Review: VR+ Dictate and Share
VR+ is another voice recording app. There are many of these out there, each of which offers a range of features to try and become the king of the mountain. VR+ adds a few tricks of its own to try and beat the rest.
When you start the program, you are presented with the main index screen that lists your voice messages. At the bottom you have a large button for record, play, pause, and stop. The record button is large, but not so large you can hit it without looking at it (something that is nice to be able to do when driving). When you record a memo, you are shown a digital counter indicating how long the recording has been going on. This is a nice feature so you can see how long you have been babbling on, rather than waiting until the end of the memo.
To play a message, you simply tap on it. While playing, you can pause and resume play, or stop. There is a progress bar that you can move, so you can choose to replay portions of a memo rather than the whole memo. Unfortunately, the progress bar does not run smoothly (it jumps and is choppy), and the timer counter indicates how much time is left, so it can be difficult to identify certain portions of a recording.
The sound quality is okay – not great, but not horrible. There were a couple of times where the recording seemed to skip or stutter, so part of the memo repeated itself. This skip was present every time I played back the message in question.
Where VR+ really shines is what you can do with a message once you have recorded it. You have a range of options – including sending the message via email, sharing it to a social networking site (facebook, myspace, etc), uploading it to VR+ online, or continuing recording where you left off. The sharing options are especially nice, although to share online (either via social networking or via VR+ online) requires you to create a VR+ account. You can also rename that recording (which I wish they allowed you to do right when you recorded it!). There are no options for including notes or any other sort of tags with the message.
Pros: Nice features to send or share a message
Cons: Recording and playback quality was a little lacking, record button not large enough to hit without looking at it
All in all, VR+ has since nice sharing and backup (online) features, but I found the recording quality was not the great. Combined with an occasional stutter in the message and playback, it seems to me that VR+ is focusing more on the bells and whistles than having a solid recording app first. The price is not cheap at $4.99, and for that price I think there are better options out there. The price has been all over the player ($9.99, $1.99, $.99) so it may come down again. If you care more about what you can do with a message after it is recorded, then VR+ might be the app for you, but otherwise I would suggest one of the alternate recording apps. Two and a half out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.