List Recorder Reference Manual

Overview

Sixth Mode List Recorder is an easy but powerful way to take audio notes and organize them into lists. The items in your lists can contain audio, text or more lists. List recorder has been designed to work with VoiceOver so you can create and navigate your lists without having to see the screen.

The simple, accessible design gives you two ways to view your list data. The list view displays items as rows in a list. The item detail view displays the details of each item.

The list screen

The list screen lets you view all the items in a list. If there are more items in the list than fit on the screen you can scroll the screen.  For each item, the list screen displays the item’s title, the amount of audio it contains, how much text it contains and a date. Usually the date is the date the item was created, but it can be the do date assigned to the item. The item can have a check mark in front of it. If the item is a list, there will be a list icon in front of it.

When VoiceOver is on, each item announces itself using VoiceOver’s accessibility label feature. By default, the item speaks its position in the list, “edit” if edit mode is on, “check” if the item is checked, “list” if the item is a list, “has audio” if the item contains audio and the item’s title. If the item does not have a title, the item’s audio will be played or “previewed”. If a do date is displayed it may also be announced.

More item information can be heard by selecting the “read item details” option of the list command toolbar button or by opening the item.

Opening an item

Opening an item brings up the current item in the item detail view. The item detail view lets you view and edit the item’s title, text and do date. Here you have an audio controller to record and play the item’s audio. You also perform actions including emailing an item or opening the audio file in another app.

When VoiceOver is on, you open an item using VoiceOver ‘s standard method for tapping a button. First you move the VoiceOver cursor to the item in the list view, which will announce itself.  Then you double tap anywhere on the screen. Alternatively you can keep one finger on the item and single tap with a different finger.

Edit Mode (list screen)

Edit mode allows you to add items to a list, check items and reorder items. List Recorder uses a navigation bar with an Edit button to enter edit mode. As is standard on iPhone apps, the navigation bar is at the top of the screen and the Edit button on the right. After entering edit mode, the Edit button becomes a Done button to exit edit mode. List recorder also provides tilt right as a shortcut for toggling edit mode.

List recorder follows the standard iPhone method for adding and reordering list items while in edit mode. Deleting items is not done in the standard way as it is too cumbersome to do in VoiceOver. Instead there are several options for deleting single or groups of items. Checking items can be done in edit mode or using a custom push gesture.

Adding an item

When edit mode is entered, a new row appears at the top of the list entitled “Add item,” with an unannounced insert button in front of it. To add a new item to the list, simply tap Add item. Because the VoiceOver cursor is positioned to the first row, you should hear “Add item” whenever you enter edit mode. Occasionally the VoiceOver cursor does not go the targeted item and you need to move the VoiceOver cursor to the add item row, usually by swiping left. Tapping Add item creates the new item and takes you to an item detail view where you can enter information for the new item.

Record new item

The “Record new item” toolbar button is a quicker way to add an item and begin recording with one tap. After tapping the “Record new item” button you hear the guitar strum indicating recording has begun. “Record new item” is the first of five buttons on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.  It is in the bottom left corner of the screen so it’s quick to locate.

Reordering a list

When in edit mode, a reorder button appears at the right edge of each item. This allows items to be reordered manually. With VoiceOver off, each row can be visually picked up by holding down the reorder button and then dragging to the desired position. With VoiceOver on, the reorder buttons are no longer accessible as they were in previous versions of List Recorder. Instead, the new move items feature makes it even easier to reorder lists when using VoiceOver. See Place moved items for how to reorder items in a list using the move items feature.

Checking an item

The meaning of checking an item is up to you. You can use it to signify items that need immediate attention, items that are done or any other meaning you find useful. You can use the “Perform on checked” toolbar button to perform a variety of functions on the checked items in a list. These functions include: Delete, Uncheck, Invert check, Move, Copy titles or Make list from checked. You can also sort all the checked items to the top or bottom of a list.

There are several ways to check and uncheck items. When you are in edit mode, tapping an item will toggle its checked state. There is also a special “push” gesture that allows you to check and uncheck an item without being in edit mode.

