Now you can use Aroundsound in the dark

You asked for it and we’ve delivered! One of the most requested features is the ability to use Aroundsound in dark mode, that is with the screen being mostly dark instead of  bright, and ideal low light conditions when you don’t want to be dazzled by a bright screen.

Here are some circumstances when this is ideal:

  • Playing a recorded bedtime story to a child in the evening (you might want to select the next story and not distract them with a bright screen)
  • Recording personal notes, or even your dreams, late at night
  • Recording gatherings, jamming sessions or lectures in low light conditions

Dark mode is now here, for our Android app to begin with, and will be coming to iPhone soon.

How do I enable dark mode then?

To enable dark mode, simply update the app, then navigate to the ‘Settings’ tab, and toggle the ‘dark mode’ selector. You can easily switch back at any time using the same method.

Don’t have Aroundsound yet? Go ahead and install the app, which is free to use for early users, so get started now without paying a thing. Just download Aroundsound here for iPhone or download Aroundsound here for Android.

Photo credit: Jack Sharp on Unsplash

Aroundsound listed as Best Free Android app 2019

We’re pleased to say that the Aroundsound Android app has been included in the highly acclaimed Techradar’s round-up of the ‘Best free Android apps for 2019’. The editors called out the simplicity and ease of use of Aroundsound as “a seemingly simple audio recording app with a surprising amount to it“.

It’s a great write up and a great description of our base offering:

“It’s designed to allow you to quickly and easily record any sound with a single tap – be it a conversation, the wind in the trees, or anything else.

Recordings are saved automatically, named based on the time of day, and given a location tag. Tapping on a recording then plays it back. Simple.

You can also adjust the recording quality, pause a recording and continue the same recording later, trim a recording or edit out unimportant parts, and share recordings with people or apps as a web link, so there’s no need for others to have the Aroundsound app or to download a file in order to listen to your recordings.

You can also change the names of your recordings and add bookmarks to important points in them, so you can easily find the key parts later. These bookmarks can even have a note attached. Plus, you can back up your recordings to the cloud, so they’ll never get lost.

There’s a lot here, but most of its stays out of the way, so if you want to stick to the basics you won’t find endless buttons and toggles intruding on the experience.”

It’s worth noting that the Aroundsound Android app has improved even further since this write up, with the following additions:

  • Collections – add sounds to shared collections and invite members to join and add their own sounds, or comment on yours
  • Inspirational sounds – see how others are using Aroundsound and find ideas for sounds to record for yourself, or just listen in
  • Activities – see all of your sound shares, comments and notifications in one place

Thanks to Tech Radar for including our app. You can access their full round-up here and download the Aroundsound Android app here. 

Everyone’s a story teller, especially our children!

Ash is an architect by profession and mother to two young children. When she first heard about the Aroundsound app she was interested to discover whether sound recording would allow her to interact with her children and being able to capture their time together, hands-free with the screen off.

She downloaded Aroundsound and started experimenting. She found the simplicity of the app appealing and especially how easy it was to start recording without fumbling with her device and stepping out of the moment.

She quickly became a convert and has used the app to record many times together with her children. One particularly special moment was when she was listening to a piece of classical music with her daughter, Zara.

When she listens to classical music, Zara goes into her own dream world, and Ash saw this as a good opportunity to capture what Zara was thinking about the music. She quickly grabbed her phone, started recording and asked Zara what the music made her think about.

Ash was able to record her daughter telling a beautiful story with the music playing quietly in the background. A serendipitous moment that she has later been able to replay, share with family and friends, but most importantly treasure forever.

Aroundsound lets you capture those everyday moments which then turn out to be marvelous moments that are saved forever.

It’s really easy to get started recording and create a soundtrack with your children. Just download Aroundsound here for iPhone or download Aroundsound here for Android, and when you’re in that special place, hit the big red record button. You can rename and trim when you’re done and create your own collections, adding any of your recordings, then share easily with loved ones. The don’t need to have the app to listen, but if they do they can comment on collections and be notified any time you add a new story!

Liz’s Incredible India Travels

Liz started using the Aroundsound app to record memories with her two young girls and cherishes these recordings.

