Record from the built-in mic or external device, but that's about all

Recording and playback options are limited with Leawo Music Recorder.

Leawo Music Recorder is an app for OS X that allows you to convert your computer into a recording machine, taking inputs from any connected devices, the built-in microphone, or even the system audio. While we liked the concept, we found some flaws in the execution.

The Leawo Music Recorder interface is clean, and it's easy to get started, with the prominent red Record button at the top. Beneath that, the left pane holds a list of your recordings, and the right pane is used for prompts and a graphic animation that shows when recording is under way. It's a simple process to select your input device and start recording. Whatever you record is saved to a file, and it's just as easy to select and play back anything you record. You can add tracks to iTunes or an app playlist with one click, but you can't edit the tracks once recorded.

Leawo also gives you the capability to schedule recordings; simply set a start and end time while your favorite streaming-radio program is running to keep a copy for yourself. In addition to recording direct line inputs, Leawo lets you record computer audio directly, which we found to be a fairly useful feature.

There were some glaring problems with some of the automated labeling: when recording system audio, Leawo Music Recorder attempts to identify and automatically label the audio clip as a "song" via automated scan, and given unfamiliar input it may choose something unrelated, complete with album art. While the performance was commendable for trying, we can imagine that having to always fix incorrect labels will quickly get tiring in the long run. We get the impression that Leawo Software assumed its users only wanted to use this app for music.

While the program was very easy to use, we did wish for a Help file or other user guidance as opposed to just a link to a Web site. We had some problems with feedback that required frequent adjustments to the microphones and speaker positions, and some assistance from the publisher might have addressed our problems with the setup of the audio components. Though this could also be attributed to our unique testing setups, having a separate help doc for offline use could have been useful.

Leawo Music Recorder seems targeted more at the hobbyist or person wanting to record from the built-in mic. It was easy to use, but the lack of playback editing or any other way to change recorded tracks limits its usefulness. There are more robust recording programs on the market that offer more guidance for the user and more consistent quality of output.

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