Android makes it easy to post audio on social media
After years of focusing on images, social media is expanding beyond photos and videos. The beautiful balloon news are apps like Clubhouse and features like Twitter spaces, where audio is king.
But if you want to bring that vocal-only style to posts on more traditional platforms like TikTok and Instagram, you’ll need to pair it with a video. This usually requires skills and access to video editing tools, but if you have an Android, Google will make things a bit easier for you.
The operating system’s native Recorder app now has a tool that will turn audio into a perfect video ready for social media – sound wave and closed captions included. Here is how to use it.
How to make audio-only videos on Android
First of all, make sure you have the Recorder app. If you have a Pixel device, it is installed by default, but if your phone manufacturer has included their own registration tool, you can download Google’s platform for free from the Google Play Store.
Recorder is a simple recording app: open it and press the button big red button at the bottom of the screen to, well, save. But what makes this app different is that because it’s a Google app, it uses company machine learning. This technology automatically creates a transcript of any recording you make, in real time, which you can download as a TXT file or use as captions for posting to social media. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty accurate under ideal conditions that include little background noise, fast-paced speech, and not a ton of slang.
[Related: How to build a mobile recording rig—It’s simpler than you think]
To make your post, start by creating your audio. Unfortunately, the only input to the app is your phone’s microphone, so you’ll be limited to speaking directly into it or pointing the microphone to the speakers of another device. It’s worth mentioning that it’s not pleasant to record and post the audio (and video) of people without their consent on social media. In some states and circumstances, it may even be illegal. So before you start riding, be sure to let other people know that you are about to check in.
When you’re ready, press the big red button and press it again when you’re done. You can hit it a third time to resume recording or press To safeguard (right) to complete your work and return to the application home screen.
There you’ll see a chronological list of your recordings, with the most recent at the top. Tap the one you want to open and listen to it using the play buttons at the bottom of your screen. If your recording is longer than five minutes, the app will ask you to crop it to that length before converting it to video. You can do this and other basic editing tasks by pressing the button scissors icon at the top of your screen. When you are finished, press the menu button (three dots) in the upper right corner of your screen and choose To share, then Video clip.
On the next screen, you’ll see a preview of your clip along with some customization options. First, choose a layout: Square (ideal for your Instagram feed); Portrait (perfect for your TikTok account), and Countryside (the go-to choice for fans of the 16: 9 aspect ratio). In the menu at the bottom of your screen, tap Contents to choose between a simple waveform video or a clip that also displays the transcript. Note that if the app’s AI does not detect any voices in your recording, you will only be able to choose one waveform format. This is unlikely to happen if your mic picks up people speaking – the technology is good enough at distinguishing sounds and even differentiates between instrumental and sung pieces in a song.
Finally, at the bottom of your screen, tap Theme to change the colors of the elements in your video. You only have two options: a black background with a blue waveform and white letters (Dark theme), and a white background with a blue waveform and black letters (light theme). It’s certainly not the most varied customization menu out there, but at least it will allow you to bring your video a little closer to your grid aesthetic.
[Related: How to turn on ‘dark mode’ for all your gadgets and apps]
To finish, press To create in the upper right corner of your screen. Then you will be able to see the final product and choose between Save to device and To share to other applications. Using the latter option will allow you to post directly to Instagram (feed and stories), TikTok, Slack, Tumblr, and other compatible social media platforms that you may have installed on your phone.
Remember to use this feature wisely – it can be the start of a prolific and mysterious career in creating ASMR content, or proof that will put you on the losing side of a lawsuit. Either way, you surely won’t have to spend hours choosing the right filter to amass those precious likes.