. Dragon NaturallySpeaking made 27 dictation errors (listed in red font below). You can see the kinds of things it got wrong in the table below.
Overall, the voice recognition got 98.3% of the words right, which ain’t bad.
Mistakes Dragon NaturallySpeaking 15 Professional heard…
Here are the listening errors that Dragon made when I wrote this post.
(For example, it thought I liked (kitchen) sinks, instead of syncing things together.)
This was a brand new profile using a brand new USB headset, so Dragon isn’t used to my voice yet. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly this version of Dragon (Professional v15) will pick up my vocabulary.
What I said
What Dragon NaturallySpeaking 15 heard
|All right, so right now…||I so right now I’m|
|It syncs to the text||it sinks to the text|
|Able to sync the audio recording||able to sink the audio recording|
|Recording it’s at on||recording it’s had on|
|Kind of like Minecraft||kind of like my craft|
|The audio recording||The outer recording|
|Sync to notes||sink the notes|
|And AudioNote is a fantastic notetaking program||In AudioNote is a fantastic notetaking program|
|Switch to pen mode||switch the pen mode|
|Switch to highlight mode||switch the highlight mode|
|Insert it into your notes||insert into your notes|
|Switch to pen mode||switch the pen mode|
|Wish that Google documents could let you draw diagrams||wish that Google documents can let you draw diagrams|
|Maybe Google will buy out||Maybe Google will bio|
|AudioNote||all you know|
|New notes that you’re typing||new notes that your typing|
|And it’ll jump||an ill jump|
|How, as you’re typing||how is your typing|
|It’s synced to your notes||it synced to your notes|
|Live pictures||life pictures|
|So with all of this||So all of this|
|You’re recording them||you recording them|
|Draw the diagrams out||for all the diagrams out|
- I trained “AudioNote” and “AudioNote 2” as vocabulary words before I began. Dragon NaturallySpeaking did pretty well, except for one time when it thought I said “all you know”
- I added words to the vocabulary once a mistake was made (i.e. “sync” or “Chromebook”), to help teach Dragon NaturallySpeaking how I pronounce some words.
- There are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them, I may receive a small commission from the advertiser. This doesn’t affect the price you pay, but it does help keep the lights on here.