voice recording device?

Does anyone have an MP3 voice recording device that they like? I was hoping to record into an iPod, but aside from my current pissyness with the iPod, i don’t think it can record using a standard microphone (which is essential for good quality interviews).

My needs are simple:
– good sound recording with microphone
– records at least 2.5 hours at a time, preferably much more
– straight to MP3 and easy to download onto Mac OSX
– compact and decent interface preferred

Anyone have something that they love and want to recommend?

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14 thoughts on “voice recording device?

  1. zephoria

    Sadly, my iPod is broken so i can’t test it. How well does it pick up sound? I have to admit that i’m dubious… I really do like my expensive mike for clear sound.

  2. John Gibbs

    I use the iRiver iHP-120 to listen to music and it works wonderfully for that. It also records to MP3 (various bitrates; including 128k) and WAV.


    I just ran a quick and dirty test of it’s recording feature using the internal mic and was impressed with it’s clarity. However, since it doesn’t have automatic gain control i experienced some breakup when bringing my lips right up to the mic.

    This review talks a bit about it’s recording abilities:


  3. Boris Mann

    According to the specs, the iTalk has an external microphone connector.

    We just bought an Olympus voice recorder. The built-in mic is pretty good, it stores up to 8 hours, and has a USB connection for getting the audio out. And, it again has an external mic input, so you can use that if the built in one isn’t good enough.

  4. Luminifer

    I really like my Pogo! Ripflash Trio (check amazon?).. it may be discontinued, but it’s tiny and has 128M built in… it’s about the size of 3 credit cards? 4?

    also, some of the new cameras coming out (like the pentax optio’s) do voice recording and are pretty tiny.


  5. Emilio

    I rely on my flash iRiver to record rehearsal of choral music, and I have been extremely happy with the sound quality. But for what you are looking for would require their hard drive devices. Here’s how they do on your requirements:
    – good sound recording with microphone: YES with internal mic (they do have adaptive gain control, but it defaults to OFF and it’s hidden several menu layers below as “AGC”
    – at least 2.5 hours: YES (hard drive devices)
    – straight to MP3: YES (multiple bit rates + WAV)
    – easy to download onto Mac OSX: dunno (though it’s supported)
    – compact and decent interface preferred: NOT (can’t say that with a straight face 🙂 With so many different options jammed in this box + limited buttons, you will most likely need to manual to navigate through it & set up.

  6. joe

    Well, I like my NJB3 (had a blog post about it a while back but my MT blog is broke)… but those are no longer being manufactured, there price is going up (as tapers realized they are invaluable to record to 44.1kHz or whatever kHz at shows) and it isn’t simple (but not hard) to get them to play nice with a Mac.

    I’d suggest waiting (if you can) for the new Creative Labs Zen Touch 20 GB MP3 Player

  7. zephoria

    First, thanks to everyone who has responded!

    I did indeed try out the iPod/iTalk combo but was pretty horrified by the sound quality. While its spec says that it can take in external microphones, it won’t take in my favorite mic – the Sony ECM-MS907.

    Based on recs here (and those sent via email), i think that i’m going to get the iRiver iFP-380T. (Apparently, the hard drive ones have bigger hard drives but they’re bigger all around, which is kind of a liability during interviews. Plus, i cannot imagine doing more than 36 hours of interviews without backing up.)

    I’ll let you know how it goes, but thanks!!

  8. Todd Siegel

    For smallness of size and expansiveness of memory space (and outstanding sound quality), I would highly recommend the Sony IC recorder ICD-MS515.

    It looks like a little phone, and uses memory sticks (17 hours of recording at the highest quality setting for a 128 MB stick). I’ve been taking it nearly everywhere I go for the last year – without complaint.

    Except one: the last time I checked, the conversion software it uses did not have a MAC version. It uses Sony’s MSV format, which I record onto my PowerBook and drag into iTunes.

    Good luck!

  9. jim

    Can anyone tell me where I can buy a fully functional chinese made AK 47 pre 70’s model so I can blow you miserable geeks off the face of the earth! I cannot believe there are people in this world like this. You Americans really are as dumb as your leader.

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