The “push” gesture

Sixth Mode introduces several custom gestures called “push” gestures that are available while in VoiceOver, as well as similar shortcut gestures for non-VoiceOver users. The push gestures start with a double-tap-hold gesture that is a standard gesture for over-riding VoiceOver. The over-ride occurs when you hear a jiggly tone.

To toggle an item’s checkmark, use a push right gesture. After the double-tap-hold, keep your finger down, drag it right and then lift. Push gestures can be a bit temperamental so keep trying until you hear the “check” or “uncheck” feedback. The reason double-tap-hold is used is because this is the only gesture passed through to an app while VoiceOver is turned on.

To read an item’s details use a push left gesture. After the double-tap-hold, keep your finger down, drag it left and then lift. The double-tap-hold by itself will stop List recorder audio, but not until you lift your finger. Two finger double tap is an easier way to pause and play audio which works for both VoiceOver and List Recorder audio, but only when VoiceOver is on.

Shortcut gestures for non-VoiceOver users

Non-VoiceOver users have two shortcut gestures available in list view similar to push gestures but without requiring the double-tap-hold. Swipe right alternates between checking and unchecking an item. Swipe left will play an audio preview of an item.

Perform on checked

The “Perform on checked” toolbar button brings up a dialog of functions you can perform on the checked items in a list.  These functions, which are described below, include: Delete, Uncheck, Invert check, Move, Copy titles or Make list from checked. “Perform on checked” is the second of five buttons on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. 

Delete

Deletes all the checked items in a list. A confirmation dialog will report the number of affected items before going ahead.

Uncheck

Unchecks all items in a list.

Invert check

All checked items in a list are unchecked and all unchecked items are checked.

Move checked items

Prepares the checked items in a list to be moved to another list. Use the “Insert… Moved items” function in the “List commands” toolbar button to insert the items in the destination list. See Moved items for how to use these functions in combination with the manual sequence order to reorder items in a list.

Copy checked titles

Copies the titles of all checked items in a list to the clipboard. Pasting into a text field will insert a line for each copied title.

Make list from checked

Makes a new list containing the checked items, moving them off the original list.

Deleting items with back flip

In addition to deleting checked items, described above, you can delete individual items using the wipe out dialog. To bring up the wipe out dialog, tilt your device away from you, as if it’s doing a back flip. The choices on the wipe out dialog include deleting the current item and undoing actions. Checking items is currently the only undoable action. Carefully read the item description before deleting, as deleting is not undoable. If the current item is a list, you will be asked whether to delete the list and contents, list only or cancel.

Tilt forward: audio toolbar menu

List Recorder provides an alternative method for selecting a button from the toolbar. Tilting your device toward you while in list view, will announce “toolbar” followed by the names of each button on the toolbar. Keep the device down until you hear the button you want.

Tilt left: clean and retreat

Another special control you have available in List Recorder is tilt left. Tilt left is available for “cleaning up” your current view. It will dismiss any dialog that is up, stop audio playback, take you out of edit or record mode, while saving any changes that were in progress.  Once you’ve cleaned up your current view, subsequent left tilts will take you back through the hierarchy of list views until you’re back to the List Recorder home list.

Scrolling the list screen

When VoiceOver is on, the screen scrolls automatically when you swipe forward from the item on the bottom of the screen or swipe backward from the item on the top of the screen. If you wish to scroll a whole page (there are 10 items per page) use a three-finger swipe up or down. VoiceOver will tell you what items are displayed on the screen.

When VoiceOver is off, a drag up or down will scroll the list.

List Functions

The “List commands” toolbar button brings up a dialog of additional commands for managing lists.  These functions, which are described below, include: Insert, Sort, Read item details, Do date report, Wipe out dialog, Re-title list and Export list. “List commands” is the third of five buttons on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. 

Insert

Brings up a dialog with four things you can choose to insert into the current list.

Empty list

Inserts an empty list into the current list. A dialog lets you name the new list. You can later change the list name or give it an audio description using “Re-title list.”

Moved items

Places the items prepared with the “Move checked items” function in the “Perform on checked” toolbar button in the current list. To reorder a list, sort the destination list in manual sequence.  Check the items you wish to move and select the Move checked items option. Then position the VoiceOver cursor to item’s destination, which can be in the same list. The moved items will be placed below the VoiceOver cursor position.

