all we need now is someone with a multimeter to work out what it does on remote port to shift the iPod into recording mode, and then we can have recording with any mic :D alternatively, rip your $50 microphone apart and attach your own :/

Posted by Alex Stapleton on October 20, 2003 at 10:43 PM (PDT) Comment 1

great review, thanks! i think i will get one, as i am all into having one device do everything, and i need a personal digital recorder....

Posted by jiggy on October 21, 2003 at 2:42 AM (PDT) Comment 2

Nice review!

It's just a crying shame that Apple didn't release this a couple of months earlier when I actually needed the recording function! Damnit! I had to resort to crummy audio cassettes. To think I could have had my research interviews in beautiful wav files all ordered neatly on my iPod... makes me want to cry.

Ah well...

Posted by Patrick L. on October 21, 2003 at 5:02 AM (PDT) Comment 3

just ordered one from apple store but it's listed with a 3-4 week ship it that popular of vaporhardware?

Posted by jiggy on October 21, 2003 at 5:15 AM (PDT) Comment 4

I don't call it overpriced. It's ripoff priced. !0 dollars in cost selling at $60. Incredible greed.

Posted by shaitan on October 21, 2003 at 5:26 AM (PDT) Comment 5

We've been discussing this on the fora for days.....

It's hardly breaking news, is it?

Posted by Jacko on October 21, 2003 at 5:34 AM (PDT) Comment 6

Thanks so much for the review! I've been wanting to hear a review for some time to finalize my decision of purchase. I do think that Apple could have created a nicer looking microphone for less, though.

Posted by Harry on October 21, 2003 at 6:13 AM (PDT) Comment 7

8KHz mono, very underwhelming for those of us who would like to record live music events in stereo (no, not 3 Doors Down, try high school chorus, band, and piano recitals).

Apple set the bar pretty low on this one. I won't waste my time with it.

Posted by solid on October 21, 2003 at 7:50 AM (PDT) Comment 8

should be okay for voice memos, no?

Posted by jiggy on October 21, 2003 at 8:04 AM (PDT) Comment 9

Pretty lame product if you ask me. I want a digital recorder that has a line input with high quality recording just like most of the other players out there. Belkin's products in general are a big ripoff. How they get off charging close to $60 for their battery pack is beyond me. This mic just seems to be a simple mic that can activate the iPod's recoding feature. Once someone figures out to enable this without that mic who's gonna buy a $50 mic when they can get a better quality mic from Radio Shack for under $10?

Posted by Tom Lavelle on October 21, 2003 at 8:08 AM (PDT) Comment 10

Why does it encode in .wav format? Thats stupid... it should just record everything in mp3... save alot of room

Posted by Ryan on October 21, 2003 at 8:25 AM (PDT) Comment 11

Belkin sux, no doubt about it. "Gold plated" printer cables for $35... as if!

Anyway, to replace my MD a year I got an Archos FM Recorder, with line in/out, both analogue and digital (coax). But the damn thing was bulky! Reasonable fidelty though, and one thing I valued over the Nomad at the time was the ability to record into stereo VBR (not WAV!) and selectable bitrate quality. It records from 16KHz to 44.1KHz and at bit rates from 30Kbps to 160Kbps, and has a nice input volume slider that lets you adjust levels on the fly.

Anyway, a couple of months ago I got an iHP-100. I was quite disappointed with this. It's pricey, piceir even than an iPod, but it's a lot smaller than the Archos. The big drawback I wasn't aware of before I bought it was that the recording function will not record from FM, and the quality seems poorer. Tellingly, I can't find Recorder specs on the iRiver website...

This is a good summary of what's available in digital recording handhelds:

Posted by mixer on October 21, 2003 at 8:40 AM (PDT) Comment 12

Interesting you don't like the iRiver. A frequent poster on rec.arts.movies.production.sound claims that he has found the iRiver 390T to perform as well as a Nagra IV!

iRiver also has a "Masterpiece" series available only in Japan (last I checked) that looks interesting---no moving parts and up to 1G capacity. Also, at the high end, both and list upcoming digitals not shown on the table---which is a great table otherwise, although the link to the Wolfson W8731 used in the iPod is broken.

