February 18, 2018

Two App Accessories to Better Record Lectures & Presentations with an iPhone or iPad

  • A popular post on this website is “How to Record Lectures with Your iPhone’s Microphone.” Though that post is about a year old, it remains valid because neither the Voice Memos app nor the iPhone mic have changed much since.

    In the meantime, two app-enhanced iPhone recorder accessories have emerged to help you record lectures with your iPhone with greater clarity and quality, and then share them with ease. One is a compact microphone appcessory for audio recordings and the other is a swiveling tripod appcessory for video recordings . Though these iPhone recorder appcessories won’t produce studio quality recordings of the lectures that you either give or attend, they generate significantly better audio and video recordings than you would get using the iPhone mic and an iPhone recorder app.

    Both iPhone recorder appcessories are designed to work specifically with iOS devices in a variety of situations, including creating voice memos, podcasts, interviews and business presentations, and participating in video conference calls with FaceTime and Skype. But their makers have highlighted their usefulness in a classroom, lecture hall, seminar and other teaching, learning or presentation environments.

    So here’s the scoop on each of them, along with links to helpful reviews. To get more information or purchase an item, simply hover over, tap or click its name or purchase options. An affiliate link should take you to a place where you can do both.


    IRIG MIC CAST by IK Multimedia

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    iRig Mic Cast for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad (Quick Overview) — Source

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    iRig Mic Cast Mic vs built-in iPhone Mic Comparison  — Source

     What it is: The iRig MIC Cast is a small unidirectional microphone designed for recording lectures, podcasts, interviews, voice memos and more. Its mini-jack plugs directly into the iPhone headphone socket. The appcessory also works with an iPad and iPod Touch.

    What it does: This compact, pocket-sized mic uses a unidirectional pickup pattern to minimize background noise and enhance the audio quality and volume of your recordings. You can monitor your iRig Mic Cast recordings in real time by connecting a set of headphones or speakers to a  mini-jack socket on its right side.  You can also adjust the microphone’s sensitivity by toggling its built-in switch between high or low gain settings. The device comes with a simple iPhone stand that enables you to situate your iPhone somewhere close and unperturbed to record the audio of a lecture or event in the best possible way.

    Companion Apps: iRig Recorder, free, for voice recording and editing. VocaLive, free, for vocal sound effects. The iPhone recorder accessory works with any app that records audio, such as the native Voice Memos app, as well as apps that support audio input, such as Skype, FaceTime and other Voice-over-IP apps. You can also use the appcessory to enhance the audio of  iPhone camera video recordings.

    ReviewsiPhone Life Magazine (scroll two-thirds down for review),  iLounge and Wired Geek Dad.

    Purchase Options: MSRP, $39.99. Though you can find it for less at Amazon. Do not confuse the IK Multimedia Mic Cast with the IK Multimedia iRig Mic.



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    Swivl Personal Cameraman (Promo) — Source

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    Satarii Swivl Review — Source

    What it is: Swivl is an interactive, hands-free controller with wireless mic for your iPhone, iPod Touch or other pocket camera. It has two main hardware components: a motorized, swiveling base to carry your iPhone and a small external marker for the lecturer to carry. The appcessory video recorder also works with an iPod Touch and other cameras.

    What it does: Mount your iPhone onto Swivl’s robotic platform and then attach the Swivl marker to the lecturer using its provided clip or lanyard. The  iPhone camera will  follow her as it videotapes — panning and tilting as needed and recording sound with the marker’s built-in wireless mic.

    Companion App: Swivl, free.

    Reviews: PCMag, All Things DRevision3 (video), Laptop Magazine, Web Video University (video) and Digital Savant.

    Purchase options: MSRP, $179. Satarii recently announced a new model called Swivl-it, priced at $129. It retains most of the features of the original except for the built-in mic (which you can purchase later for $50) and automatic vertical tilting (which you control manually instead using the marker). My only concern with this mic-less version would be the increased susceptibility of the iPhone’s audio recorder to background noise, including the sound of the motorized swiveling base itself. In any case, you can order Swivl-it on the Swivl website.

    Note to Teachers and Professional Trainers: More than any other appcessory maker I’ve seen, Satarii has taken the needs of educators to heart. See how they’ve articulated the use of Swivl in the classroom here.


  1. […] Also see my latest post on the subject, “Two App Accessories to Better Record Lectures, Seminars and Presentations with an iPhone or iPad.” […]

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