iPod as an MP3 voice recorder
April 17, 2002 3:18PM
Future Apple Hardware
edited January 2014
I have a 10GB iPod and I want to use it as a MP3 voice recorder for interviews, speaches and readings.
Has someone built a firewire microphone?
I'm an italian publisher.
Reply 1 of 13
April 17, 2002 9:28PM
I doubt you can record directly onto the current ipod without it being connected to a mac.
You could plug a mic into an ibook that is connected to your ipod and record that way.
It would still be portable and you could talk for hours.
Reply 2 of 13
April 17, 2002 9:52PM
When the originl iPod came out I thought this was a silly ommision by Apple. It would have made the iPod VERY useful. I think Maurizio is after somthing that wouldn't add substantially to the iPod's size/weight. There's no point carrying around an iBook and iPod and mic, just to record some interviews, voice notes, etc...
Something like a flip up wallet that connected to the firewire port, but contained a mic, the neccessary software and hardware to make voice recording possible while only making the iPod a little thicker and taller overall. That's what we need.
Reply 3 of 13
April 17, 2002 10:58PM
Many people, like myself believe that the current iPod already has the hardware to support this, and with some software built into a hot-swappable firewire mic, the iPod could turn into a valuable tool for recording lectures for students so they dont have to bring the ibook to class.
Would also be fabulous for recording concerts... or even for doing some serious recording via easily swappable sound interfaces.
The second it is announced, as well as an FM radio (which could be recorded)... I will buy one (a 5gig.. with no price increase over current model).
Reply 4 of 13
April 17, 2002 11:58PM
I would love to be able to record song ideas from my guitar right onto my iPod...that would be great! Hope that Firewire mic idea comes into fruition! Back in the OS 9 days, I used to use SimpleSound and the little mic that came with my beige G3 minitower...the sound was actually amazingly good...but that option doesn't exist anymore since I installed OS X. Even in Classic it doesn't work anymore. I know we're in the FUTURE forum here...but anyone know of a CURRENT inexpensive way to get some guitar parts down?
Reply 5 of 13
April 18, 2002 10:11AM
go to versionTracker and check out AudioX.
It will take in audio and save it to a .mov file. It's interface is a bit backwards, you CMD-S first, then you can record, and the data is saved automatically.
Very lmited options, but it sound like it could work for what you need it for.
Reply 6 of 13
April 18, 2002 9:10PM
What some hardware hacker needs to do is build a microphone to go on the end of the iPod with the FW porrt in it.
Reply 7 of 13
April 18, 2002 9:48PM
Right now a hardware hacker would have to do more than add a microphone to the firewire port. You would need a microphone attached to an A2D converter attached to an MP3 encoding chip attached to a firewire encoding chip. Not trivial.
But the poster above is probably rigth about the iPod already having built-in MP3 encoding capabilities. The company that makes the chip makes one with a similar serial to which the specs show on board MP3 encoding. Apple either had a special chip made without this capability or just did not impliment the feature in software for fear of legal reprisal. Time will tell.
Has anyone destroyed the headphone port on an iPod to see if there are an extra pair of contacts for a funky headphone/microphone attachment combo? I guess running the headphone jack backwards may be possible too??? If Apple was planning on implementing voice recording at a later date they would have made it possible to attach an analog mic and not require a fancy firewire digital microphone I think.
Reply 8 of 13
April 24, 2002 9:31AM
You don't need to "destroy the headphone port" to see what's going on here.
If you look real close at the headphone port you can see the hole in the middle surrounded by a circle. If you look in the circle, you can see a "pin" on the left and right sides plus a small hole at the bottom. Now, I'm no electronics expert (or even a novice) but these don't look to me as though they are necessary for the headphones to work. Also, if you look at the headphone jack, it doesn't seem to slot into this circle either. Therefore, I think Apple will bring out a new set of headphones that will either:
A) Have a remote control on them ie play/pause, skip track and volume (this was what I thought of initially a few days ago when I noticed the circle)
Have a microphone either built in or swappable so you could record audio (wouldn't it be cool to voice control your music!!! Although you'd get weird looks on the train when you suddenly yell out "NEXT TRACK!!!")
Or my own personal favourite (and probably NOT what it will be used for)
C) A bluetooth adapter for wireless headphones!!!
So there you have it. My own little bit of totally fabricated hype. Just food for your eardrums (or vocal cords if you like option B
Reply 9 of 13
April 24, 2002 12:36PM
You know, there's not much of a difference between a headphone and a microphone. Try this out-- stick a microphone into a headphone jack. What do you get? A headphone that is difficult to stick in your ear.
