Tech News on G4

Testing 1,2,3,4 iPod Nano Can Record

Oct 22, 2008

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gaziní - G4 Canada

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There are 2 features that can be found on almost every other portable music player on the market except the iPod and that’s an FM tuner and the built-in ability to record voice or audio and while the Apple iPod Radio Remote added and external FM solution for iPod users, voice recording was not an option – until now.

So after being one of the last holdouts, the latest rebirth, the 4th generation Apple iPod nano, finally has voice recording capabilities.

Testing  1,2,3,4  iPod Nano Can Record

Technically however, you could record voice on select iPod models but it did require the use of 3rd party attachments like Belkin’s TuneTalk Stereo, that we reviewed back in March that worked only with the 5th generation iPod (iPod with Video). There was also Griffin’s iTalk Pro, and the XtremeMac MicroMemo that was designed for iPod 5G and 2nd generation nanos only.

Audio Recording Comes in Handy

When listing off the features in today’s portable jukeboxes, Audio/Voice recording is probably not high on the priority list, but this feature is grossly underrated.  Once you’ve used it a couple of times, you realize how handy it can become. It’s ideal to record voice memos. It’s also great for those memorable karaoke nights, oops - I mean class lectures or to record and review public speaking presentations which is my primary use. I also use it to record interviews as well as material for Podcasts.

One may argue that you can record audio on your cell phone or even digital camera these days. On some phones, recording is limited to 1 minute. And while the cameras can produce a nice AVI or movie file, the audio is quite often less than stellar. So if the iPod is your music player of choice, why not use it?
Mic Needed

Testing  1,2,3,4  iPod Nano Can RecordNow you can’t record to your new nano right out of the box.  Sadly, there is no built-in condenser microphone or mic/line-in adapter. Apple’s solution is the optional Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic ($29), coming soon, which is basically, your earphones with an added control capsule on the right earpiece cable.

One bonus of getting this particular earset is the ability to control the volume as well as the playback music and video – so it’s well worth the investment but too bad you need to pay extra for a second set of earphone.

If you’re spending extra, you might want to also consider the forthcoming high-end Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic ($89), which features high performance dual drivers – a woofer and a tweeter and soft, silicone ear tips.

Now, if you’re fortunate enough to have an iPhone, the same headset should work fine. I also tested my TuneTalk Stereo that I’ve been using with my trusty 5G iPod Video, with the new 4G nano and it works flawlessly – although it did look a little funny. The TTS is much wider than the slim sleek candy-bar shaped nano.


Voice  Memos Menu Appears

Testing  1,2,3,4  iPod Nano Can RecordApple calls the recording feature – Voice Memos and it’s easy to use. The Voice Memo function will appear only in the iPod menu if you have a compatible mic or mic attachment plugged in. Select it and hit “Start Recording”. The screen displays a icon of a microphone, a recording level indicate and the amount of time lapsed. When done, simply hit the menu button where you can then resume delete or save.

One additional feature is the ability to set chapter marks by simply pushing the centre button while recording. These can come in handy when reviewing your recordings to quickly find a select point in your recording.

The nano produces a crisp clear sound generating 44.1Khz, 16-bit Stereo in Apple’s lossless format, that are easily transferred to your computer via iTunes. Of course result will vary depending on the microphone type used.

Voice Memos is just one reason to check out the new Apple iPod nano. There are many more including its new slim shape, shake to shuffle mode, a built-in accelerometer like the iPhone and  iPod Touch that allows you to view your photos and videos in widescreen and much more.

For more information, visit Apple Canada’s Website.


Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy “at” telus “dot” net


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