Go paperless with audio greeting cards

Girl creating her audio greeting card with Aroundsound

It may be easier than you think to go paperless and do your bit for the environment. Be it at home or at work, channeling your digital skills to support the eco-movement this year comes easy with our seasonal audio cards.

How to have a green Christmas

According to Andy Williams, it’s “the most wonderful time of the year” yet without taking the time to reflect your good intentions to become more environmentally aware, may quickly turn into wasteful wishful thinking. You may be in the midst of being torn between sending personal messages to friends and family who live elsewhere and reducing your paper consumption but worry not: create bespoke audio greeting cards with Aroundsound by adding the respective hashtag and you won’t miss out on spreading the end of year love.

Create Audio Greetings with Aroundsound

How to make your audio greeting cards

We like things to be easy so here are the simple steps to creating your e-card with Aroundsound:

  1. Open the app on Android or iOS and hit record
  2. For the Christmas theme simply add #xmas, #Christmas or #holidays to your title, for New Year’s it will be NewYear, #HappyNewYear or #HappyNewYear2020 – the hashtag will trigger the festive theme respectively (truly magical)
  3. Share with friends and family, upon them opening the link you sent they’ll be listening to your lovely message while looking at the seasonal backdrop to the recording
Continue with paperless intentions using audio cards

Reducing waste by sending personalised voice messages that are also appealing to look at is a winning strategy. If you then also think about the time saved quickly producing and instantly sharing your recording, you’d soon wonder how you’d done without audio greeting cards before. No more queuing at the post office or buying stamps. Sit down one afternoon or record a message on the go – by simply adding one of the hashtags you’ll turn your already warm wishes into a pretty one while doing something for the environment. What’s not to like?

Going paperless at home or at work

Besides the seasonal appeal, how many times have you thought that pile of paper bills and documents gives you the creeps? While you’d still need paper documents like your birth or company certificate you may find that for most parts of your personal and professional life audio records work just as well if not better. Record your to-do and shopping list, record messages for the family and add to them to your family Collection – members will be notified of new recordings and can comment; same applies for your work context. Instead of keeping your written diary start recording your thoughts anytime, anywhere. There are so many good (and productivity enhancing) reasons for using audio recording in your everyday life. Hit record and ditch the notepad during meetings.

Recording your audio card on the go with Aroundsound

There’s a plethora of simple yet effective ways to remove paper from your life, starting with audio recording and documenting. Feel like giving it a try? Be your green best this year and download the Aroundsound app for Android and iOS to create your bespoke audio greeting card. Going paperless couldn’t be more straightforward.

Photo Credit Luke Porter @Unsplash

Top 10 reasons to record audio with Aroundsound

Why should you start audio recording we hear you ask? From working smarter not harder by making your commute to work ten times more efficient, to creating memories that last, we’re giving you the low-down of how exactly you can use Aroundsound to record on iPhone or Android to make the most of audio recording in your everyday. Spoiler: you’ll wonder how you managed without. 

1. Enhance your productivity

We all love to be that little bit more efficient with our time, being more organised, multi-tasking while excelling at our agile best. Enter audio recording to help with all that. Record and use just one tap to note important parts, so you can stay fully in the present, knowing Aroundsound has got your memory covered. Optimise every minute by adding Aroundsound to your Quick Settings Tile when using Android, or our widget for iOS, to record even when your phone is locked and to never miss a beat when going into a meeting.

Add Aroundsound to your Quick Settings Tile

Make smarter notes just by recording your meetings – pop in a Pin for longer recordings, add a note to a particularly important point and listen back in your own time. More so, you can suggest to attend a meeting on behalf of your team members and share the recording later on. 

Get organised with Collections to which you invite your team members. Every time you created a recording for that specific topic for example ‘Team Updates’, they’ll get notified and can comment in that Collection. As a team leader responsible for an international, perhaps remote team the fact that members can listen to updates can help misinterpreting written content. Are you attending many conferences? Rather than scribbling away, hit record and really tune into the presentation. Again you’ll be able to share the recordings with everyone – best use of everyone’s time and (the company’s) money.

