What It Is: Pocket WavePad allows smartphone and tablet users to create and edit audio and export it to other platforms, something nearly unthinkable just a few years ago. I downloaded this program from iTunes for my iPhone 4 several months ago, and have experimented with it using a fairly long (16 minute) file of raw recorded audio as a test case.
How It Works: Once you’ve downloaded the app, you may either record your own sound through the program or import a file on your phone into the editing interface. The editing screen will look familiar to any one who’s used a standard audio editing software package, such as Audacity or Adobe Audition. The sliders and buttons used to edit the files seem to be “thumb optimized” – they behave as if they were designed to be toggled with a nice plump thumb such as mine, although I am guessing one could use other fingers if that was more comfortable for them.
Options: Compatible across platforms, including iPhone, iPad and Android.
- Robust options for saving work in a variety of file formats, sampling rates, etc.
- Easy, intuitive interface – if you’ve edited sound before it won’t take you long to get started working on your files.
- You really can use the sliders easily. I tested this on my bumpy bus commute and I was able to get a great deal done, although I did have a few mishaps.
- It’s relatively easy to export and edited file, especially using the option to transfer an via iTunes sync.
- When you zoom to a short segment to edit it, WavePad keeps the entire project’s waveform on a timeline above your selection. It’s really nice to be able to see both timelines at once.
- I sort of laughed at the export by email option. Yes of course it is possible, but anyone working with large files would have to break their project into a million pieces to do it this way … Even if they sent them as MP3s.
- I did figure out the best way to undo an action, but for some reason not having that option in the editing interface sort of freaked me out (it’s in a drop-down editing menu).
- I do a lot of cutting and pasting in my audio work and although I’m certain I could do it on this app, I was a little too intimidated to do it out of fear of losing or lousing up my project. Not sure if I should file this under “dislikes” or “my own fears about editing on a tiny screen.”
- It takes a while to load in large files. My 16 minute WAV file took about half a minute.
The Take-Away: Right now, I don’t have a lot of reason to edit using a mobile device. But with my long day-job commute, it’s possible I could be doing a lot more editing on the hoof than I do now. The Pocket WavePad is an amazing no-cost tool to do basic editing and sweetening/effects, which could be used to create a “rough cut” to be perfected in a home office or studio later.