Podcast field recording gear

I have been using my sony minidisc portable recorder for my podcast recording. I also have a minidisc home stereo unit for capture from the minidisc to the computer with highest quality possible. This as a recording unit has worked very well. it records nice with a cd quality sound and performed great on the recording of my last podcast in the streets of rockford Michigan for the Irish festival. But there is a drawback, you have to then capture that audio into the pc. If you are not in a hurry and can take your time getting everything right this works good. But for someone like me that barely has enough time to think about what tv shows that have been piling up on the replayTV for the past few weeks to watch in that precious tiny time slice between getting home and going to bed (typically a 1 hour window for me) I get all these great ideas for podcasts or recordings but do not get around to doing anything with them because 1 hour of recorded audio = 1 hour of encoding if I get everything perfect in the first 5 seconds of starting the recordings.

This setup with the binaurial microphones I built and the battery box to give those microphones the widest dynamic range possible records extremely well, the street audio I have is golden.... but there has to be a better way. I had been searching for a mp3 recording device for over 1 year now. I have looked at and tried almost every model out there until I doscovered the iriver line. I pretty much ignored them as they look identical to the other stuff and any recording capabilities seem to be line level only.... yuck for me. I do not want to carry a mixer around.

Except , I discovered a "discontinued" model called the IFP-799. it's a 1 gig flash drive and it actually has the capability to record from STEREO microphones. this fact is not advertised at all, nor is it mentioned in any way except in light passing in the manual. So against my better judgement I decided to spend the cash and buy one. so far it is the best mp3 player I have ever owned. it kicks the crud out of the aireo I had in sound quality into headphones. the recording feature is plain old awesome (it records in it's own "REC" format, that has a magical ability to turn into an mp3 if you change the .rec to a .mp3 on the file name.) and with the same storage space as the aireo ends up giving me gobs and gobs of music to listen to as well as the ability to record my podcasts on the road or on location as well as letting me even record audio at meetings into the thing.

My personal opinion is that this is the best device ever made for my use. it plays mp3's well, has lots of room (I do not need 20 gig of mp3's with me.) and can do the recording that is near impossible to find on a portable anymore. (no the new iRiver units do not record from a microphone in... only line in or only tuner recording.

BTW, I doscovered that this thing will also wake up at a set time, tune to a radio station, record for a set number of minutes and shut off. That rocks. time to set it up for weekend recordings of car talk and other great shows i wish were on podcasts.


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