Griffin iTalk Voice Recorder | iLounge

Reviews

41

My rough calculations (based off "Josh"'s recording) are:
Recording = ~200k per 12 seconds. Since there is no compression on wav's it should be a linear curve so:

~1 mb (1000kb) per minute
or
~60 megs (60,000kb) per hour

*24 = 1440 megs per day
*28 = 40,320k (~40 gigs) per 28 days

So, you could very nearly record a short month with the for-tay. (But you'd miss my birthday party on leap year unless you turned it off recording while you were in the bathroom.)

Leaving 5 gigs free on your Pod will grant you ~83 hours of recording time.

Feel free to correct my numerous mistakes. grin

Dav

Posted by Davantalus on May 17, 2004 at 11:09 PM (PDT)

42

The recording part of the italk is ok. I just want to say that Griffin should not be allowed to get away with their claims of such a great speaker on their website. I think they said it was so good that you could use it to share things across an office. Sure, right ! What size office were they thinking of ? I think that they were bordering on dishonesty on their website. I sold my belkin voice recorder but I seem to remember the speaker being at least as good as the italk's. I will never trust anything on Griffins site again. I will always wait for user opionions before buying anything (I preordered) from them again. Actually, I probably wouldn't buy anything from them again. I don't trust them now. I meant to post this quite a while ago. I did email them my feelings right away after getting the italk but never got any feedback from them at all.

Posted by Kelly Topp on May 18, 2004 at 1:03 AM (PDT)

43

Just got my iTalk. Great product. The people complaining about the speaker quality are unfair. It is a small speaker so their are clearly limits to it's volume output. Your expectations are unreasonable if you want or expect really loud and crisp sound out of a speaker this size. Also, it is a voice recorder, not a professional quality mic. It does it's job great and it amazes me how much Griffin packed into such a small unit. It is smaller than the iTrip. If you want a voice recorder and/or a mini speaker to share your music in relatively low-noise environment, BUY THIS PRODUCT! It works and looks better that I could ever have expected.

Posted by Hierohead on May 18, 2004 at 7:33 AM (PDT)

44

I just got my iTalk in the mail yesterday, and I must say that I am very impressed with it. The audio quality is about what I expected - serviceable - but I don't think any reviews I've read truly touch on how many uses the iTalk has. That "whenever inspiration strikes" line which Griffin has on its web site might seem like marketing B.S., but I'm writing a large essay for school, and whenever I have an idea for it, I now find myself reaching for my iPod. Not to mention the blackmail potential... wink

Posted by IceBook77 on May 18, 2004 at 7:13 PM (PDT)

45

I am not being unfair by complaining about the speaker qualilty. You have to take into
account the claims that Griffin made on their website that I made reference to. They describe it as having a "very capable integrated speaker". You'll also see "amazingly loud for its size. You can play and share voice recordings with everyone in a small office or conference room" in their description. This is absolute BS and they should change their website and should offer refunds including shipping costs to those not satisified.
The microphone part is very good. I'm simply saying that they are making blatantly false claims about the speaker. The Belkin voice recorder was good enough for my uses but I got Griffin's talk because of the better mic AND their claims about their speaker which would seem to imply much more than just "serviceable audio quality (from the speaker)".

Posted by Kelly Topp on May 18, 2004 at 7:41 PM (PDT)

46

Hi I can only say about this voice recorder that it's a waste of money!

When I first heard of the possibility to record memos on my 20 3.G Ipod I was fascinated of the idea. So I went to the store today to get the italk.

Everytime I insert a mic or speakers into that thing it screws up my software big time. The only way to get rid of the malfunction is to reset the ipod. But keep in mind, that you have to connect speakers as you will not be able to listen to the recording otherwise. The tiny speaker that comes with it is just a joke! And I must say that griffin is just telling plain lies when they promise on thier website that you can listen to audiobooks IN THE OFFICE? I don't konw about American offices, but here in Germany offices are usually larger than 2 square feet!