Not long after starting to use the app, Liz went on a trip with her sister to a wedding in India. This was going to be a trip of a lifetime for them both and Liz wanted to capture this in different ways, so she used the Aroundsound app to compliment her photos and videos.

Liz used the app while in India to capture many special experiences, that were as much about the sounds as the sights.

“India is all about the hit to the senses and capturing the echoing morning prayer, the crazy-loud city streets and all the singing and music has been brilliant!”

Liz realised that capturing the sound of a place made her appreciate sound in a whole new way, and how capturing a sound only memory is very different to taking a picture or video.

“I found myself really focusing in on the sound of a place which I haven’t done before. It really changed the attention of a new moment from always being about visuals and capturing them through photography to also listening and recognising this sound is a really important part of a new experience.”

Liz also loved how the non-intrusive nature of the app allowed her to capture a very special memory from an experience during which she didn’t want to be watching being a screen or holding up her phone to video.

“I recorded the wedding we went to in India for the bride and sent her the sounds afterwards. I love how non-intrusive the app is. Just press one button and lock your phone and you can forget you’re recording and just go back to it later. I wouldn’t video record a scene with people in as it feels rude but a sound recording feels fine as they’re just part of the background hum!”

Once Liz was home she shared the sound recording of the wedding with the bride to add to her treasured memories of the day. She also sent her sister sound recordings of their memories together in India along with photos and videos of their holiday together.

“She loved it and said having a sound blast from a holiday really captures how you feel when you’re there.”

The Aroundsound app gave Liz and her sister sound recordings that they will be able to replay and relive their incredible India trip forever.

It’s really easy to get started recording and create the soundtrack for your travels. Just download Aroundsound here for iPhone or download Aroundsound here for Android, and when you’re in that special place, hit the big red record button. You can rename and trim when you’re done and create your own collections, adding any of your recordings, then share easily with loved ones. The don’t need to have the app to listen, but if they do they can comment on collections and be notified any time you add a new story!

Piano Lessons with Kate

Kate is an experienced musician and teacher and has been teaching piano for the last 15 years. She loves to share her passion for music with others and has many students from children as young as four through to adults, conducting several hours of lessons every week.

Kate understands that the adoption of new technologies helps the teaching process between her and her students, and is always open to trying new ways to support her pupils’ practice. She also knows that remembering what was covered in a lesson can be hard for some of her pupils, especially the younger ones, and after hearing about the Aroundsound app, she figured that sound recording lessons would be a great addition to the suite of learning approaches she uses.

Kate uses the Aroundsound app to record lessons and share them with her pupils (or their parents, for the younger ones). This really helps enhance the practice as the pupils can play back the lesson and reflect on the teaching from that lesson, or listen back to how a piece should be played, and reinforce what they have been taught.

Some pupils have used the app to record their home practice and share this with Kate so she can hear how they are getting on between lessons. Kate can even leave comments on the practice shared, giving extra tips between lessons to the students and enhancing their playing.

For pupils of a young age, the recordings are particularly useful, because they can be shared directly with the parent and listened to together at home, to jog the child’s memory of what the lesson contained. It’s wonderful for the parent to hear the lesson and listen back with the child in their own time in a relaxed manner, and for less musical parents, an essential tool to supporting practice!

Kate appreciates that Aroundsound isn’t intrusive during the lesson; she is able to use it without the pupil being self-conscious as it is only the sound being recorded. She doesn’t have to hold the device to record the lesson, simply presses the record button, and pops her phone near the piano. Afterwards can add the recording into a collection for the pupil and share easily with the student and even their parents. Once the collection has been shared there is no need for Kate to share each lesson she just adds the recording of each lesson into the collection for the pupil to listen to at home.

Kate also thinks that “recording lessons and listening back is something us teachers should do more often. Private individual tuition is isolated and other teaching settings allow opportunities for regular assessment, evaluation and reflection. The recordings are useful for my onging pedagogical reflection and evaluation so that I can make sure the students get the best of me too.”

