Audiolio, an iPad app by developer Escape Velocity Apps, is the best thing to happen to note taking since the invention of the ballpoint pen. If you’re always checking Facebook during meetings, or sleeping through lectures at school, Audiolio will make you believe in taking notes again.
Audiolio is, essentially, a recorder. Using your iPad’s built-in microphone, the app trolls the airwaves for sound and slaps it down for later use. This is certainly nothing new (there are mountains of recorder apps in the AppStore, even ones specifically made for voice recordings). But what sets Audiolio apart is its stellar bookmarking functionality.
As you record a lecture, meeting, or interview, the Audiolio iPad app lets you add time-stamped notes to the recording. This means you can put text plugs alongside your audio for easy perusal later. This would be particularly handy in a lecture setting, where additional asides might easily complement a heady lecture. Not only that, but pictures can also be appended to the audio, in case you’re a more visual learner. The iPad app arranges your notes chronologically, and you are free to jump to any bookmark with a touch of a finger. Want to be sure you know when the next test is? Make a bookmark when the professor mentions it. Now you’re free to return to that exact—and potentially frightening, depending on the exam—moment at any time. The app also lets you import tracks from the iPod app, allowing users to annotate songs: A feature many music majors I know would be ecstatic to have. The app is a tour de force of functionality, and it works perfectly.
Audiolio’s design precisely matches the valuable features the app has to offer. The interface is smooth and clear, with all your notes arranged chronologically underneath the audio interface controls. You’re free to finger-scroll, fast-forward, rewind or pause the audio at any time, and getting to specific bookmarks is as easy as clicking on them. Editing note next is also just a touch away, as is the photo feature, in case you want to get graphical. All of your existing audio recordings are arranged along the left side of the app, and deleting any notes or bookmarks you don’t care for can be done with a single swipe. The design is classy, intuitive, and seamless, and I could not be happier with it.
At the end of the day, no other app performs audio annotation half as well as Audiolio, making the price of admission well worth it. Combined with the ability to export notes just about anywhere (including DropBox), Audiolio is a fantastically intuitive way to take notes on the iPad.
Audiolio iPad app [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 4.3 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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