If you’re looking to press a record button, make a sound, then distribute a URL where that sound lives, it doesn’t get much easier than the free web app RecordMP3.org.
SoundCloud similarly includes a record button, as well as a waveform display, timestamped commenting, private sharing, embedding on blogs, and other stuff.
RecordMP3, on the other hand, strips the whole process down to enabling Macromedia Flash to use your microphone to record to the site (a preference you only need to set once), pressing record, then harvesting the resulting MP3 to your hard drive. The site hosts the files for you automatically, so you can share them anywhere.
Sound quality can be an issue, which is no fault of the app, which encodes at 128 Kbps — it’s the mic. MP3Record.org recommends using a microphone like this one, but we don’t have one handy where we are right now. Here’s what happened when we used it to record some strumming on a banjo-style ukelele using equipment that was just laying around:
A MacBook Pro’s internal microphone added some distortion when we left the system settings’ microphone input at the default level. This is easily remedied, and is no fault of RecordMP3, but it must be mentioned because it adds another step (both files stream from RecordMP3′s server):