With all the talk of iPods on campuses and iTunes as a gateway to mp3/podcast lectures and other academic audio, it has always been a real shame that iPods just haven’t cut it on the quality front for recording audio. Sure, an iPod with iTalk could record at 8khz, but that’s pretty crap quality-wise and okay for, say, notes for yourself, but not for broadcast/podcast quality. Given that podcasting is expanding rapidly, the need for an all-in-one device which can be used across different units for students’ audio recording is sizable. My own students doing podcasting would have found a more streamlined and straightforward recording device a godsend.
When the iPod Nano was released, the audio recording hadn’t improved, but then came the “new iPod” (which is almost universally the ‘Video iPod” even if Steve Jobs won’t call it that). Now, according to the Music Thing, the latest iPod can record in either a 22.05 or 44.1khz (stereo) mode which is definitely podcast quality!
I think any microphone setup can be used (I’ve yet to test one out),Update: The iPod with video needs a special dock adaptor before it can be connected to a microphone (and none are yet available on the market, despite the iPod with Video manual referring you to the Apple Store) but Griffin will probably update the iTalk (or Apple might even release the iPod iRecorder plugin in time for Christmas). iLounge notes that the native recording format is uncompressed WAV, which might use up space fairly quickly, but at 30Gb as the smallest iPod drive, that’s not going to be a pressing issue! Either way, a recording-ready iPod could make student podcasting and audio production in general a lot more accessible.