Generally Apple did not take the chance to convince me as a windows user to buy one of their products every again! I got my ipod in December and now after only five months the battery capacity is already down to 4 hours of playback. I'm not moaning about the price, as I know it is expensive to buy special stuff but the overall performance of the ipod can not be rated as satisfying. I don't even start to critisise the poor quality limitations for recording.

All in all a player for half the price would have been a better coice for me! Plus you can get models with a decent recording function included straight away.

I do have to admit that the mic is good. So for someone who will record the whole day and later copy everything on his computer italk might do the trick.
For me the product is useless as you can reset your player every 5 Minutes. Maybe that is only an issue with the german software.

Posted by Christian on May 19, 2004 at 3:22 AM (PDT)

47

I i record my acoustic guitar too close to the italk I get really annoying digital distortion sound on the peaks. (though turning off all eq seems to help)

Posted by douglas hammond on May 19, 2004 at 9:21 PM (PDT)

48

hello! when i connect the italk, my ipod often freezes, and within a fe wminutes the battery is empty.... other times it just works. so far i find it a rather useless thing, or am i doing something wrong?

Posted by jerome on May 19, 2004 at 10:43 PM (PDT)

49

I am just annoyed that there has been no feedback about the 8KHz! I want 64 at least! Jesus - you would think Apple would want to provide good quality recording, but no. I just hope they see the light and get some beast of a firmware update. I want to get an italk mic to record my singing lessons - i am currently using a minidisk - good quality, but VERY inconvenient having to record it on my computer in realtime. come on apple - work you magic...

Posted by RaNDoM on May 25, 2004 at 3:41 AM (PDT)

50

Thanks for the capacity calculations Davantalus.

I just picked up my iTalk last night and so far so great! I'm wasn't expecting anything better than it is (for $50 CDN)... and think it's a great tool for recording lectures at school.

Does anybody know about battery life? I have a full day lecture on Saturday and need to know if I should be sitting next to a power outlet!

Timzilla

Posted by timzilla on June 1, 2004 at 7:42 AM (PDT)

51

I can't believe all the whining here about the iTalk. I've 27 years in professional radio production and although somewhat limited, the iTalk's performance is satisfatory for most applications. Especially when you figure the $35 price. I would direct you whiners to Marantz for your pro audio (I have their stuff too). Their PMD line will do for you but unfortunately, the price is well over 10 times the iTalk. Good job to Griffin. I'll be buying the upgrade product when it's available.

Posted by Johnsaul on June 4, 2004 at 1:21 AM (PDT)

52

I am satisfied with the iTalk's recording and playback capabilities. I was not expecting to get a tube mic and 3-way speaker. I was, however, expecting compatibility and reliability. With that said, here's the e-mail I just sent to Griffin's tech support:

I purchased an iTalk for my 3G iPod twelve days ago and have been having problems ever since I bought it. The first time I used it, I had to reset my iPod because it froze on a menu screen before I even got to the recording screen. The next problem was that it would freeze at 0:00 in recording mode. I unplugged it and plugged it back in. This seemed to help, but it still happens frequently. Finally, when I actually do record, I can play the file back once or twice, then when I choose to play it again, it goes to the play screen, but then jumps right back to the file menu screen. As of right now, I cannot play the one and only file I have saved today. I unplugged and plugged in, turned off and on, but I haven't tried resetting it yet. I would like to know if this is a given with the iTalk and if I can expect to reset my iPod every time I use it. All I want to do is record some song ideas using a piece of equipment I was initially thrilled to have. Instead, I find myself e-mailing tech support while my creativity turns into frustration. I agree with your website's idea of keeping this little guy with me in case of creative impulses. I'm just afraid I might end up tossing it out my car window as my ideas for song lyrics get caught up in a traffic jam of unplugging, resetting and foul language. Please help me remedy these issues. I hope you are actively investigating ways to alleviate them, as I have read that I am not the only person encountering similar problems. Your prompt response is appreciated.

