Audioboo beyond the iPhone

audiobooavatar One of the hottest apps for the iPhone is Audioboo, a free services that lets you record up to five minutes of audio on your iPhone and then publish the recording to the web.

It’s audio blogging made easy. I’ve been using it since it launched in March and love it for its simplicity and ease of use – just load the app in your iPhone, touch ‘record’ then ‘start’ and you’re away.

If you don’t have an iPhone (or iPod Touch, with wifi connectivity), Audioboo has been out of reach for you. But a new service that’s still in the early development stage could change that, enabling anyone with any phone, mobile or landline, to use Audioboo.

It’s called Phoneboo.

I first came across mention of Phoneboo last week in a tweet by Mark Rock, Audioboo’s CEO, and then more detail in an earlier post on the Audioboo blog.

I tried it this morning, registering my Nokia mobile phone with the service and then calling the UK number and recording a boo.


It worked perfectly although the resulting audio quality of the recording is significantly inferior to that of a boo recorded on the iPhone.


Then I thought, what about calling in via Skype? Given that the service requires you to call a UK number (at the moment, anyway), that means an expensive international call if you’re outside the UK. Not if you can use Skype.


Nor perfect and quality is definitely poor compared to recordings on the iPhone. But these are early days as is apparent from Audioboo’s blog post:

[…] Where this becomes interesting in the future is as a low cost, highly adaptable way to record 2 way conversations – essentially interviews – and get them on the social web with the minimum of hassle & time. Now that could be really interesting for cash strapped radio & local media companies. Heck – we might even have a look at Skype integration next!

Don’t you just love great ideas and seeing them develop?

Now you can try Audioboo, too.

And, by the way, just look at how Audioboo is growing in popularity and use: stats from a series of tweets by Mark Rock last Friday April 24:

  • Audioboo files served in the past week: 339,000
  • 18,000 audio clips created
  • 12,357 registered users
  • 20,000 Audioboo apps installed (in total)
  • 62 Phoneboos users
  • 2 million audio downloads since launch
  • Stephen Fry maxed out the servers with 55 plays a second, just up from the G20 50
  • Server costs up 400% (gulp)
  • 57,102 pages views yesterday
  • Top referring site for Audioboo (guess?) Twitter. Next is Guido Fawkes

Naturally I posted a boo re these stats. :)


Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Mark K. Smith

    Hi Neville, you might also be interested in looking (or should I say listening) to live telephony broadcasts via ipadio. We’ve launched recently (though have been working for a year or so) an any telephone, anywhere in the world live phonecast system – and funnily enough already have interviews available – such as this one between Steve Parry the BBC Commentator and Kerri-Anne Payne – a Beijing silver medalist.

  2. Mark K. Smith

    Hi Neville – thanks for joining our growing band of phloggers. The interesting aspect of the technology for us is the live element, with a latency of a few seconds (sometimes as little as 5/6 seconds) we can capture audio and stream live. After live then it’s the international dimension (we have 40 numbers ready to go out shortly via our Facebook app), especially as we’re only relying on the ‘standard’ telephony networks – not needing wifi or 3G. So the amazing fact from the recent UN study that that over 50% of the world have a mobile opens huge possibilities. We’ve already aquired a phlogger from Tanzania who works for an NGO working with disabled young people. Now that making a difference! iphone app, gphone app, integration with twitter and Facebook connect with you shortly……..

  3. neville

    Thanks for telling me about ipadio, Mark.

    An interesting service which I’ve signed up for and done a first phlog:

    Two immediate reactions:

    1. ipadio is similar to Phoneboo (and Cinch from Blogtalk Radio) in that you call a number from any phone.
    2. The audio quality of all of these services is way inferior to that of Audioboo.

    On that last point, I realize one significant difference – with Audioboo, you record to a file on your device which then uploads to the Audioboo site for publishing: a very different situation than making a phone call to record your voice directly to the backend.

    I haven’t yet explored ipadio beyond doing a first phlog (and btw, I think you’ll have your work cut out to gain acceptance with such an ugly word) but will do so.

  4. Mark K. Smith

    Hi Neville – the quality issue is interesting. Other services are, in effect, offering a locally captured audio file which is then uploaded. Now that brings the benefit of better quality – but the disadvantage of needing to FTP those (large) files to a service somewhere – so not ‘live’ and if you are away from mobile signal or in a none wifi/3g area a nightmare of upload time or no upload at all.
    Our approach was always any phone, anywhere (and I mean anywhere – we’ve done this from mid-Atlantic And actually the crystal clear quality of a recording would make you suspicious of whether that person was actually live – try listening to these recordings from ipadio at the London Marathon This record and upload process will also inevitably result in legal action when the first live recording happens from the next major gig (when is Michael Jackson performing I wonder ;-)

  5. Atul Chatterjee

    What I see is that people are going to demand increasingly personalised files. This is an opportunity for providers as well, to carve niches for themselves.
    I could say interview badminton players across the globe and from the past. then I could serve it up to the badminton community.
    Downloading on to phones is still expensive, but a website could do for starters.

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