Tag Archives: software

How to sync voice memos from your iPhone


The Voice Memos app on the iPhone is one of its most useful features, but for maybe a year, it’s proved impossible to get voice recordings from my iPhone and onto my Mac so that I can do something with them.  I’m not the only one – the web is crammed with forums documenting the same problem, with all kinds of baroque fixes and suggestions, most of which I’ve tried without success, or with only temporary success until the next OS or iTunes update. That  such a basic and important feature of the iPhone/iTunes has been left to rot by Apple is appalling.

The quick and reliable (and free) fix for me has been iExplorer (formerly iPhone Explorer). It turns your phone into a drive so you can view the contents and drag and drop stuff from it to your computer.  If like me you’ve got hours of crucial interview data on a phone, iExplorer’s a life saver. Here’s how:

1. Download and install iExplorer

2. Plug in your phone

3. An icon representing your phone will appear in the iExplorer window

4. Click on this to collapse the folders inside the phone

5. Keep going till you get to Media>Recordings>Sync

6. There are all your voice memos, filenames in yyyy/mm/dd format

7. Either drag and drop the files you want, or copy and paste them across to whereever you want them


Update on 7th August 2012 : Suddenly today, iTunes decided to download 35 voice memos going back months (I’d already downloaded them with iExplorer).   In the post above I never said how to sync voice memos using iTunes because it didn’t work consistently. If you want to know, just in case it’s working again now, this is how:

  • in your iPhone sync preferences in iTunes, make sure that ‘include voice memos’ is ticked under ‘Music’
  • when you next plug your phone into our computer, the voice memos should be downloaded to a playlist called ‘Voice Memos’ in your library

I still prefer the iExplorer method myself, because it gives me greater control over what I’m doing, and at least I know it’s done it.


Freedom at last


Freedom: does what it says on the tin

In just less than 4 minutes, I will turn on Freedom for the severalth time,  a tiny application that I installed last week on the advice of a friend. All it does is turn off your computer’s internet access  for a given number of minutes that you stipulate in a pop-up dialog box.  When I first heard about it, I thought ‘What kind of slattern needs a program to tell them not to access the internet for a bit? Whatever happened to self-control?’

But then a few days ago, I gave it a whirl anyway, and it’s transformed my early morning working life. The magic figure for me is 90 minutes. 90 minutes in which every attempt to ‘just’ look this up, follow that link, check your email, respond to an incoming alert, nervously search for related articles etc. is thwarted, while you just get on in perfect peace with good old-fashioned, enjoyable work. And if you’re having a good day, you can say, OK another half hour and I’ll make myself a coffee, so you set it again, thus ensuring that your precious half-hour isn’t dissipated into a hundred pointless online excursions. Although you can use it for free, I am so grateful to its inventor, that I donated the suggested $10 after only a few days of experiencing the Freedom advertised on the tin.

That’s it. Goodbye for now -my time’s up. I’ve finally found web-discipline.