Titles from clipboard

Makes new items from text that has been copied to the clipboard. Each line is used to define the title of a new item.

Imported list

Inserts a list that was previously exported with the “Export list” function in the “List functions” toolbar button. A dialog presents all the files containing exported lists available for import. After selecting a file, the list appears in the current list.

Sort

Brings up a dialog that lets you choose from 7 sort fields: Creation date, Do date, Title, Checked, Manual sequence, Audio length or Text length. Reselecting a sort field reverses the order. The current sort order is indicated by an up or down arrow on the sort dialog.

When you first create a list, it will be sorted alphabetically, large to small or new to old depending on the field. This is called the default list sort and can be changed using the “Default list sort” setting.

Read item details

Brings up a dialog that will read all the information about an item that is visible in the list view. This includes the item’s position in the list, “list” if the item is a list, “checked” if the item is checked, the item’s title, its do date, the length of its audio, the length of its text or the number of items if it is a list and its creation date. You can choose next item or previous item to continue reading items in the list.

Do date report

Brings up a dialog summarizing how many items are do in the next specified number of days. The do date, title and containing list of each of the do items are listed below the summary, in the order they will occur.

Wipe out dialog

Brings up the wipe out dialog which allows you to delete the current item or undo a limited set of actions. Normally the wipe out dialog is accessed via the back flip motion but if back flip is disabled, this provides an alternate way to access the dialog.

Re-title list

Brings up a special list detail screen that allows you to edit a list’s title and audio description. You cannot edit the home list’s information, so this option is not offered when in the home list.

Export list

Generates a folder containing an html file and audio files that can be used to recreate the current list and its sub-lists. A dialog lets you name the folder. You can then copy the folder to your computer using iTunes file sharing. Using export list from the home list and copying the folder to your computer will back up all your List Recorder data. Exported lists can be imported using the “Insert… Imported list” function in the “List functions” toolbar button. Lists can also be viewed by opening the html file in a web browser.

Item Detail screen

When you open a non-list item, an item detail screen appears that lets you view and edit the item’s information. You can define four pieces of information for each item: a title, an audio description, a text description and a do date. None of the information is required – fill in only what you want.

There is a navigation bar at the top of the screen. The back arrow button on the left allows you to navigate back to the list screen containing this item. On the right is the Action button that brings up a dialog of actions you can perform with the item including Email, Audio functions or Delete item.

Action dialog

In addition to tapping the Action button, you can also hear an audio version of the Action dialog by tilting your device to the right while in an item detail screen. When the device becomes horizontal you will hear “action dialog” followed by the names of each option in the Action dialog. Keep the device horizontal until you hear the option you want. Tilt the device back upright to select the option. See below for a description of the actions you can choose.

Email

Brings up the standard iPhone compose email screen, allowing you to email the item. Note this feature is only available in the Full edition of List recorder. The subject field is prefilled with the item’s title, the body of the email is prefilled with the item’s text and the item’s audio is attached. Note that VoiceOver provides no announcement of the attached file.

You can type a recipient in the To field, select recipients from your address book or configure a default recipient by filling in the Mail To value in settings. You must be editing the To field before the Add from address book button appears to the right of the To field. As you type in the To field, a list of email addresses that match what you have typed is shown below the To field.

Buttons on the left and right of the navigation bar let you cancel or send your email. Clicking send hands the email off to the email app, where you can see it in your sent folder. When the mail finishes sending, you will hear the sent mail sound. This can take a while if the attached audio file is large.

Audio functions

Brings up a dialog providing a detailed description of the audio recorded for the item, followed by buttons to open the audio in another app or delete it.

The description starts with the audio filename. Next the file size is given, which is a good thing to check if you plan to email the file. Following that is the duration of the audio. Lastly the format and quality used to record the audio and whether it is mono or stereo is shown. Format, quality and stereo settings can be changed in settings. See the settings section for a description of the options available.