It's worthwhile to dig the W8731 specs out of the Wolfson website, because that's how you can find out what the iPod is really capable of if an enterprising mic vendor wants to tap into the greater available word lengths and sampling rates. Every music class in America would have them, instead of 7lb Marantz machines!

Posted by Mick on October 21, 2003 at 12:57 PM (PDT) Comment 13

Disappointing, very disappointing. Like others here, I do concert recordings (concerts I'm performing in!), so something near-CD-quality would be extremely useful to me.

It wouldn't surprise me to hear something more along those lines before too long. OTOH, maybe that's wishful thinking. It also wouldn't surprise me to find that Apple doesn't dare do anything like that for fear of upsetting the industry, or of confusing their users.

And it also wouldn't surprise me to find that the iPod so far isn't capable of such recording; recording as uncompressed WAV (or AIFF) at that quality might involve so much data that the HD would be spinning all constantly (giving a pathetic battery life), or may not even be able to keep up. And recording in compressed form (MP3 or AAC) at that quality might involve so much work that the processor couldn't keep up. (Anyone know any details?)

In any case, I was hoping to be able to ditch my MiniDisc recorder and use my iPod for everything. Oh well. I guess it's back to switching discs, running out of room on long sets, and spending hours transferring it onto my computer... :(

Posted by Gidds on October 21, 2003 at 1:12 PM (PDT) Comment 14

I'm curious as to whether the recorded voice wil be compatible with "iListen" etc. so that voice recordings (the user's voice. I know it woudn't work for unknown 'lecturers' or interviewees.) could be transcribed s as if you were speaking directly into the program. I suppose we'll just have to wait for someone (anyone?) to test it. I'd like to see some company develop a headset mic that would make recordings compatible with iListen.

Posted by Steve Philips on October 21, 2003 at 6:02 PM (PDT) Comment 15

i know this is off topic,but could an admin of this forum please check my id - jiggy - as i can't seem to post but i can log in.
okay, back on topic: has anyone actually received one of these? there is a 4 week wait @ apple store.

Posted by jiggy on October 21, 2003 at 6:58 PM (PDT) Comment 16

Here is the link to wm8731 specs pdf:
Maybe is capable to record stereo. I am not sure maybe there is somebody who, after reading, will explain better. Thanks

Posted by Jacopo D'Alessio on October 22, 2003 at 12:41 AM (PDT) Comment 17

anyone know if there is any problem attaching this wih an exo case around the ipod?

Posted by jiggy on October 22, 2003 at 12:46 AM (PDT) Comment 18 has the belkin ipod voice recorder for $34:

needless to say, i've already ordered mine. anyone know when they're actually due to ship?

Posted by davidtoc on October 22, 2003 at 7:12 AM (PDT) Comment 19

well should have told you the ship date, no? i hate when they leave that info out. applestore had a 3-4 week ship date, but i have yet to read about anyone actually having one of these. i ordered mine but won't be in the states till end of november to pick it up. i wonder if someone will figure out how to wire in a home-made one by

Posted by jiggy on October 22, 2003 at 9:30 AM (PDT) Comment 20

8khz mono?

wee bit little?

Posted by Stasyna on October 22, 2003 at 8:23 PM (PDT) Comment 21

I just need enough quality to record my college professor's lectures.. I think this would suffice.. if it were cheaper.

Posted by Diversion on October 22, 2003 at 10:01 PM (PDT) Comment 22

diversion, you may want to wait till you hear from someone in the real world who has tried lecture halls with this device. i will have one in 4-5 weeks to test...i made my decision to purchase cause all i need is to get my croaks into waves, perhaps that way i will remember it's bath day and i might remember to send my mom a card on her birthday. seriously, i am hoping it will do lectures, but from what i read it may not be able to pick up that far away at a good enough quality to be bearable. lectures are hard enough to sit thru live. good luck.

Posted by jiggy on October 23, 2003 at 2:20 AM (PDT) Comment 23

Even if i had a 3g i would wait for griffin tech to come up with a decent solution for line-in recording and/or a decent microphone.
I agree that better quality would result in crap battery time, but i doubt it would affect it sooo much as to make it unfeasilble

Posted by aptmunich on October 23, 2003 at 11:32 PM (PDT) Comment 24

Wouldnt it be possible to take this thing apart, and outfit it with a better mic?

Posted by teh d00d on October 24, 2003 at 12:09 PM (PDT) Comment 25
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