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Rob_P

Audio recording quality

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The ability to record audio straight to a note is great but they are really low quality audio files. Is there a way of changing the recording settings?

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Nope,  sorry - the last point here is from the KB entry...  https://evernote.com/contact/support/kb/#!/article/28606837

 

Tips

  • Warning: If your audio recording surpasses the total note size, then your audio note will not sync to Evernote
  • You can type inside Evernote as audio is recording
  • On mobile devices, you can also record short voice memos and transcribe it into text
  • If you have a prerecorded audio file, you can drag the file right into Evernote to create a new note, or drop it into an existing note
  • If you want full control over the audio file size or recording quality, you might want to record on a different program to adjust and edit, and then attach it to a note

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Thanks. On investigating further the recording quality has been significantly lessened at some point recently. I notice that a 1 minute recording I saved last year was about 500K in size, with a bit rate of 64kbps and sample rate of 44.1khz- perfectly adequate quality- and one saved today of about the same length was 101k in size, and shows a bit rate of 13kbps and sample rate of 8kHz! Recordings are such bad quality now as to be almost unusable. I am a music teacher and keep class records on EN and it is really useful to quickly record and save students work in progress- I don't really want the faff of doing them in a separate program first. I'm not happy about this- can anyone say at what version this changed so I can go back to where it was? Is it a difference between v5 and v6?

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...and my older recordings are m4a whereas newer ones are uncompressed wavs which seems strange- is there not a setting in my macbook which is dictating this? The KB entry notes that as a Premium user I can record a file of 100MB per note- at the rate it is currently recording at that is an awfully long recording!

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Hmmn.  It may be worth it to you to go premium for a month to resolve this (if you;re not already there) - you'd need to raise a support request and/ or chat to someone in support to find out that sort of detail.  I wasn't aware that the quality had dropped,  but then I always use another app to record and attach the files anyway.  Your interest is a bit specialised.  The KB entry about 100MB notes isn't significant - I'm sure the decision to drop quality (if that's what it was) would have been taken independently from the writer of the 'how to record' section...

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Thanks for the reply. I am Premium, so it's not that. I just think it is strange that there has been such a big drop in quality for no apparent reason. I know everyone uses EN in different ways but if a function is provided why degrade it to the point it's not really worth having? I have now raised it with someone at support, anyway. 

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I can imagine that the audio quality might have been dropped to speed up loading and syncing audio notes on mobile devices,  but I have no information one way or the other.  If and when you get something from Support,  please let us know!

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I've now realised the changing recording formats I'm seeing are explained by the difference in the way recordings are handled in OS X and iOS versions, so the quality hasn't dropped as such- its just always been lousy on OS X! So all recordings in future will be done on my iPad or iPhone, they just sound so much better!

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Thanks for the update - odd that a theoretically more powerful OS is less effective at audio,  but it's very useful to know there's a difference!

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Thanks for the update - odd that a theoretically more powerful OS is less effective at audio,  but it's very useful to know there's a difference!

 

That is NOT the case.  It is NOT that the Mac OS is less effective than iOS at audio, it is the method that Evernote has chosen to use in EN Mac that is causing the issue.

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For those of you interested in higher quality audio recording, you might try AudioNote.

There is a version for both Mac and iOS (as well as Windows and Android), and they can share files via Dropbox.

 

When I want an audio recording for Evernote, I use AudioNote, and then attach to an EN Note.

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But why should I have to use a several-step process to do something that I should be able to do in Evernote with one click? If Evernote provides a function, that function has to be at least usable otherwise it's just a marketing sop to entice people to use the software. Many users have complained over a number of years that the recording quality in OSx is not fit for any purpose. This cannot be a difficult thing for the programming team to tweak, so presumably they can't be bothered, or do not see that this limitation is actually turning away a very large user base whose particular use for EN includes on-the-fly recording and organising of sound clips (teachers, musicians, students at lectures etc, etc). I don't expect great sound quality from Evernote, I've got lots of ways of achieving that if I want, I just want something that is usable that works with my workflow- that's all! It would be lovely to hear from someone at Evernote why they feel they are incapable of achieving this!

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Evernote very rarely comment on feature requests - possibly on the basis that if they spend their time justifying where things sit in their priority list,  or explaining why they don't have something there yet,  they'll have even less time to actually fix and develop things. 

