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App of the week for journalists: SoundNote, an iPad app for interviews

October 31st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week

App of the week: SoundNote

Devices: iPad

Cost: £2.99

What is it? An iPad app built by a student journalist, for students and journalists. SoundNote lets you record an interview while taking notes, with the written text acting as a marker. When you payback the audio and tap a word, the recording jumps to that point in the audio. You can also draw sketches which are linked to the audio.

How is it of use to journalists?

This app has an interesting story behind it. It was created by a journalism student from Seattle who paid off his student loan with income from the app.

It was made with both journalists and students in mind and is a great way of taking notes and finding the correct point in the audio.

For example, if I interview someone who gives me certain stats, I could note the figures at the time. I could later check them or take a quote from the audio by simply tapping on the figure and jumping to that point in the recording.

The app can also be used to sketch or write freehand and the drawing can then be used to skip to the relevant part of the audio.

The SoundNote files can be shared by email or over a wifi network.

Recommended by: @andrewhennigan

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Poynter: Journalism student creates iPad app for recording interviews

Poynter has an interesting post on SoundNote, an iPad app for recording interviews.

It tells the story of how David Estes, a journalism student studying in Seattle, created the application, paid off his student loan with his earnings from the $5.99 app, and moved to a West Village apartment.

The post explains how the app works.

SoundNote is a simple note-taking application that lets you record from the iPad’s internal microphone. It matches your notes with the timeline of the audio recording, so you just click on a word in your notes to jump to the related point in the audio. If you’re interviewing someone, you point the iPad in the direction of your subject and jot down a few keywords as the person answers.

It is also worth reading the post for the back story of how the app came about.

Estes’ development of the app is a lesson in innovation. Instead of going through a formal process of soliciting requirements or getting multiple people to sign off on wireframes, a 21-year-old student thought about how a device like the iPad could make his life easier — as a journalist and student — and he just made it.

The full post is on Poynter at this link.

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