My new audio recorder

iPod plus TuneTalkStereoI picked up a new gizmo last week on my holiday Friday off of work, a Belkin TuneTalk Stereo accessory for my iPod. It records in either “CD quality” (44.1 KHz, 16-bit, stereo) or lower quality (22.05 KHz, mono) using its built-in stereo microphone or from an external microphone or sound source using its 1/8″ input jack. It only works with “5G” iPods. It cost $69 at The Apple Store.

We’ve been doing a lot more with audio at work this year and it’s been fun. It’s handy to carry an audio recorder around and this is certainly much smaller than a Microtrack is, if I have my iPod with me anyway. It can also record for a lot more time and certainly has longer battery life than the Microtrack.

I was asked today, “what are you going to record with it?” and couldn’t give a good answer. It would have been handy to have along on my trip to Britain this year so I could show family here what the family members we met over there sound like. I can take it to church and record more sermons for the Web site (even though Gary has passed away and I miss him tremendously). If my grandparents or my father were still around, I could use it to record oral history from them. If you’re a family historian or genealogist, I think an audio recorder is now a must-have tool (I’m a recovering one). I can record the wind chimes on my back porch or the sandhill cranes down by the lake.

When I showed it to Mindy today she said she wanted to hear some samples online (I suppose so she can hook me up on her work blog). These were made with the built-in mic. I haven’t tried any of the better mics we have around yet. They are also unprocessed except for conversion from .wav to .mp3 format.

The following was recorded in my office. I just grabbed an announcement off the table in the lab and read it into the recorder.

[audio:Rosenblum.mp3]

I wanted something better than that, though. So at home I read a passage from the book I read over the weekend. I like it better.

[audio:casinoroyale.mp3]

Update (14 Nov): I had a brief opportunity today to try it out with an Electro-Voice 635B handheld microphone. I read the guest speaker announcement again because that was handy. The levels came in a little lower than the built-in mic, possibly due the low-end cable that was available today. We have some other cables ordered and we’ll try that when they arrive in a few days.

[audio:Rosenblum635.mp3]

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