App Review: Pocket WavePad

photo(3)

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.

The sliders on the WavePad app seem to be "thumb optimized."

The sliders on the WavePad app seem to be “thumb optimized.”

Options: Compatible across platforms, including iPhone, iPad and Android.

My Likes:

  • 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.
The drop down menus on WavePad make editing fairly simple. Most common options are easy to find.

The drop down menus on WavePad make editing fairly simple. Most common options are easy to find.

My Dislikes:

  • 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.

The WavePad keeps your entire project's timeline on the top when you zoom to a shorter selection to edit it.

The WavePad keeps your entire project’s timeline on the top when you zoom to a shorter selection to edit it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: