Hear iPod 5G’s high/low quality recording modes, compared | iLounge News


Hear iPod 5G’s high/low quality recording modes, compared

Following up on our First Look at Griffin Technology’s iTalkPro Stereo Microphone for fifth-generation iPods, we have now posted an audio quality comparison file so that listeners can hear the rough differences between the newest iPod’s different recording modes. The 9.1MB file, available here, contains samples of the iPod 5G in High and Low Quality modes outdoors and indoors, plus a sample of the iPod 4G in its original, lower-quality recording mode. Recorders by Belkin and XtremeMac will also take advantage of the 5G’s new modes, which were designed by Apple to enable podcasters, students, and business users to make CD- or superior voice-quality recordings on the go. Technical details can be found below.

For the technically inclined, here are some details and caveats on our recording samples.

  1. Segment 1: Outdoor introduction in 5G High Quality Mode: 44.1kHz stereo, low gain - bumped 15dB because volume level was low.
  2. Segment 2: Outdoor comparison of 5G Low Quality Mode: 22.05kHz monaural, low gain - bumped 15dB because volume level was low.
  3. Segment 3: Indoor comparison of 5G on Low Quality Mode: 22.05kHz monaural, low gain - bumped ~15dB.
  4. Segment 4: Indoor comparison of 5G on High Quality Mode: 44.1kHz stereo, automatic digital gain.
  5. Segment 5: Indoor comparison of color 4G iPod on its only recording mode: 8kHz monaural, automatic analog gain.

Though the iPod saves in WAV format at various bit rates and mono/stereo modes, the final file is a 192kbps, 44.1kHz stereo MP3 file, compressed from a 66+MB WAV file.

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Wow!  I’m surprised on how good of quality it is.  You should have tried it on high quality indoors.  You also could have done all of the different gain settings in each environment with both high and low quality settings.  It would make it a little bit harder to do on your part but it would give us a better idea of what this thing can do.

Any word yet on when it’s coming out?

Posted by Mark Fleser on April 12, 2006 at 9:44 PM (CDT)


I echo Mark’s word: Wow! I’m sold on this and have been wanting a good quality microphone for use in my classes. And 50.00 is not a bad price for the quality of the mic.

Posted by Tenchi211 in California on April 12, 2006 at 10:15 PM (CDT)


Thanks for putting the time into this.  Please use your massive sway to encourage a release of this product ASAP - what is incomplete about yours?

Posted by Adam on April 13, 2006 at 10:37 AM (CDT)


Oh - and does the “Automatic” gain setting adjust the gain from a range, or does it switch back and forth between high and low.

Posted by Adam on April 13, 2006 at 10:41 AM (CDT)


Now I’m getting excited! Built-in mic, decent quality, automatic gain control… this is like the ultimate concert accessory for me! I can’t wait… thanks for putting the time into these reviews/sneak peeks, it makes purchasing the right thing at the right time that much easier.

Posted by Ben on April 13, 2006 at 10:44 AM (CDT)


The automatic gain mode has a range of gain levels between high and low, supporting a wide range of source levels.  High and Low gain modes will rarely be needed, if at all.

Posted by Chris on April 13, 2006 at 12:10 PM (CDT)


Hello, thank you for this test.
It seems however that on the fourth segment (with automatic digital gain), only the left channel has been recording… maybe that’s why this is only a prototype now ;)

Thanks for doing your great work !


Posted by Vincent on April 13, 2006 at 11:36 PM (CDT)


This _must_ come out soon (and be shippable to Sweden immediately). I have several friends who wants this out before they get their first iPod’s. I must say it’s a pretty good incentive for myself to upgrade to the 5G as well :)

Posted by avocade on April 23, 2006 at 12:55 PM (CDT)


This is a very misleading article. All hard drive iPods can record up to 96-bit resolution. The 8-bit resolution of the 4G iPods (and older pods) is a software limitation. If you install the latest version of Linux Podzilla, you remove the software limitation and you can record anything from 8-bit to 32-bit to 44-bit to 96-bit resolution. After reading your review, I was dismayed that I that the 4G iPod I bought wouldn’t meet my recording needs and that I should have bought a new 5G. This is totaly false. Also, I noticed there are no articles on recording live music performance with an iPod, perhaps because Apple chose to neuter their software so it couldn’t be done. Linux makes it possible to turn your iPod into a full-resolution 2 track recorder, and it’s a wonderful expansion of the iPod’s abilities.

Posted by scooterboi on May 7, 2006 at 9:36 AM (CDT)

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