Does it work the other way? Yup.
Now, this doesn't mean the headphone jack of an iPod is instantly a microphone jack. However, if the wiring supports it, they could easily accomodate it.
Think about it-- the Jambra is a headphone/microphone for a cell phone that sticks in your ear. Is there anything special about it? No-- it's a cheap headphone that's also used as a microphone.
If Geffen can make a remote control out of the headphone jack of an iPod (cool but simple application of analog signals to IR pulses), why not a simple microphone?
than I type, and I'm not even that good of a typist.)
[ 04-24-2002: Message edited by: GardenOfEarthlyDelights ]</p>
Reply 10 of 13
April 25, 2002 4:18AM
[quote]Originally posted by barracuda:
<strong>I would love to be able to record song ideas from my guitar right onto my iPod...that would be great! Hope that Firewire mic idea comes into fruition! Back in the OS 9 days, I used to use SimpleSound and the little mic that came with my beige G3 minitower...the sound was actually amazingly good...but that option doesn't exist anymore since I installed OS X. Even in Classic it doesn't work anymore. I know we're in the FUTURE forum here...but anyone know of a CURRENT inexpensive way to get some guitar parts down?</strong><hr></blockquote>
Assuming your Mac has USB ports get a Griffin iMic (inexpensive) then get Coaster (free) for recording in OS 9. Coaster has some nice features for monitoring clipping and it is scriptable by AppleScript.
Reply 11 of 13
April 26, 2002 4:10AM
I don't own an iPod, but the only reason I don't have one yet is because I am waiting for it to have live audio inputs.
I agree...I think it's a great oversight on Apple's part to close the door on the live recording potential of the iPod. I'm sure it won't be long before I can buy an iPod that I can record live audio with, but for now it's frustrating to be stuck with my MiniDisc recorder when I know it could be one-stop shopping with some very simple steps.
I think an mic-to-firewire-to-my-ears package is a great idea, but it would need a few things to make it something that would actually be useful. Here's my wishlist:
1) Different situations DO call for different microphones, and any professional would want to use their shiny, expensive mics to record our slammin' tracks onto an iPod (or any FireWire Drive) instead of a generic mic that might not be the best one to use for a certain situation. I think this is a factor, and the right tool would therefore have to be in the form of a small, durable audio input adaptor on the source end of something that connects to the iPod through a long FireWire cable. It could take power from the iPod through FireWire to juice up condenser mics, but there would have to be concessions to recording time as a trade-off for onboard phantom-power when you needed it. Not all good mics need phantom power, but a lot do.
2) There is a need to address the level (and quality) of the input the iPod is getting from it's source. Some situations would call for a line-level signal (like a board feed) and others would call for a mic-level feed (like a mic). Some situations would also call for MP3 encoding, while some would call for higher-quality AIFF encoding. Therefore, the recording levels would have to be adjustable in both the gain (rough) and rec-level (fine) stage, and the format would have to be adjustable (MP3 vs AIFF). The gain stage could be adjusted at the adaptor end with a switch, and the rec-level stage could be adjusted with software that makes use of that cool dial on the iPod. You should be able to see your recording levels on a VU meter that uses the LCD screen.
The encoding choice should be part of the software...Simple as that. It's a choice you select before you record.
So, I don't see any reason why Apple couldn't make an iPod and a FireWire adaptor that would allow you to start and stop a recording, adjust/monitor audio levels and then file and play it back. It seems like a natural.
Someone get on it, and I'll be your first customer.
Reply 12 of 13
April 26, 2002 7:53AM
And I'll be the second.
Someone get on it, and I'll be your first customer.[/QB]<hr></blockquote>
Reply 13 of 13
April 26, 2002 9:40AM
[quote]Originally posted by gafferino:
<strong>Right now a hardware hacker would have to do more than add a microphone to the firewire port. You would need a microphone attached to an A2D converter attached to an MP3 encoding chip attached to a firewire encoding chip. Not trivial.
The iPod supports uncompressed wave files,
so MP3 encoding would not be needed unless..
well.. you wanted to convert your recordings
to MP3. You would also need a microphone
pre-amp for the microphone.
However, in some articles such as this one at anandtech:
The ipod has hardware support for on the fly MP3 encoding.
Some other MP3 players offer recording ability.
I didn't decipher from any of the descriptions of
the iPods guts whether or not there is AD conversion built in.