Developer: Ochen K.
Price: $9.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3G, iPad

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I have a dream. A dream that I could edit my iOS podcast on an iOS device. After all, there’s something silly about using a laptop to edit a podcast that often talks about the iOS devices, isn’t there? Monle came highly recommended by a friend for audio editing on iOS, so I decided to put it through the ringer to see if it could handle the rigors of a serious podcast editor like myself.

Monle easily lets you import your own sound files, either from a browser-based wifi server, or even via FTP, so you could theoretically have your entire sound file go through editing and processing and have it uploaded to wherever you’re hosting all through Monle. And Monle also lets you record your own voice in the app, with the ability to record while playing through tracks in your editor, if you wanted to record singing over music, for example, or if you want to record while hearing the background music you intend to use. Monle also features support for external microphones, including ones that plug into the dock connector – if you have an iPad Camera Connection Kit, some USB microphones will also work, so you could use this as a high-quality audio recorder on the go.

Then, once you have the sounds you want to put in your work all imported into Monle, you can easily fade audio in and out, split files into different sections for editing only certain parts of the file, and being able to mix down all the files into one WAV file once it’s all over. My suggestion to figure all of this out is to watch the tutorial videos – combined, they’re about 25 minutes in length, but they explain how Monle works in its entirety, and will keep you from fumbling around with the app.

If you often need to work with large imported sound files, know that Monle is very anarchist in its handling of large sound files – there’s no restriction imposed by the app on the file size, just the amount of RAM that your device has, as Monle loads the entire file into memory. This means that while a device like the iPhone 4 that has 512 MB of RAM might be able to handle large WAV files, even 256 MB devices like the iPad, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 4G will crash without warning upon loading of large files. This means that if you’re someone who wants to use Monle to edit long-form podcasts, Monle is not the app for you. My hope was to edit an episode of The Portable Podcast entirely in Monle to put it through the ringers, but considering that it crashed every time I tried to open up a 100 MB+ WAV interview, this idea fell through.

What Monle would be great for is creating and editing short-form podcasts and audio recordings. For example, an episode of The Portable Gamer’s iCasual podcast would be easy to make with this – you can easily import the bumpers and background music into the recording, record what you have to say, mix it all down, and upload it to FTP all without leaving the app. Unfortunately, this is a pretty narrow degree of usage – and not all of us have need for an audio editor that can only be used for mixing together songs or short-form podcasts on the go. Monle needs to either have better support for large imported sound files, or some form of compressed audio support. While a format like mp3 would be costly to implement (according to the developer, the license for each copy of Monle would be more than the $9.99 asking price), even a relatively obscure free format like OGG would be better than having no compressed audio to work with at all. Only having WAV files and limited file space to work with makes this difficult to recommend for someone like me who would like having the ability to edit without having something like my netbook around.

So the best way to describe Monle is that it’s a great app…as long as you don’t overstep the bounds of what it’s supposed to do. With some form of compressed audio support or better handling of large files, Monle could become far more useful. My dream of editing podcasts entirely on my iPhone or my iPad continues to go unfulfilled.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Music, Reviews

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