There are dozens of voice memo applications available for the iPhone and iPod Touch that do a decent enough job for dictating your grocery list. Professional recording applications, however, are much harder to come by.
Audiofile Engineering's FiRe application ($5.99) is by far the most advanced stereo audio recording application we've seen for the iPhone and iPod Touch, going far beyond the limitations of previous go-to apps, such as BIAS' iProRecorder. To get stereo audio into FiRe, you'll need to use compatible microphone accessories, such as the Alesis ProTrack, or our current fave, the Blue Microphones Mikey. You could get away with mono recordings using the iPhone's internal mic or headset mic, but that's certainly not the point.
Advanced features such as location tagging, overdubbing, waveform editing, and Broadcast WAVE metadata make FiRe a powerful tool for journalists and musicians. One of FiRe's coolest tricks, though, is its capability to upload recordings directly to the online audio hosting service SoundCloud. Once a recording is uploaded, you can publicly share and embed the audio just like any other SoundCloud recording, or download the original file to your computer at a later time. It's a nifty trick, and the FiRe application is the first to pull it off.
For screenshots of FiRe in action, check out our photo gallery.