• 09-02-2004, 07:41 PM
    Portable Digital "Voice" Recorders
    Recently I've been hearing about portable mp3 players that are capable of recording directly to their internal drives using either internal or external microphones (they have optical inputs/outputs as well). I know MiniDisc has been the predominant tool in recording live concert material, but these new devices seem really nice. Has anyone had any experiences with these?

    I am considering getting an iRiver HP120 that has a Line-In jack for an external microphone, but hardly anyone has commented on their recording quality compared to MiniDisc. Mainly I'd like to use this to record live shows. Any opinions are appreciated!
  • 09-03-2004, 10:54 AM
    plextor guy
    there are a number of these players..
    but before you buy the iRiver (very good product by the way), check out the newly released Rio Carbon. I just ordered one and should receive it early next week. It's the successor to the Rio Nitrus, a player I've been using for over a year. If you're looking for a device that can be used with an external microphone, the Carbon isn't for you. It's built-in microphone is probably unsuitable for live recording. If voice recording is what you want, the Carbon should be fine. The Carbon improves on the Nitrus in several significant ways. It uses a Seagate 5BG hard drive, has voice recording, book marking, is Audible compatible and is a UMS device (it will be seen as an external hard drive and can be used to store data files as well as music without special drivers or software). It's form factor is nearly perfect. Credit card size and in the form of a clamshell. It disappears into a pocket and is supposed to go as much as 20 hours before needing a charge. A lot of manufacturers puff there battery life and Rio is no exception but in the case of the Nitrus I'm getting an honest 12+ hours before it needs recharging. I expect the Carbon will improce on this a little. The Carbon is a direct assault on the iPod Mini but the Carbon has the mini outclassed in every way except perhaps the style and status department. By the way, I have no affiliation with Rio other than being a customer. I've owned several of their players over the years and with one exception have had excellent luck with their product. Here's a link: http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/sho....asp?model=267
  • 09-03-2004, 01:27 PM
    Rio products
    Hey thanks for the reply.

    As a matter of fact I do own a Nitrus for about 2 weeks so far. This is a great product in my opinion, the first hard drive based player I've owned (I've had MP3 CD players in the past). My only issue is the Li-lon battery technology which seems to be inconsistent (or at least the player, I suppose it still needs break in time, with a few full charge/discharge cycles as stated by the manufacturer). I never get the 16 hour claim, but I after reading several messages on another messageboard, the things I do with it really kill the battery life (backlit, changing songs frequently, high volume levels, etc.). I think the shuffle mode adds stress to the battery as well as it has to spin the drive at every song to different locations, instead of accessing the files sequentially in non-shuffle mode (just a theory). To see if my player's battery was at fault I'm doing a test using IDEAL conditions (cool place, 15 volume, no backlit, no shuffle, 128 kbps mp3). It's playing a 20 hour mp3 file, and the battery is at half at 10 hours into it, so I guess the battery is fine.

    I was really considering the Carbon, as the Seagate drive is really good. It's too bad it doesn't have a Line Input I was really looking for in a player. If it only had that feature, I would definately get one.

    On the bright side, if my player decides to die before my two-year warranty expires (and the Nitrus players are no longer available), I'll probably get upgraded to the Carbon at the time it will probably be the same price I paid for the Nitrus =]

    Everything else about this player is amazing and has caused me zero problems.
  • 09-03-2004, 05:06 PM
    plextor guy
    If you need an external mic..
    it looks like you were on the right track with iRiver. The H120 and 140 look like killer portable recorders, huge capacity, good (advertised) battery life. I have an ifp-195, an iRiver solid state portable. Fantastic sould quality and battery life. I'd still be using it but needed more capacity.