Recording Voice Memos On Your Mac

The new Voice Memos app in macOS Mojave allows you to quickly and easily record voice memos and any audio from your Mac's microphone. It keeps a small library of voice memos and lets you go back and append to them, trim them, and edit them. They sync over iCloud with the Voice Memos app on your iPhone and iPad so it is easy to record on one and edit and listen on the other. You can also export the memos as standard audio files.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Recording Voice Memos On Your Mac.

One of the new apps that came with macOS Mojave is Voice Memos. Now this app has been around for a long time in iOS but this is the first time we have it on the Mac. So you're probably not going to find it in the Dock to begin with but if you Search for it, I'm going to do Command space here and search for Voice Memos, and launch it that way it'll bring it up.

Voice Memos is a pretty simple app. It just simply records from the microphone on your Mac. Whatever the default microphone is in case you have more than one attached to your Mac. There's really no Preferences here. You can set the number of days until something is deleted from the Voice Memos trash after you delete it. So thirty days is the default. You can set it to Lossless quality if you want. Also it automatically names each voice memo. So you can do Location based naming or have that turned off. You can, of course, rename any voice memo when you're done with it.

So how does it work? Well, you simply hit the red button and you talk. This is a sample voice memo. Hit the Pause button there to pause it. You can actually Resume and continue recording the same voice memo. Then you can play it back as well. You can go back 15 seconds or forward 15 seconds. This is more useful, of course, if this is a longer voice memo that you've made. You can also move around by clicking here. You can drag around and you can replace at any point. So I can kind of position it here and hit Replace and start talking again and Pause. So you can see the replace is when you're before the end and if you're at the end it changes to Resume.

Now when you're done and happy with it you can hit Done. Now you see the recording here. You can click and change its name. You can see the time it was recorded and the length. You can play it back. You can scrub around inside it and play it back. You can also hit the Edit button. When you Edit you kind of go back into voice recording mode. So once again you can move around and start replacing from a point in time or go all the way to the end and Resume.

You actually have even more options than that. So you go into File here and you see Start New Recording. You can use the Spacebar instead of hitting that red dot there to play and pause the recording. You can duplicate a recording which is useful if you want to edit one but keep the original. Under Edit not only can you go into edit mode but you can also go into Trim mode. So Trim mode allows you to grab kind of this yellow box around it and trim it to wherever you want. You can see it right there. You can hit Trim or you can Delete that section. So you can cut this section out. Or you can Cancel to get out of that.Then you're in the regular Edit mode. Notice the regular Edit mode does allow you to go into Trim mode by clicking this button here. So you click that button to go into it and then hit Done to go all the way back out.

Now after you have several recordings let's do another one here. This is a test or another recording. You've got the multiple recordings here. You can drag one to the desktop there and it will actually Export. So you can drag it to the desktop or any Finder. It exports in the standard format. So you have that. But you can also select it and hit the Share button and share directly through Mail, AirDrop, Messages, etc. So you have the ability to get it out of Voice Memos in a lot of different ways.

Clearly this is meant for just recording your voice. Leaving memos, something to be transcribed later, that kind of thing. But it's recording at full quality so you could actually record music into it. You could, you know, record say a lecture or something else that's going on using Voice Memos. Anything that you would use the Voice Memos app on your iPhone for.

Note that Voice Memos do sync through iCloud. So you have to be using iCloud Drive. Go into iCloud, iCloud Drive, and under Options you can see it's one of the options here of the Voice Memos app. You have that turned on so this means that Voice Memos that you make on your iPhone or iPad will appear in the Voice Memos app on your Mac and vice versa. So it's just one location for all your voice memos. That's really handy. So you can record these voice memos on your iPhone and then play them back later on your Mac when you're sitting at your desk.

Comments: 6 Responses to “Recording Voice Memos On Your Mac”

    Elaine Thillen
    6 months ago

    I use Voice Memos frequently on my iPhone. Love the ease & flexibility to edit. Had no idea it is now on the Mac until I saw your latest update #1763. So thanx! Is there a way to delete multiple unneeded voice memos, without having to do them one at a time? Also would like to be able to re-order the list. Have tried to move them but to know avail. Any tricks to make that happen.

    6 months ago

    Elaine: I don’t see any way to select multiple to delete them, but since it is just a single action to delete anyway, it is pretty quick. Just keep hitting the Delete key, or down arrow to move to the next without deleting. They are always in chronological order.

    6 months ago

    Thank you for your article, do you know if there is a way to export voice memos in Mac to GarageBand? I cannot find where the actual Voice Memo file is being stored. I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere else online either. In the meantime, I’ve just been Airdropping it to my phone and then Airdropping it back to my Mac as a workaround.

    6 months ago

    In response to my post above, I found that I can just drag & drop the file from Voice App directly into Finder. I tried it right after I posted my question, and now I feel silly. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    6 months ago

    Sergio: I show that in the video.

    John Stires
    5 months ago

    The option to use VOICE MEMO appears only after having opened it (at least once.) The easiest way is to command space and begin typing until the search bar populates itself. I was searching away and remembered that more and more features aren’t intuitively obvious unless and until intentionally opened. That’s why we love MacMost.

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