Sunday, March 26, 2006

SoundRec, Voice Recorder, Whatever

I still love my Treo 650 but my quest remains to get the capabilities that I had on my Sony Clie NX60 of Voice Recorder. The UI is much more complete than that of SoundRec.

I tried to move Voice Recorder to the Treo. I used FileZ and unlocked it on my Clie and beamed it off. Then beamed it to the Treo 650 and installed it. When I ran it, it just blinked the screen and went away.

I posted on TreoCentral and, as usual, got several "noise" responses but one person responded with a suggestion to look for "file(s) in your Clie label(ed) voice recorder en_us, or voice recorder." Why didn't I think of that?

So off I went back to the Clie and found 2 more files that began with "Voice Recorder..." When I went to transfer them to the Treo 650, I was lazy, so I just beamed them from the Clie to the Treo. Bad plan. The Treo immediately began rebooting over and over. A quick Google search turned up the technique of holding the Up button to get the Treo into the equivalent of Windows' Safe Mode. I thought I was home free.

This let me get to the phone screen but anytime I pressed Home, reboot. Finally, I added a Favorites button that would run FileZ and deleted the problem file. I think I'll leave well enough alone.

So I went back to SoundRec that I'd found before. SoundRec works fine but the files are much bigger than the Clie's Voice Recorder. I recorded a meeting with both SoundRec on my Treo 650 and with Voice Recorder on my Clie NX60. There was about a 4X difference in size with the SoundRec recording being larger. I moved both files to my Windows desktop and looked at them with Windows' Sound Recorder. Both were set to 8 KHz but the SoundRec file was 16 bits and the Voice Recorder file was 4 bits. Since I use the audio recording capability exclusively for voice, 4 bits is sufficient. However the difference in the size of resulting .wav makes moving them around much more difficult.

I've about given up in matching the size of the Voice Recorder files. I am still looking for improvements in UI and integration. SoundRec's UI is pretty rudimentary and it doesn't run in the background. This means that when OneBridge fires up to pull my e-mail, the recording stops. CallRec SAYS that it runs in the background. We'll see. I e-mailed the CallRec support about 4-bit vs. 16-bit recording and they said they only did 16-bit. Not a huge deal as I have a 1GB SD card.

CallRec is $20 and you know how I feel about paying for software so I'll have to think about this for a while.

Friday, March 03, 2006

SD Card Speed

One of the things I miss going from my Clie to the Treo is the Voice Recorder application. Perusing the Treo web sites, I came across Sound Recorder from

It did what it said but when I told it to record to the SD card, the recordings came out garbled. At first I attributed it to the program but then I realized that if I let it record to the Treo's memory, they sounded fine. The SD card was the culprit.

Another Google search ensued and found this thread that lists SD cards and their performance. I downloaded cardspeed.prc V1.2 and ran my own tests.

For my primary SD card, Toshiba 512MB
Finished in 7.45 seconds
Wrt32bit: 22 bytes/second
Wrt8KB: 409600 bytes/second
Read8KB: 2621440 bytes/second

Card speed is OK
Avoid > 11KHz PCM
For my secondary SD card, PNY 512MB:
Finished in 6.70 seconds
Wrt32bit: 24 bytes/second
Wrt8KB: 429744 bytes/second
Read8KB: 2621440 bytes/second

Card speed is OK
Avoid > 11KHz PCM
There is a little variation from run to run. Notice that the Read8KB is exactly the same on both cards. Perhaps that is the limitation on the Treo bus?

Anyway, looks like I need to look for faster (more expensive) SD cards.


On this week, I came across a PQI 1 GB 60X SD card for $19.99 after rebate from and ordered it. When it came, I transfered my Treo files to it and tested it with CardSpeed. Here're the results:
Finished in 8.64 seconds
Wrt32bit: 40 bytes/second
Wrt8KB: 55188 bytes/second
Read8KB: 2383127 bytes/second

Card speed is OK
Avoid > 11KHz PCM
Now I'm confused. I guess I'll have to test it with Sound Recorder.