Open in…

Brings up a dialog listing all the apps on your device that are capable of opening the audio file. Tapping an app launches that app with access to the audio file. List Recorder is placed in the background. To return to List Recorder select it from the home screen or the app switcher.

Delete audio

Deletes the audio without deleting the item. The play button becomes dim because the item no longer has audio.

Delete item

Deletes the item. If this option is selected via the audio dialog, a confirmation is put up to prevent a tilt from accidently deleting an item. However tapping the delete button will delete the item immediately.

Audio controller

To play and record audio, the item detail screen has an audio controller. The audio controller has only two buttons, play and record. When the item detail screen is first displayed, the VoiceOver cursor is placed on the play button unless the item does not contain audio, in which case it is placed on the record button. As noted earlier, occasionally the VoiceOver cursor does not go the targeted item and you need to locate the desired item yourself.

When audio is playing or being recorded, the play and record buttons change to stop and pause so that you can pause the current operation with a tap – assuming you don’t move the VoiceOver cursor.

Positioning the audio

The audio controller also has a readout of the length and current position of the audio and a slider that lets you control the position of the audio. The slider interacts with VoiceOver in a standard manner. After positioning the VoiceOver cursor on the slider you can adjust the position with an up or down swipe gesture.

If you try to record audio for an item that already contains audio, a dialog will alert you and let you choose to replace the audio.

The controls described above are displayed on a sculptured 3D control strip. Above that is a sound control meter that displays rainbow colored bars corresponding to the power level of the sound being recorded or played. This is a purely visual meter which VoiceOver does not report on.

Text description field

When the text description field is being read by VoiceOver, the field is split into sentences and read as html. This lets VoiceOver read the text sentence by sentence. A swipe right or left gesture reads the next or previous sentence. A two finger swipe down reads all the sentences from the current sentence to the end of the field. You can also use the rotor control to navigate by word or character as is standard with web pages in VoiceOver.

Text editing

To edit the item’s title or text description tap the field you wish to edit. With VoiceOver on you double tap to edit. Subsequent double taps alternately positions the text editing cursor at the beginning or end of the field. Swiping up and down will further position the text editing cursor. When you have the text cursor positioned where you want, you can edit on the keyboard using VoiceOver’s standard keyboard typing methods.

Do date

On the bottom of the item detail screen is the do date. This is a date value you assign to signify whatever you wish, usually when the item will or should happen. To set the do date, tap the do date button and a date picker screen will appear. The tutorial entitled “Do Dates” provides detailed information about using the date picker as well as various ways to use and display do dates.

Settings

You can customize List recorder using the settings function on the toolbar. These settings can also be accessed from your iPhone’s system settings. Below are the major functions you can configure with settings.

Record format

You can select from four formats for the audio you record:

.caf using Apple IMA4. This format is compressed 4:1, giving you the best quality for the file size of the three formats available. List Recorder uses this format as its default. However, it is not recognized by the common Microsoft Windows audio players. Thus it should be used for audio that will only be played on an iPhone or Macintosh. If you want to play your audio on Microsoft Windows you should choose one of the two .wav formats below.

.wav using U-Law. This format is compressed 2:1, making it half the size of an uncompressed wav file. This format is recognized by Windows Media Player although some other audio players may not recognize it.

.wav using Linear PCM. This format is uncompressed, so it produces files two to five times larger than the other choices. However it is the most widely recognized format, being ubiquitous across most platforms.

.m4a using AAC. Compression is typically 5:1, the most compressed choice within List Recorder. It is more widely supported than caf, the next most compressed format, but not as universal as uncompressed wav. m4a uses Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), a standardized lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates.

Record quality

You can select from four sampling rates that directly affect the quality and size of your recording:

8 kilohertz. Low quality but small files.

11 kilohertz. Noticeably better than 8 kHz with 38% larger files.

22 kilohertz. Good quality, this is what List Recorder uses as its default.

44 kilohertz. CD quality, large files.

Record in stereo

The microphone built in to your iPhone does not have the ability to record in stereo so toggling this switch will not have an effect unless you are using an external microphone that supports stereo.

Beep type

Chose between a guitar strum or vibrate to prompt you when to start recording. If you select vibrate on a device that does not support vibrate, you will get silence.

