Voice recording

I bought a Griffin iTalk earlier this week. Not entirely an impulse buy, but I did drive over to the local Apple Store instead of ordering online. I’ve been wanting the ability to record on my iPod since I received my first generation one. I find myself walking and driving a lot lately, so it’s a great way to record random thoughts while away from the computer. For personal use, not for broadcasting.

The quality is acceptable, but not what I’d like it to be. I tried to record a lecture in a large auditorium, with poor results. Might try again with a better position, or even an external microphone.

The software interface is the expected Apple high standards. Plug the thing in and it works, nothing to install. Yes, that’s right — Apple built recording software into all iPods (except the minis), knowing that only a very small fraction would have the hardware necessary to record. And that philosophy comes from the top. Here’s what Steve had to say in an interview with BusinessWeek:

“It’s because when you buy our products, and three months later you get stuck on something, you quickly figure out [how to get past it]. And you think, ‘Wow, someone over there at Apple actually thought of this!’ And then three months later you try to do something you hadn’t tried before, and it works, and you think ‘Hey, they thought of that, too.’ And then six months later it happens again. There’s almost no product in the world that you have that experience with, but you have it with a Mac. And you have it with an iPod.”

Jon Udell frequently talks about audio techniques. I liked this section from today’s blog post on personal productivity:

“How many times have you heard this? ‘Your call may be recorded in order to assure quality customer service.’ Lately I’m starting to repeat the line back to them and then start recording on my end too. If you can pinpoint what an agent said on a previous call, you can alter the balance of power.”

It’s been a while since I bought a new gadget for myself. We’ll have to see whether it ends up being useful or not.

Manton Reece @manton