"Use external app for audio recording" will default to false in Collect v2022.1

To allow Collect to record audio "out of the box", Collect v2022.1 (releasing early 2022) will change the default value of the "Use external app for audio recording" setting to false (unchecked). This will mean that Collect will, by default, use the built-in recorder which allows customizing audio quality from within the form.

If you need to use an external app we'd advise adding quality=external to audio questions which will future-proof your forms from the upcoming change.


Is it possible to put a warning in Collect asking users who are using the external audio recording to update their forms?

Yeah, it's an easy situation to detect, so we could add something to the audio question if there's no quality specified. We've discussed in-app warnings for changes like this before, but usually they'd add disruption, and we're always worried they wouldn't end up getting to the people who maintain the forms. In this case we could just add a couple of lines of text to the widget, so there's not really a worry about disruption.

An alternative might be to add a warning to pyxform, so form designers see it when converting forms there or in XLSForm online or Central?

Letting it marinade for a while, I'm now feeling like I like this course of action the most. I'm thinking that a warning could be added when parsing forms that use audio without a quality parameter. Something like:

"No quality parameter specified for audio. This will soon use an internal recorder in Collect. If you need to use a specific recording app, specifiy quality=external."
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After much back and forth with @LN and @seadowg, I've decided that we shouldn't add any warning to XLSForm Online or Central because the warning really should go to enumerators and their project supervisors.

It doesn't hurt to have a warning in the form designer, but it is more noise for form designers who don't need to know that the default behavior is changing.

We are also not adding a warning to Collect because we don't think this change will be very disruptive to users (and is likely to be better for them in some cases). Those that want old behavior can get it by changing the settings on device or in the form.

One of the hard things about making ODK is that we don't have a great way to notify project supervisors of things that affect their enumerators.

If you have a campaign, please watch the breaking-changes tag and join the beta program so you have lots of warning about upcoming changes.

Collect v2022.1.0 is now available and uses the internal recorder by default. To force using an external app, add quality=external to audio question parameters.