iPhone voice memo to MP3

Today I tried the iPhone Voice Memos for the first time and recorded a meeting that lasted for 55 minutes. To get access to the voice memo file you need to sync the iPhone with your computer using iTunes. iTunes has a special folder called Voice Memos. The resulting file was in m4a format and it was about 110 MB. Way too large to share. iTunes does not offer a way to compress audio files. You can use GarageBand to convert it to a mono MP3 and in my case the resulting file was only 12 MB (almost 100 MB smaller – not bad).

In GarageBand select Podcast project, and from the Audio tab drag the m4a, then choose the Save Podcast to Disk from the GarageBand’s Share menu. There is no need to download, try or buy one of the countless audio converters that you may find on the web. GarageBand does a great job.

5 Responses to “iPhone voice memo to MP3”

  1. KW Says:

    I beg to differ: iTunes *does* offer a way to compress audio files, and it’s way easier than going into GarageBand. First, go into Preferences. Under General, to the right of “When you insert a CD”, click “Import Settings …”. In here, choose a format—mp3, m4a, whatever. You can choose specific things like sample rate and bit rate. Click OK a few times to get out of Preferences.

    Now, select your voice memo, pull down Advanced, and choose “Create mp3 Version” (or “Create AIFF Version” or whatever format you chose). Wait a short time, and voila! A compressed version of your sound. You can even go from stereo to mono with this method.

    (This used to be more obvious before the sound format settings were tied so closely to CD Import.)


  2. ev Says:

    Try Evernote. You can record a voice memo/note and it will sync it with your Evernote account on the web, and the app on your dekstop and it doesn’t ever have to go through itunes for syncing with your iphone. If you have the premium version of Evernote, you can have offline access to all your notes on your iphone. The free version provides iphone access to your evernotes account on the web, Like Aquacue does.

  3. Shahram Javey Says:

    I’ll keep Evernote in mind, next time I use Voice Memos. Thank you.

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