Posted by Chris on June 12, 2004 at 11:42 AM (PDT)

53

I'm looking forward to picking up a 15GB iPod in the next week or two and will definitely be buying the iTalk to go with it - pending availability in Australia. I'm a little concerned about the reports of it not integrating properly with iPod software though - needing to reset the pod etc, troubles with iTunes. The 8Khz quality is a little offputting too, as I was hoping to record spoken word then compile onto a CD. Does anyone know if any of these problems will be remedied through software upgrades, or whether we'll be expected to purchase more hardware later? That would be gouging... will apple cave and provide at least 64-128khz in a software upgrade?

Posted by esirium on June 14, 2004 at 5:49 AM (PDT)

54

I bought this a few hours ago, and the mic seems pretty good... picks things up a fair distance away, much better than my tape voice recorder.

I found no problem in recording either. But playback was another story. for some reason, I have to reset before the playback works from the xtras, voice memo place...
this then works until I listen to some music; then if I want to go back to voice memo playback, I have to reset again. Anyone know why?

I also found that you must unplug headphones when you record, otherwise it will use the headphones as a mic, which does not work so well.

I bought this because I needed a digital voice recorder, and could use the memory of the ipod. (I am a reporter). First impression: cheaper than buying a separate digital voice recorder, but the incompatibity problems are irritating.

Posted by Marko on June 17, 2004 at 4:36 PM (PDT)

55

I was looking forward to the iTalk, but after 2 months, I cannot recommend it at all. My iPod frequently freezes, won't shut off, gets really warm, and requires a reboot while plugged into a mac or power adapter. I was going to record the lectures for my summer class this week, and I only got 1 out of 5 lectures down. Twice, the unit froze without recording, and two attempts resulted in two minutes of recording before it stopped, froze, and lost those two minute recordings. Unless Apple or Griffin gets on top of this, mine is going on eBay real soon.

Posted by Dan McCormick on June 19, 2004 at 2:56 PM (PDT)

56

I've found it works as it should with the limitation of the speaker. My only complaint is the clipping when using it as a close up dictaphone. If you speak a bit louder the auto gain control makes a clipping noise which is not pleasant. Apart from that it seems fine. Bit overpriced in Oz at around $90!

Posted by OzzieJAK on June 24, 2004 at 1:05 PM (PDT)

57

I've been using the ITalk for a week now and find it exactly what I needed. I've been wanting to make short archival voice recordings in digital form and trying to stay away from tape. I am using a 15G iPod with iTunes 4.6 and the latest iPod software update and have not had ANY problems with the iPod software or freezing up. I only have about 3 gigs on this iPod filled up though. Anyway, I'm probably close to Griffin's ideal user for this product: I am a writer who makes about 1 or 2 recordings a day, about 15 minutes each. I play back the recordings once through the iTalk before downloading the recording into iTunes. I find the automatic erasure from my iPod convenient, although I could see how that would not suit everyone. My non-taxing every day requirements, coupled with the convenience of the system make this a great accessory for people who need to have a convenient, rather than critical, recording system.

Posted by iPod-uPod on June 29, 2004 at 6:52 PM (PDT)

58

I have found this product extremely unsatisfactory. It records noisy voice, and don't even attempt to record music because the quality is shocking! Also, the speaker is terrible, producing sound which is only slightly louder than my apple headphones at full volume (when they are not in my ears) and the speaker sounds incredibly tinny. Seriously consider asking for a demo before purchasing, don't make the mistake i did by paying so much for something which is of inferior quality.

Posted by aussiegirl in Australia on July 5, 2004 at 7:08 PM (PDT)

59

not to sound too negative though- i love my ipod!

Posted by aussiegirl in Australia on July 5, 2004 at 7:12 PM (PDT)

60

Software vs hardware upgrade capabilities? That's what I need to know. I'm hoping to be able to record samples in the orchestra room of my school to use in making music, but I'm not going to do this unless there's better recording quality.

Does anybody know how good the recording quality is for mini-disc players? I'm not familiar at all with them, but I've heard that they're widely used for recording stuff.

Posted by Delgado on August 5, 2004 at 9:41 AM (PDT)

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