Listen here to one of Kate’s lessons with a four year old pupil recorded on Aroundsound…

If you’re a music teacher, it’s really easy to get started using Aroundsound to support your lessons. Aroundsound is free to use for early users, so get started now without paying a thing. Just download Aroundsound here for iPhone or download Aroundsound here for Android. You can easily set up collections for all your pupils, and add any recordings there, then invite pupils and parents to join as members. The don’t need to have the app to listen, but if they do they can comment on collections and be notified any time you add a new recording.

Grandad Steve’s Bedtime Story Collection

Iris and Edith’s grandad, Steve, is a retired head teacher and lives 200 miles from them on the south coast of England. He visits with Grandma as often as he can and one of his favourite pastimes when together with his grandchildren is reading stories. Enjoying a book together is a highlight of any visit, and there’s rarely enough time to enjoy as many stories together as they would like.

When grandad Steve isn’t with the girls, they catch-up often on Facetime, but it’s often rushed calls between dinner time or bathtime, and relies on the girls being in the right mood. Steve got to know about Aroundsound after being shared some messages and recordings of the girls from their mum, Rachel. He enjoyed listening and wondered whether his grandaughters would like to hear some grandad stories recorded and shared this way.  It could be the next best thing to sitting on grandad’s lap with a book!

Steve dug out one of the children’s story books he had put aside for visits, recorded himself reading a story on Aroundsound and sent it to Rachel to play to the girls to see what they thought. It was an instant hit, the girls loved hearing grandad’s voice reading to them even when he wasn’t there, and wanted more!

Steve now has a new routine.  He regularly reads and records stories for Iris and Edith, who love hearing new stories coming in. Steve keeps his eye out in local charity shops looking for new books to read and share, and he even borrows favourite books from the girls while visiting to record and post back up. This means the girls get to listen to grandad reading their favourite stories as well as new stories they haven’t heard before.

He has now been recording books on Aroundsound for 9 months and there are now 75 stories saved for the girls. With Aroundsound collections, he has put the stories into collections to make them easy to find. Rachel even gets a new notification when a new story is added to a collection, so the girls can listen as soon as a new story arrives. Although a new story in a collection is exciting, there are some stories that are played over and over again, Flip Flop’s secret is a favourite that has been played out more than 20 times!

Steve finds the best time for him to record the stories are first thing in the morning when it’s quiet and he now finds it the perfect start to the day to sit down with a coffee and take 20 minutes to record a story for Iris and Edith. He doesn’t mind that they aren’t perfectly produced; if he makes a mistake he will make a funny comment as he would if they were all together, and continues recording the story, he even records a special message at the start and the end of the story which the girls adore.

The girls listen to grandad’s stories at lots of different times during the day: when having breakfast, the car journey back from school, but their favourite time to listen to grandad is after mum and dad have finished reading their stories and its lights off time. Now instead of this being a time for tears, as story time has ended, they now drift off listening to grandad’s voice, even asking for specific stories to fall asleep to.  Rachel either stays with them with the lights off and they all lie and listen to the story, or she pops the phone on flight mode and lets the stories play for 15 – 20 minutes until the girls have fallen asleep. They have even created a special collection of stories to nod off to.

Steve loves knowing that most nights the girls fall asleep listening to his voice reading their favourite stories, something he wouldn’t have thought possible living over 200 miles away. The girls also have this special connection with their grandad, and have a collection stories in his voice to enjoy for years and share with their own children in time to come.

We think Grandad Steve’s collection is so special that we asked him to record some of the books available publicly for you to enjoy as well! Find Grandad Steve’s bedtime story collection here…

It’s really easy to get started recording you own story collection. Just download Aroundsound here for iPhone or download Aroundsound here for Android, find a quiet spot and a favourite book and hit the big red record button. You can rename and trim when you’re done and create your own collections, adding any of your recordings, then share easily with loved ones. The don’t need to have the app to listen, but if they do they can comment on collections and be notified any time you add a new story!

Aroundsound gets even better with Shared Collections

Collaborate on recordings, share and discuss ideas with friends and family. This easy to use feature connects you and your network through sound.

