If you don’t know what a tape deck is, then you won’t understand the metaphor for TapeDeck, a Mac app that records audio.
Recording audio is both easy and painfully cumbersome for Mac users. TapeDeck takes us back to the ease of use we had with analog cassette tapes, but without all the mess of stacks, and labels, and dirty heads, and crummy speakers. Tape Deck is digital and easier than ever.
Mac Audio Recording: Easy Or Not?
With the right applications and equipment, today’s modern Mac is a showcase for superb audio and video quality. Professionals use the Mac to record and edit movies, and record songs and albums. What about the rest of us?
Apple gives us Garageband in iLife. It’s a multi-track audio recording studio.
That’s a good solution for wannabe professionals, but not for those of us who simply want to record audio notes, children playing their first instrument, speeches, instructions, phone conversations— and do it quickly, painlessly.
Wait! What about recording in QuickTime Player? Easy, right? Yes. Except you have to save files somewhere on your Mac, keep track of them, make sure they’re recorded in the right file format.
Is there a better way? Yes. Let’s travel back to the 1970s and 80s and use a TapeDeck.
Back To The Future TapeDeck
First, if you know about cassette tape player and recorders then there’s just not much to explain. TapeDeck’s interface explains it all. It looks just like the cassette tape decks we used 20 years ago.
Click the big red Record button to record (stereo, mono, HQ, LQ, MQ). Click Stop to stop. Click Play to play. Use Rewind and Fast Forward to go back and forth. There’s even a Pause button.
TapeDeck features a one click (or, keystroke combo) to record any audio coming into your Mac. Audio recordings are saved in a variety of formats, from Apple Lossless to MP4, and be exported as audio in MP3, WAV, or even AIFF.
Recordings can be emailed to friends, uploaded to web sites, even used in Garageband or other Mac pro audio and video apps. There’s even an option to share audio “tapes” via YouTube, complete with an animated video graphic.
Each recording can be labeled using label colors, annotation, and stacked in the rack to the right of the onscreen recorder.
Recordings can be played back at faster than real time, ala Alvin the Chipmunk style. Audio recordings are vastly superior to old analog cassette tape recordings, and with large Mac hard disk drives, you’re unlikely to ever run out of “tape”.
Each recording is saved and stacked in the rack, and that’s the only problem I see with TapeDeck. It’s easy to get a very large, and very long stack of recordings. Fortunately, you can also search the stack so finding a previous recording is easier than searching through a book shelf of hundreds of audio cassette tapes.
TapeDeck is fun, flexible, easy to use, and inexpensive. I’d like to see an iPhone version that could synchronize with the Mac.