Make team meetings much more efficient with audio recording

2. While at Uni

Not yet in a professional environment? Audio recording will reinvent how productive you are at university. Next time you’ll attend a lecture or are doing an interview for a research project, record it, knowing that you can fully concentrate on what’s being said. Create Collections per subject and share these with anyone in your course. Ideal for when a fellow student couldn’t attend. Studying for your next exam will be a walk in the park as you’ve got your recordings to go back to. Don’t forget to add a Pin as especially longer recordings will be much easier to navigate. 

Add Pins and Notes to your ongoing recording

3. Enhance your daily well being

As well as increasing productivity in your professional life, enhancing your personal well being couldn’t be of equally (if not greater) importance. Create daily recordings for the things you are or have been grateful for – it will help you reflect on the day and your achievements with so much more output and possibly relieve you of negative thoughts too. Want to become more mindful?  Enforce a habit, for example to meditate in the morning by taking a recording and setting a daily reminder. Another way to use this is to create a dream journal. Fearing you’d miss your favourite yoga class while travelling for work? Record the class and go through your practice by listening in your hotel room. 

4. Sound Professionals

From recording your musical ideas to jazz riffs to the next big hit: sound recording will help you keep track of it all. Improve your melodies, share your sounds with your band mates instantly and let them comment. If they’ve got the app they can add their own sounds into a Collection. Collaboration couldn’t be easier. As a sound engineer you’ll be effortlessly creating a bank of samples and be able to enrich them with plenty of metadata. Collaborate on sound design projects with clients and colleagues alike. 

Collaborate with ‘members’ of your Collections on musical ideas

5. Blogstars

Whether you’re starting out or calling yourself an influencer already, anything that can help with optimising your blog should be a Godsend. Capture your blog post ideas while on the go. Record yourself for your next YouTube clip to focus on what you say not only how you look. Planning to launch a podcast? Again just use Aroundsound as you can access your files on the web should you need it to upload into your blog. 

6. Life’s a stage

Make your next spoken word or poetry slam hit the ground running. Record your ideas and memorise your piece while on the go. Listen back to fine tune your speech performance. Are you working on a theater performance within a team? Again, bouncing off ideas especially over a long distance will avoid a long stream of voice messages in your WhatsApp group.

Make your next on stage performance the best

7. Teaching

Learn a language or improve your piano skills with audio recording. As a teacher you’ll be able to teach and improve your students not only locally but globally. Add a Pin with a note to where in the recording you’d like your student to pay particular attention to. With recordings you’re keeping a wonderful record of your journey through that Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. 

Track how you improve your skills with audio recording

8. Create memories that last

Time is our greatest resources and parents and grandparents alike will know too well how fast it is running out. Recording your child’s first words, bath time giggles or nursery rhymes will be moments you can treasure forever with sound recording. In fact, that’s how Aroundsound was founded. Grandparents will be able to record their own life story to pass on as well as bedtime stories and thus share moments with their grandchildren even when living far away. 

Create memories that last by recording life’s special moments

Friends will enjoy listening back to nights out full of laughter whenever they need a small pick me up. ‘Besties’ talks with your friend live in a different time zone will become a breeze as you can create a recording and add it to your ‘Bestie’s Collection. You’re friend gets notified and can respond anytime. 

9. Travel- and Holiday-scapes

Next time you’re travelling think about the sounds of cities and buskers. Your memories will come to life differently if not much more intense. Enhance any picture you’ve taken of a place by adding the soundscapes you create when visiting Istanbul or New York. Make holidays with your children much more fun when listening back to the crunchy sounds of their feet in the sandy beach or the splash of fun in the pool.

10. Sounds around you

We often hear people say that “it smells of spring” or that they can hear a specific type of bird. Capturing bird calls and other animal sounds is an amazing way to tune in to one’s surrounding when in the outdoors. However don’t underestimate the amazing sound a city has to offer: buzzling cars, trains, trams and planes are only a small selection of the rich acoustics around you. Sample water, wind or rain, or create a spooky Halloween Collection with sounds of lightning and a squeaky door. 

