Saturday, December 31, 2005

MP3 Players

You might find this of interest, if you have ever thought of getting an iPod for your workouts, etc. BUT also want an audio RECORDER in the same unit, AND at low cost. This is particularly attractive to event videographers.

For recreation listening, I own a small $100 MP3 player ... an economy version of the iPod, but made by Sanyo. Only a gig of memory for about 300 songs, but I don't need more as I only store my favorites... the rest are on CDs or my computer. Many MP3 players like this Sanyo have FM radio and can record voice too with a built-in mic, BUT they usually can't record with a lapel mic as they don't have a recording LINE IN connector -- until you reach the higher end ... ie $300 - $500.

Event videographers have many occassions to record multiple sources of audio only -- voice, instruments or just background ... later synch'd to the video. This requires a multi track camera or multiple mics and mixer.... or separate audio recorder. That's not always convenient when shooting on the fly. A pocket recorder is soooo much more convenient.

In the past videographers used digital mini-disk recorders from Sony. It was standard equipment for about $300, until flash memory replaced these disk units. Instead, I bought a multi-track digital audio recorder from Korg ... but its comparitively large and much more complex ... but has great recording quality and mixing features ... I'd like to sell it. Just not right for my needs.

Recently, I recorded a piano player at a reception for background music in a video, but had to use track 2 on my camera, and keep it rolling, as I forgot my Korg audio recorder. Well, an MP3 recorder would have been more convenient. Turn it on and forget it, separated from the camera... synch it up later as background music. Good for audio interviews too. Easy to use. Great digital quality, especially voice interviews for voice-overs.

Well, there is one brand still with a cheap price that has the LINE IN plug for external mics, but its being replaced by new models without this feature, so buy em' now is my advice. Its available new on eBay, and I just bought one for $69 ... (watch out for high shipping costs) ... its the iRiver model T30, but any of the 700 or 800 series will do the same thing. iRiver is a major competitor to iPod.

I really love my little Sanyo MP3 player, and will still use it for recreational listening replacing bulky CD players. Neither have LINE IN recording. So, I'll dedicate the new iRiver MP3 to audio recordings for video productions, and sell my larger Korg digital pro audio recording equipment. A nice, compact, low-cost, digital recording solution.