Have a video iPod? Get a Belkin TuneTalk
I got to try out the Belkin TuneTalk stereo microphone for the iPod video (and 2nd generation iPod Nano) at BarcampLA3 this last weekend. If you have an iPod video, then seriously consider getting this $70 microphone for recording interviews.
Older iPods (starting from 3rd Generation) include the ability to record Voice Memos, with a separate microphone attachment. The recording quality, though, was crappy—the same as what you hear on the phone. With the Video iPod, the Voice Memo recording ability got highly revamped from crappy to good. (Crappy = 8 kHz mono—phone call; good = Stereo CD quality: 16 bit 44.1kHz).
Voice memos are pretty easy to record, so you get portability and ease of use with high quality audio. The audio files are stored in WAV (uncompressed audio) files. Perfect.
The mics are omnidirectional, so they’ll pick up everything in the room with you, so a quiet recording location is important. I managed to get one of the microphones (see Disclosure, below), but don’t have an iPod video nor 2nd Generatin iPod nano, so I’ll have to borrow one in order to do more extensive testing beyond the impromptu test of “here! let’s try it out and talk for 15 seconds and then listen to what we just said.” I will say, though, that the quality of the impromptu test was certainly acceptable. I’d like to try more, because there’s an auxilary jack for using your own microphone.
Disclosure: I introduced myself to a Belkin staff member at Barcamp3—Belkin was an event sponsor—and when I told him what this site was about, he gave me his last TuneTalk. I’m not a Belkin shill, but if a product has ease of use, I’ll certainly talk it up. Still, it’s only fair that you know I was given a unit. I also snagged one of the Belkin cord-hider power strips during BarCamp teardown.
Incidentally, audio recordings of Barcamp will be hosted on the Belkin site. They’re full-rez WAV files. There’s one 15-second demo of the TuneTalk, so give that one a listen. (I recorded a 1-hour presentation on encoding video—by Charles Wiltgen—but using my own equipment and not the TuneTalk. My mics are very sensitive to wind noise, and we had to keep a door open)
Thanks so much for writing about TuneTalk! I’ve been shopping around for a digital stereo voice recorder and the combination of a video iPod and TuneTalk will fit the bill quite nicely. Now, I can’t wait to start recording those oral histories.
Steve, you’re welcome. Tho I have the Belkin recorder, I do not have either model of the iPod that it goes with. I did take my recorder to the Apple Store and did some tests on the iPods there.
Loud background noise = bad.
Please come back and describe your experience once you get the equipment and try it out! I hope to borrow an iPod and do the same.