Avid users of the GNOME Sound Recorder application will be pleased to hear that the tool has finally received some overdue attention.

Developer Kavan Mevada worked on modernising the audio recording utility as part of this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC). Now, with the code-minded sprint over, Mevada shares an update on the progress he’s made — and is all I can say is wow!

Sound Recorders legacy codebase was ditched in favour of a ground-up, modern rewrite. Complimenting the streamlined foundation is a newer, cleaner, and more responsive UI designed according to GNOME’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG).

GNOME Sound Recorder playback
Seeking in an existing recording

“When I started looking into the app, it turns out it had a very old codebase that was implemented in the imports.lang module via imports.lang.Class and imports.lang.Interface. The application was so simple and small so we decided to completely rewrite it,” Mevada says.

Sound Recroder’s new interface includes an immersive animated waveform that plays recording. Being able to see the waveform during recording is very useful. It allows you to instantly see whether your input volume is too high or too low by looking out for peaks and troughs:

GNOME Sound Recording screen
Immersive recording experience

Waveforms are also available in the playback view too. Here waveforms support scrubbing/seeking through dragging (in addition to 10 second stepper buttons). Visible waveforms will allow users to quickly identify quiet or loud sections in a recording without needing to listen to whole thing and make timestamps.

Elsewhere there are options to Pause and Cancel during recording (which now uses a separate view); the ability to re-name recordings from the playback view; quick access to Delete and Export options for selected clips; plus app-wide support for the Adwaita dark theme.

Finally, and arguably most helpfully, you get a time-limited option to “undo” when deleting a recording.

Look out for the new sound recorder app next month when GNOME 3.38 arrives. The update should also come to Flathub where an older version of the Sound Recorder is already available.

Thanks Charis

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