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Fair enough, but I don't think the balance is right- there seems to be too much emphasis on developing new features (that don't always seem to be as well thought through as they might be), and not enough on getting what they have to work as well as it should, which is where they should do more to understand how users are using EN and to listen to them. ENs existing user base are their best marketing tool so they really ought to do more to show they are listening to them, it would give users more confidence in the product ultimately.

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I agree to a point - I think it's better to have a specific plan and stick to it rather than being jerked this way and that with calls from users to 'edit images' 'embed videos' 'calendars' 'to-do lists',  but sometimes,  you do wonder where Evernote gets its inspirations from...

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I've been researching this Mac OS poor recording quality recently as well and from what I'm reading the fact that EN for Mac does not have the option to adjust the recording quality seems to be a big oversight. They've already added this feature to the mobile apps - so it's obvious that they're concerned and thinking about audio quality. The fact that this has not been added to the desktop version seems a bit ridiculous. I teach and would love to be able to quickly record decent quality audio and organize it as I record it - using a separate app will just make more work for me. Unfortunately it seems I may need to switch to AudioNote as someone else suggested above. Sad that EN cannot make this work on the Mac - ridiculous even - and that they'd prefer me to use another app instead of EN? Ridiculous. 

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If the mobile apps do record in the quality that you need,  wouldn't it be fairly easy to record your notes using a mobile and sync the note through to your desktop for editing/ further use?  I'd imagine more bells and whistles for recording is one Evernote's radar,  but there are lots of other competing priorities...

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Mobile devices do not work in my school building - I have no signal and I cannot put my own phone on my school's wifi. This is not a "bells and whistles" feature and I've already read just about every response to this issue that's you've  posted over the past several years - none were very helpful and they always avoid the issue - that Evernote needs to fix this issue so that their customers can creatively utilize the Evernote software in a way that fits their workflow. If I cannot get Evernote to do or work the way I need to I'll simply need to find another solution - one that does not include Evernote. I've already got several ideas - none include Evernote and I'll probably be ending my premium subscription as a result. 

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Sorry if it comes across as negative,  but I tend to believe I'm being realistic - if Evernote don't provide audio features,  then it's pointless repeatedly asking them to change.  If they accept the need,  and even if it is a priority,  it will be months or years before any new features are released.  Better for the individual user to find an alternative that is at least acceptable if not especially convenient. 

There are many other sound recording applications for both desktops and mobiles that will work independently of being on or offline,  and it's possible to connect a mobile to a desktop via cable to transfer files if necessary.  All audio apps should be able to save to MP3 files,  which can be attached to a note to be played by different software -including standard audio players- wherever the file is opened.

I'd suspect having Evernote provide all this is a convenience or an irrelevance for most users,  so I don't see any changes being made soon - although no-one outside the company knows Evernote's plans,  so it could be released in the next update.

Meantime if something is really essential to you and workarounds aren't acceptable,  then yes of course you should use any other software that will give you the features you need.  I use a dozen or more specialised apps during the day for images / email / audio etc.  I don't especially want Evernote to get more top heavy with menus and options,  and I'm happy for them to stay separate. 

Good luck with your search.  If you do want to apply a little pressure to Evernote,  and test the appeal of your idea,  try creating a topic in one of the feedback forums where up voting exists.

Windows   https://discussion.evernote.com/forum/224-windows-desktop-product-feedback/

Mac   https://discussion.evernote.com/forum/218-mac-product-feedback/

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Fair enough, but I don't think the balance is right- there seems to be too much emphasis on developing new features (that don't always seem to be as well thought through as they might be), and not enough on getting what they have to work as well as it should, which is where they should do more to understand how users are using EN and to listen to them. ENs existing user base are their best marketing tool so they really ought to do more to show they are listening to them, it would give users more confidence in the product ultimately.

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I know this is an old topic, but I had the same gripe about audio quality in the built-in recording feature for a while. However, as a Mac user,  the new Voice Memos app in MacOS, probably available since the Mojave release, allows you to drag and drop from the recording list directly into a note. Even recording with a cheap mic into Voice Memos on your Mac provides vastly better sound quality so I'm happy with this workaround for now.

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