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.


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.


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.


I should do more here than announce photo sets

I really should. Maybe I’ll comment on the new TV season sometime. In the mean time, however, I have posted several photo sets over on Flickr.

  • First, at some point this Summer, I posted a somewhat complete album of pictures from my June vacation with Mom to England and Scotland. I later found some stragglers that may be added at a later date. Or maybe not.
  • In mid-August, I led a group from the cycling club on a ride, eat, and tube adventure at Ichetucknee Springs that we dubbed “The Strays Triathlon.” It was the only opportunity I really had this Summer to go tubing. Maybe I’ll get to go again in early Fall before the weather gets too cool for it. That is, if I can get a certain someone to go with me.
  • The week after tubing the Ichetucknee, I was off to Chicago for this year’s convention of the Society of Professional Journalists where I once again produced Webcasts of many of the sessions. I didn’t have much time for sightseeing, but came home with some neat pictures. I had the pleasure of meeting and getting my picture taken with Bob Dotson of NBC News. I will be posting some techie details about Webcasts on my work blog.

Photo News

Over the weekend, my cycling club had a picnic at Hart Springs and, of course, I posted photos.

I have been working for weeks on getting my vacation photos posted. I’m still not done, but thought it was time for a link here anyway. Stay tuned here or on Flickr for more. Still to come are more photos from Lacock Abbey, Avebury, and Scotland.

I also updated the “Random Craigs” at right this evening. Refresh the page a few times and you may see a new pic if you haven’t already.

Digital Photography presentation available

Digital Photography - An IntroductionI have posted my presentation from the aforementioned Digital Photography workshop. It got great press coverage, which unfortunately led to no additional attendees (at least from my informal “raise your hand if you saw the picture in the paper today” poll during the talk). The slides can be navigated forward by clicking anywhere on the slide. And if you move your mouse to the lower-right region of your screen, you will see additional navigational options.

New photos last week, new look on the way

I’m a little late in announcing this here, but early last week I posted a photo album from the Gainesville Cycling Club’s annual Chilly Chili Picnic at O’Leno State Park. I realized when I first laid eyes on the suspension bridge that day that this summer marks 30 years from the first time I set foot in that park when I was 12 years old. That place has always had a special hold on me and I credit its “pull” to be one of the reasons I moved to Gainesville in 1988.

I also started working on a new page layout template for this site last week. I don’t know if or when it will ever get done. I’ve been doing a lot of site templating work at work lately so that may make me less likely to spend my evenings or weekends doing the same sort of thing. Or maybe not.