Sharing is caring

As Aroundsound grows we’ve seen more people who want to create collections or albums of sounds and share those with others. Examples include bedtime stories (recorded by a granddad for his grandchildren), lessons and lectures, musical notes (ideas and drafts) and environmental collections (birdsong, nature notes).

Collaborate and Comment

We’ve now made it even easier than ever to create collections of sounds and share those with other with others. Anybody who joins your collection as a member can comment and even add their own sounds, plus they can be notified when you add a new sound.

Collaborate on collections
Collaborate on Collections

You can find the ‘collections’ tab on your app, where you can create a new collection and start adding sounds. When you’re ready to share, simply change the privacy to ‘visible to the group’ and then you can invite members to join your collection. You can change the privacy at any time, back to a private collection if you prefer.

Give it a trim

What’s more, if you are an iPhone user, you will be pleased to know that the latest app release now includes ‘trimming’ recordings, a feature we have made available in our Android app for some time.  This means it’s super easy to select just the part of the recording you want to keep, and trim out anything else. The original full recording will still be saved and you’ll make an additional, new trimmed version. Pick and trim the best moments then save or share with others.

Trimming Aroundsound iPhone

Record like a pro

Aroundsound helps you to record, replay and share life’s moments – the everyday that is powerful without being perfectly produced. It is developing all the time both on Android and iPhone, with collections and trimming being just two of the latest features that you’ve asked for. New to sound recording? Check out this handy guide.

Download the app for Android or iOS and give it a go, and please tell us what you think. We’d love to hear what’s in your soundtrack this week!

Photo credit John Hult @ Unsplash

Share the sounds of your Christmas

The festive season is certainly upon us and memories are being made. Nativity plays, carol concerts, baking sessions, present unwrapping, and those bad jokes that are repeated every year at dinner by your Nan after a couple of glasses of Bucks Fizz.

This weekend we started getting in the spirit and heard a warm up rendition of Jingle Bells by a professional from the Hallé orchestra, and a Brass Band playing festive tunes at Chatsworth House. We also had an unexpected meeting with the big man himself and here we are meeting Father Christmas.

Sound is a special way to capture and share the festive moment, whilst remaining in the moment (tap to record, then carry on as you were). It’s also a great way to share the fun with friends and family.

Our Aroundsound iPhone app has just been updated to make the experience of sound capturing and sharing even better. The Android app is also available and is regularly updated. We’re grateful for all the feedback we’re getting and are making regular improvements. Try it out and let us know what you think, and why not share your sound captures with us too? We’ll publish the best ones with your permission.

What sounds of Christmas will you capture?

Posted by Rachel

Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash

Aroundsound app is featured by Google

We are delighted to share that our Aroundsound app has been selected by Google to be featured as a recommended app on Google Play. Aroundsound helps you to capture and share life’s sounds as they happen. It is currently available as an Early Access app in Google Play for Android and as a fresh new app on Apple’s App Store.

Google have high standards for selecting apps to be featured (this is a small list of 8 ‘early access’ apps globally), so it is a privilege to be chosen. It is a great opportunity for Aroundsound to be visible to many more Early Access users globally, and gain the valuable feedback we need from people first hand. Here are some of the comments we’ve been given back already:

“I tried many recording apps in the play store, but it is the best app”

“Love the app. Does what it says. Very simple to use.”

“Super”

We are closely monitoring the feedback and analytics behind the spike in usage that this featuring has caused, and will use this to shape how the product develops.

If you are an Apple user you can download the Aroundsound iPhone app instead. Please let us know what you think!

Aroundsound iPhone App is live

Today marks a significant milestone for Aroundsound. Our iPhone app is now out in the Apple App Store. You can use it to capture and share sounds that are special to you; your baby babbling, bathtime giggles, the church bell chiming on the way to work. Save them, share them and invite others into your world using sound.

You an download the iPhone app on the App Store here.

This is the first version, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) if you like, and there is much more to come. We value any feedback at this stage, as it all helps to shape the product to come. If you like the app, please give us a good rating!

The Android app is also available and is regularly updated.

We’re grateful for all the feedback we’re getting and are making regular improvements. Try it out and let us know what you think, and why not share your sound captures with us too?