iPod: Recording voice memos

Learn about recording voice memos with your iPod.


iPod nano (5th generation) has a built-in mic to record voice memos. Other iPod models can record voice memos using an optional Apple iPod Earphone or supported third-party iPod-compatible microphone available for purchase at http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipod. With this accessory, you can store voice memos on your iPod and transfer them to your computer.

Note: If you have questions about recording voice memos using an iPod touch, see the appropriate iPod touch User Guide.

Supported iPod models

  • iPod nano (5th generation)

The following iPod models can create voice memos if you use an optional accessory:

  • iPod classic 160 GB (Late 2009)
  • iPod classic (120 GB)
  • iPod nano (7th generation)
  • iPod nano (6th generation)
  • iPod nano (4th generation)
  • iPod nano (2nd generation)
  • iPod (5th generation) running iPod Software 1.1.2 or later. Note: When recording voice memos on the iPod (5th generation), recordings longer than 2 hours will be spilt into 2 hour segments)
  • iPod with color display running iPod Software 1.0 or later
  • iPod photo running iPod Software 1.0 or later
  • iPod (Click Wheel) running iPod Software 3.0 or later
  • iPod (dock connector) running iPod Software 2.1 or later

If you're not sure what iPod model you have, see Identifying iPod models. It's always a good idea to make sure you have the most recent version of the iPod software.

Recording a voice memo

  1. Connect a microphone or Apple iPod Earphone to your Voice Memo supported iPod. On the iPod (5th generation), connect the microphone to the dock connector.
  2. The Voice Memos menu or screen appears. With iPod nano (5th generation) you can use the built-in mic and choose Extras > Voice Memos
  3. To begin recording, select Record or Start Recording. On the iPod nano (5th generation), press Play/Pause or the Center button to start recording. 
  4. Hold the microphone a few inches from your mouth and speak. To pause recording, select Pause. Note: When recording voice memos on the iPod nano (4th generation) or iPod nano (5th generation), selecting the Center button while recording will create chapters.
  5. When you finish, select the Menu button and then Stop and Save. Note: On your iPod nano (4th generation) and iPod nano (5th generation) you can also label your recording with one of several provided labels.

Playing a recording

Select Extras > Voice Memos and select the recording. Note: The Voice Memos menu item doesn’t appear until you connect a microphone.

Playing a recording on an iPod nano (4th generation), iPod nano (5th generation), iPod classic 160GB (Late 2009), or iPod classic (120 GB)

Select Voice Memos > Recordings and select the recording. Note: The Voice Memos menu item doesn’t appear until you connect a microphone, except on models with a built-in mic.

Transferring a recording to a computer


Voice memos are saved in a Recordings folder on iPod in the WAV file format. If you enable iPod for disk use, you can drag voice memos from the folder to copy them.


If iPod is set to update songs automatically and you record voice memos, the voice memos are automatically downloaded to a playlist in iTunes when you connect iPod. Once downloaded, the voice memos are removed from the Voice Memos folder on your iPod. To play the voice memos that have been synchronized to your computer in iTunes, select the Voice Memos playlist on the left side of the iTunes window. To play the synchronized voice memos on the iPod, select the Voice Memos playlist in the Music menu, not the Voice Memos menu in the Extras menu.

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