Record beep timing

When recording audio you will be prompted with a beep or vibrate, after which the iPhone starts recording. There is a wait before the beep to allow for VoiceOver to finish and not be recorded. There is also a wait after the beep so the beep itself is not recorded. You can alter the timing of this beep to be optimal for your situation.

Audio preview length

An item’s audio is previewed as part of its accessibility label when the item does not have a title. This setting allows you to limit the length of that preview. A value of 0 plays the audio until it is done or the VoiceOver cursor is moved. The default value is 10.

Audio file naming

The next two controls let you configure how audio filenames are generated. The only reason you might be concerned about what filename is used for audio, is if you plan to transfer audio, using Email, Open in… or File sharing.  Otherwise you do not see what these files are named.

Audio filenames are composed of a prefix and suffix. The prefix is generated based on the settings defined below. The suffix is a 14 digit number that encodes the item’s creation date. The date is encoded as year, month, day and time. Audio files have an extension of .caf, .wav or .m4a depending on their format.

Filename prefix

The filename’s prefix can be generated in 3 ways. List title uses the name of the list containing the item. Item title uses the name of the item. Fixed prefix uses the value you enter in the setting below.

Fixed prefix

A string of characters used as the prefix for audio filenames.

Motion controls

There are four controls that let you individually disable any of the four custom motions. Above these, there is a “No motion mode” switch that over-rides the individual motion switches. No motion mode disables all motions.

Landscape toggle

Turning landscape toggle off prevents List Recorder from displaying a landscape version of the item detail screen.

Tilt voice

Choose between a recorded human voice or VoiceOver speaking the announcements when a tilt gesture is performed or an item is checked, for example “backing up” or “editing on.” While the human voice is more pleasant, VoiceOver will speak the announcements in any of the eight supported languages. The human voice only speaks English.

Export file naming

The next two controls let you configure how the export html filenames are generated. Like audio filenames, export filenames are composed of a prefix and suffix. The prefix is generated based on the settings defined below. The suffix is a 14 digit number that encodes the item’s creation date. The date is encoded as year, month, day and time. Export files have an extension of .htm.

Use title as prefix

Toggle this switch to on to use the name of the list containing the item for the filename prefix.  Turn it off to use the value you enter in the setting below.

Fixed prefix

A string of characters used as the prefix for export filenames.

Do Date days of warning

Enter the number of days of warning that will be used when generating the Do date report. This is also used to calculate the number displayed on List Recorder’s badge.

White on black

Displays the list and item detail views using high contrast white text on dark backgrounds.

Default list sort

Specify how a newly created list will be sorted. Choose from seven different sort fields: Creation date, Do date, Title, Checked, Manual sequence, Audio length or Text length, in ascending or descending orders.

Mail To

Type an email address into this field to use as the default recipient for emailing items.

Use Count

Displays the number of times List Recorder was launched.

Get Help

The “Get help” toolbar button brings up a menu of options for learning more about List Recorder.  These options include: Tutorials, Reference, About List Recorder, Upgrade Info, Support and Version info. Most of these options are self-evident.  The upgrade info screen is a bit more involved as it contains the button that allows you to upgrade from the Lite edition to the Full edition of List recorder.  That process is described below.

Upgrading to the Full edition

The first line of the Upgrade info screen tells you which edition of List Recorder is running, Lite or Full. If you are running the Lite edition, the next line includes an upgrade button that is labeled with the current cost of the upgrade. The rest of the screen describes the differences between the Lite and Full editions.

To upgrade from Lite to Full edition tap the upgrade button. The button label changes from the price to BUY NOW, the same as the purchase buttons in the iTunes Store. Tap the BUY NOW button.

Tapping BUY NOW initiates a dialog with the iTunes Store which will vary depending on your connection to the iTunes Store and whether you are logged in. The BUY NOW button changes to BUYING while iTunes processes the upgrade request.

Normally you are asked for a password. If you are not logged in you will also be asked for a user account. If the information is valid, List Recorder will be upgraded to the Full edition. If there are any problems with the connection to the iTunes store or the account information, a dialog from the iTunes Store will provide the details.