Nuance Mobile's Recording Modes - Append, Overwrite, Insert

The mobile application, for both iOS and Android, offers three recording modes for dictations: Append, Overwrite, and Insert.

This article explains the advantages and potential drawbacks of each recording mode.

Where Can I See and Change the Recording Mode?

iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod) Devices

In the iOS application, the current recording mode is shown on the bottom right side of the recording screen, to the right of the rewind, play, record, and fast forward buttons:

IosRecordingMode3.jpg

When you tap on the recording mode, the recording mode menu shows with the available modes to choose from. From here, you can choose the mode, which will place a checkmark next to the selection. When you are finished, you need to tap on the Done button in the top left corner to return to the recording screen.

IosRecordingMode4.jpg

Android Devices

In the Android application, you can bring up the Record Mode menu by tapping on the menu button from the recording screen. The record mode menu will look like this:

AndroidRecordingMode3.jpg

From the menu, you simply need to select the recording mode of your choice and you will be taken back to the recording screen.

Append Mode

Append is the default recording mode that is set in the mobile application for both iOS and Android.

In this recording mode, your recording is simply "appended" or "added" to the end of the current dictation. For example, if you had paused recording after two minutes and thirty seconds, anything you record by resuming recording will be added to the end of the current dictation.

Pros: The possibility of user error regarding deleting chunks of the recorded dictation is eliminated in this mode, as there is no delete or overwrite feature in Append mode.

Cons: Because everything you record is added to the end of the current dictation, there is no option to go back and add a recording to the middle or the beginning of the current dictation.

Overwrite Mode

The overwrite mode allows the user to choose a point in the current dictation and record over the section. For example, if you had paused recording after two minutes and thirty seconds, but wanted to re-dictate from the two-minute mark and wipe out what you had recorded from 2:00-2:30, you would simply move the dictation bar to the two-minute mark and hit Record - the audio originally recorded from the two minute mark will be overwritten as you dictate from that point.

Pros: Overwrite mode allows the user to "re-do" any part of the dictation by recording over the part. This allows the user to correct or re-dictate any part they incorrectly or mistakenly dictated.

Cons: Because this mode can overwrite any part of the current dictation, the user MUST be extremely careful not to overwrite any part of the dictation they want to keep. Because user error could easily lead to parts of dictations being unwantedly deleted, Overwrite mode is usually not recommended for most dictating users.

Insert Mode

The insert mode allows the dictating user to add audio to any part of the dictation. For example, if you had paused recording after two minutes and thirty seconds, but wanted to add a sentence or a paragraph at the one-minute mark, you can rewind the dictation to the one minute mark and simply hit the record button to insert the dictation at that point.

Pros: This mode allows the user to go back and record additional audio to any part of the current dictation.

Cons: User error could lead to dictations being added to the beginning or middle of the current dictation when it needed to be added at the end of the current dictation.


Most dictating users stay on the default recording mode of Append, but are welcome to try the other two modes bearing the potential drawbacks of each mode.