eXtream Software Development, maker of the music multi-tracking app Audio Evolution for the Android and Windows platforms, has released a stand-alone app for Android devices titled USB Audio Recorder PRO. It’s a simple record and playback application that is the first to allow devices running Android 3.1 or higher to talk to a USB 1.0 or 2.0 compliant audio card, and vice-versa.

Android and audio?

It’s no secret that Android has been slow to catch up to Apple’s iOS in terms of functionality for niche-market users, especially in all matters audio-based. Developers often cite latency (the time it takes for audio to be processed before its played, measured in milliseconds) as being the problematic restriction that keeps them from designing code for Android that is commonly found on iOS devices.

Support for streaming to audio docks was added in Jellybean 4.1, but USB Audio Recorder PRO goes about connecting with your external audio card with its own piece of code written from scratch. When we asked Davy Wentzler, a developer from eXtream about it, said is “a first for Android.”

Your audio card’s the limit

USB Audio Recorder PRO completely bypasses the Android audio system by “supporting USB and USB OTG cables to enable Host Mode in your device, and convert from micro-USB to full-sized USB.” No root access is needed. This means it can record and playback audio obtained via the digital audio converters (DACs) of your sound card, with the functions of your – often expensive – unit, such as recording in 24 bit mono/stereo at sample rates of up to 192 kHz, there if your external device covers it. While not all cards may work, there is a growing list of officially verified sound card manufacturers available from eXtream’s website.

What’s on the screen

The app is clearly laid out, with a time read-out in the main window, record, play and stop buttons, a free-space indicator, and also options for file type, sample rate and buffer size. Your files can be recorded in three variations (wav, flac or ogg). There is also peak program metering (PPM) with a peak hold function and a handy level-check function. The second mixer page lets you adjust your levels.

The little green robot is growing up

Developers are finally beginning to get the most out of the Android OS, releasing functional apps for specific users, such as those who have a need to record high-quality audio while on-the-go. These upgrades then of course trickle down for casual users to take advantage of, too. As Davy Wentzler put it when he spoke to Gizmag, “People have been waiting for this for years and looked with envy at their friends recording with iOS devices.”

eXtream plans to integrate USB Audio Recorder PRO into its multi-tracking app, Audio Evolution, sometime in the first quarter of this year.

The USB Audio Recorder PRO is available on Google play for US$4.66.

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