Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
More on the iPod microphone.

OK, so there was indeed an iPod microphone announced today. And I am indeed planning on acquiring one, as well as a new iPod, when cash permits. Couple of things, though.

First, I wish it had been an actual Apple product. Yeah, I know that Belkin does good stuff. But. I rushed out and bought an iSight when they were announced, in part because it was an Apple thing. Would I have bought one if it had been a third-party product Snoop Jobsie Jobs had been promoting? Probably not. There's a degree of faith in Apple stuff that makes me want to drop more cash than I should to try something I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Like videoconferencing, something that I played with briefly when it came out but haven't really used much since.

Second, the sound clips are stored as .wav files. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'll have to listen to 'em first to see how they compare, but I'm a little astonished that they didn't come up with some kind of on-the-fly AAC compression. Oh well.

Third, I have yet to see any sign of that wished-for auto-transcription software I hoped for earlier today. Oh, well. It should still be pretty cool.

Ah, to be insanely rich. Someday, maybe.

Update. Not five minutes after I posted this, I came across this thread in the MacCentral forums, concerning the use of .wav files. The posters pointed out that first, using an uncompressed format like .wav is a much better idea for those of us more concerned with the quality of the recording than the amount of space being used on the drive. Fair point -- here's hoping someone releases a 'line-in' accessory to do Phish bootleggings using your iPod. Second, they also pointed out that AAC is an Apple standard, and since iPods are no longer solely Apple products, it's better to use a format that works on both Macs and Windows boxen. Another fair point, although one it pains me to concede. I'm not sure yet if I consider iPods in the hands of Windows users to be brave settlers venturing into the uncivilized frontier, or those lost and wandering cousins who have gone over to the wrong side of the tracks.


Actually, isn't AAC a Dolby standard? And since the iTunes Music Store uses AAC for both Windows and Mac, I don't think it's a cross-platform issue.

However, since AAC encoding is (if memory serves) a variable bit-rate compression method, I'd suspect it requires a knowledge of sound across the entire file -- and unless they've built in a time machine, that's pretty tough to do in real time. Sure, you could build in an after-the-fact compressor, but I'd suspect that would require a bit more processor capability than the iPod possesses.

As someone who works a fair amount with compression, I can testify that it's a lot harder to encode than to decode.

Line in would be great, search forums for more on that. Also, right on about the Phish concerts!

Post a Comment