Capture the sounds around you with instant audio recording

Whatever you do, just get started today. Simply download the Aroundsound app for Android and iOS and try audio recording. Once you get into it, you’ll find plenty more reasons for why you want to continue. Please share you ideas and feedback with us at feedback@aroundsound.com

Photo credit Kari Shea @Unsplash

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. 

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

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?

The Aroundsound app is now on Google Play

We are pleased to share the news that the Aroundsound app is now out of private prototype and available on Google Play, as an Early Access app. You can find it here.

You can use the app to capture and edit your sound recordings. You can also share your recordings with friends and family, thereby spreading your audio joy.

I’ve personally been using the ptorotype version of the app for a few months now and have captured some wonderful memories of my children in situations where video would have pulled me (and them) out of the moment. For example, squeals of laughter during chasing games, first words uttered over breakfast and end of day chatter during bathtime. I can quick hit record (using the Quick Tile feature) and get back to being part of, and enjoying, the moment. It’s precious to have these memories saved forever and a delight to listen back and relive the moments. Sharing the recordings with others adds to the fun and spreads the joy.

The app is easy and intuitive to use, yet it’s current functionality is just a first step towards what we have planned in the coming months, such as key moment tagging, collections to organise sounds, and even easier ways to share sounds. We’re keen to ensure we’re building the right thing, and therefore having early users offering feedback is super helpful.

Please do download it, try it out and let us know what you think by emailing feedback [@] gritstonestudios.co.uk, or using the feedback link within the app.

If you are an iOS user, be assured that we are working on the iOS app currently. If you would like to find out when it is released, please let us know here.

We hope that you enjoy reliving and sharing your sound memories using the Aroundsound app as much as we do.

Aroundsound begins

as-ear-y-o_2x

This is the start of something special; a new way to capture, organise and share sound. Aroundsound starts here and in this post we’ll tell you a bit about why we think sound is interesting and what we’re building.

Audio listening is on the rise. Weekly podcast listening doubled in the last three years (Ofcom), and sales of voice and smart speakers are increasing at a pace. Whether it’s drivetime radio, a workout podcast or a meditation soundscape, we can all agree that hands-free sound helps us to multitask, or switch off and escape.

Yet sound is something most people consume rather than capture. This means too few of us today have personal soundtracks – audio recordings of our favourite people and places.

I’ve been experimenting with my personal soundtrack, and for the last year have been capturing audio recordings of my family and my life. I’m a convert, and this is what has inspired me and our team to create Aroundsound.

I’ve noticed a few things about how sound is special:

  1. What we overhear today is not always here tomorrow. Voices change, fade, and disappear, daily routines become much-missed rituals.
  2. Though we can’t stop time, sound gives us the chance to replay it.
  3. There are a lot of everyday moments, that otherwise go uncaptured (I take plenty of videos and picture, but I don’t want to spend my life looking through a screen. And sometimes, the sound is the experience, not what is framed in an image)
  4. Informally, I have experienced the cognitive power of sound, when I’ve listened back to sound captures of my own. Just like reading a book is different to watching a movie, listening back to sound can be better when you imagine the picture. With such immersive power, researchers are already examining how sound might improve mental deterioration and depression, as well as boost learning outcomes for students of all ages.

Sound can literally offer us a blast from the past or an earphone into an experience, and complement that which we capture visually. What’s more, real life recordings are powerful without being perfectly produced.

There are plenty of apps for taking sound recordings, and I’ve experimented with a few in my time, but they are often difficult or awkward to use. I’ve found that organising recordings is painful (long lists of files to sort through), and sharing recordings with other people isn’t the staightforward and fun experience it is with (for example) picture sharing apps.

Aroundsound will be a sound app with a difference. The app we’re building will allow you to record sound super simply, organise and listen back to recordings easily, and share them with family or friends. The app is currently in prototype, on Android, and will be released as a private beta to Google Play very soon. We’ll turn to iOS later right after that.

If you’d like to hear when the app will be available for download, please drop us an email hello [@] gritstonestudios.co.uk and we’ll be in touch.

Look out here for further updates.