YiqYaq Soundbiter

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If you ever had a moment of musical inspiration that got forgotten while you tried to get your recorder set up or your DAW booted, you'll appreciate the Soundbiter app. When you turn this free app on, it constantly records audio, but only retains 60 seconds of audio at a time in its buffer. (It records through the iPhone's mic, so iPod touch users will need an external mic.) When you sing or play or do something that you want to save, just hit the Munch Chomp Crunch button on the app's main screen, and your last 60 seconds of audio are automatically preserved.

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Fig. 1: The Edit Bite Details screen includes rudimentary, but easy-to-use editing tools.

You're then offered the option to listen to your recording (which YiqYaq calls a "bite") to set the start and end points, and to cut out the unwanted portions (see Fig. 1). After that, you can choose to keep or delete it. There's no way to directly export the files to your own computer, but you can upload them to the RadioWeave site, a community audio site where you can set up your own "channel" for people to listen to (and from where you can download them). You can also restrict listeners to the channel so that only your "friends" can listen. Otherwise, your bites will go into the public collection where any RadioWeave member can listen to it. You can even set it up your bites to go into your Twitter feed.

For musicians, having a recorder that's constantly on is an appealing concept. One thing to consider is that an app that's always recording is sure to increase the pace at which your battery drains. I don't have exact specs on this, but after trying Soundbiter out for a while, I noticed my battery meter was down more than normal. If you're going to leave it on for long periods of time, you might want to plug your phone in, if possible, so that battery drain isn't an issue.

The pop-up Help screens sometimes get in the way of important parts of the screen, but you can disable them, which I recommend doing.

Overall, Soundbiter is very worthwhile and you can't beat the price.