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Audio Capture

The Android multimedia framework includes support for capturing and encoding a variety of common audio formats, so that you can easily integrate audio into your applications. You can record audio using the MediaRecorder APIs if supported by the device hardware.

This document shows you how to write an application that captures audio from a device microphone, save the audio and play it back.

Note: The Android Emulator does not have the ability to capture audio, but actual devices are likely to provide these capabilities.

Performing Audio Capture

Audio capture from the device is a bit more complicated than audio and video playback, but still fairly simple:

  1. Create a new instance of android.media.MediaRecorder.
  2. Set the audio source using MediaRecorder.setAudioSource(). You will probably want to use MediaRecorder.AudioSource.MIC.
  3. Set output file format using MediaRecorder.setOutputFormat().
  4. Set output file name using MediaRecorder.setOutputFile().
  5. Set the audio encoder using MediaRecorder.setAudioEncoder().
  6. Call MediaRecorder.prepare() on the MediaRecorder instance.
  7. To start audio capture, call MediaRecorder.start().
  8. To stop audio capture, call MediaRecorder.stop().
  9. When you are done with the MediaRecorder instance, call MediaRecorder.release() on it. Calling MediaRecorder.release() is always recommended to free the resource immediately.

Example: Record audio and play the recorded audio

The example class below illustrates how to set up, start and stop audio capture, and to play the recorded audio file.

/*
 * The application needs to have the permission to write to external storage
 * if the output file is written to the external storage, and also the
 * permission to record audio. These permissions must be set in the
 * application's AndroidManifest.xml file, with something like:
 *
 * <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />
 * <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.RECORD_AUDIO" />
 *
 */
package com.android.audiorecordtest;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.widget.LinearLayout;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.os.Environment;
import android.view.ViewGroup;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.view.View;
import android.view.View.OnClickListener;
import android.content.Context;
import android.util.Log;
import android.media.MediaRecorder;
import android.media.MediaPlayer;

import java.io.IOException;


public class AudioRecordTest extends Activity
{
    private static final String LOG_TAG = "AudioRecordTest";
    private static String mFileName = null;

    private RecordButton mRecordButton = null;
    private MediaRecorder mRecorder = null;

    private PlayButton   mPlayButton = null;
    private MediaPlayer   mPlayer = null;

    private void onRecord(boolean start) {
        if (start) {
            startRecording();
        } else {
            stopRecording();
        }
    }

    private void onPlay(boolean start) {
        if (start) {
            startPlaying();
        } else {
            stopPlaying();
        }
    }

    private void startPlaying() {
        mPlayer = new MediaPlayer();
        try {
            mPlayer.setDataSource(mFileName);
            mPlayer.prepare();
            mPlayer.start();
        } catch (IOException e) {
            Log.e(LOG_TAG, "prepare() failed");
        }
    }

    private void stopPlaying() {
        mPlayer.release();
        mPlayer = null;
    }

    private void startRecording() {
        mRecorder = new MediaRecorder();
        mRecorder.setAudioSource(MediaRecorder.AudioSource.MIC);
        mRecorder.setOutputFormat(MediaRecorder.OutputFormat.THREE_GPP);
        mRecorder.setOutputFile(mFileName);
        mRecorder.setAudioEncoder(MediaRecorder.AudioEncoder.AMR_NB);

        try {
            mRecorder.prepare();
        } catch (IOException e) {
            Log.e(LOG_TAG, "prepare() failed");
        }

        mRecorder.start();
    }

    private void stopRecording() {
        mRecorder.stop();
        mRecorder.release();
        mRecorder = null;
    }

    class RecordButton extends Button {
        boolean mStartRecording = true;

        OnClickListener clicker = new OnClickListener() {
            public void onClick(View v) {
                onRecord(mStartRecording);
                if (mStartRecording) {
                    setText("Stop recording");
                } else {
                    setText("Start recording");
                }
                mStartRecording = !mStartRecording;
            }
        };

        public RecordButton(Context ctx) {
            super(ctx);
            setText("Start recording");
            setOnClickListener(clicker);
        }
    }

    class PlayButton extends Button {
        boolean mStartPlaying = true;

        OnClickListener clicker = new OnClickListener() {
            public void onClick(View v) {
                onPlay(mStartPlaying);
                if (mStartPlaying) {
                    setText("Stop playing");
                } else {
                    setText("Start playing");
                }
                mStartPlaying = !mStartPlaying;
            }
        };

        public PlayButton(Context ctx) {
            super(ctx);
            setText("Start playing");
            setOnClickListener(clicker);
        }
    }

    public AudioRecordTest() {
        mFileName = Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory().getAbsolutePath();
        mFileName += "/audiorecordtest.3gp";
    }

    @Override
    public void onCreate(Bundle icicle) {
        super.onCreate(icicle);

        LinearLayout ll = new LinearLayout(this);
        mRecordButton = new RecordButton(this);
        ll.addView(mRecordButton,
            new LinearLayout.LayoutParams(
                ViewGroup.LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT,
                ViewGroup.LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT,
                0));
        mPlayButton = new PlayButton(this);
        ll.addView(mPlayButton,
            new LinearLayout.LayoutParams(
                ViewGroup.LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT,
                ViewGroup.LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT,
                0));
        setContentView(ll);
    }

    @Override
    public void onPause() {
        super.onPause();
        if (mRecorder != null) {
            mRecorder.release();
            mRecorder = null;
        }

        if (mPlayer != null) {
            mPlayer.release();
            mPlayer = null;
        }
    }
}
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