Ok, now this is special. There are lots of voice recorder apps floating around the Marketplace but how many actually resemble and behave exactly like a retro cassette tape recorder. I had to download this app by Senstic and play with it. And I have to tell you it works exactly as described. There are seven buttons, with click sounds for each, along the bottom of the screen; REC, PLAY, REW, FFWD, STOP, PAUSE & EJECT, and they all function. You tap REC to start recording and STOP to stop recording. You can rewind the tape at that point or record some more. When done with the tape, tap EJECT and it gets placed in your tape rack. Tap the text area either while the tape is in the recorder or in the rack to rename it.
To put a tape back into the recorder, double tap or tap and hold to select from the context menu. When the tape gets loaded, complete with sound effect of loading a cassette into a tape deck, the tape is in the same position you left it. So in order to play back the tape, first you need to rewind it, which fortunately only takes a couple seconds. Of course, when it rewinds back to start the button clicks off and you are ready to press play. You can play from start or any place on the tape. Or you can start recording from where you left off. Really sharp. I was only a few inches from my phone’s microphone while recording but the playback was strong and clear. Also the app does not run under a Lock Screen, but when active it will keep the screen on indefinitely (or at least for the 10 minutes I waited for it to turn off). Because you can record for long periods, Active under lock would probably be a good feature for the wish list.
There is a volume control below the speakers (no, they don’t actually do anything) but I don’t think it works. I tried raising/lowering during record and playback with no effect. So that might be a bug. There is also a button to lock/unlock the tape to prevent recording over it. And to the right there is an Info button that takes you to a few screens with; About, Descriptive diagram (see screen shot) and Instructions. Going to leave some comments for the developer but aside from the volume control, I think all three of the top controls should be enlarged a bit (they can make the speaker a tad smaller) as they are somewhat difficult to tap. I would also add a little more contrast to the the text on the lower buttons as well as the icons to make them easier to see.
In the developers words:
The app is priced at $2.99 which may be a little high but the Trial, which is what I am currently running, appears to be full featured. UPDATE: There is a 3 minute limit per recording for the trial which is fair. If you want to give Tape Recorder a try you can find it in Marketplace under Productivity or click here. Note, the link will open Zune Marketplace.