MicroMemo

Available in silver or black XtremeMac’s MicroMemo for iPod nano is designed to aesthetically complement your music player. When attached we were instantly charmed by the way the two devices fit so well together. The tiny speaker on the front of the recorder has been designed to echo the screen on the iPod itself. The connection between the devices is tight and secure.

The device, which attaches to the bottom of the nano using the Dock connector and headphone output, features a flexible microphone that’s mounted to the left. We found this perfectly sufficient to record sound at close range, but you do need to ensure the mic points at whoever is talking if they are beyond arms length. In tests, recordings were audible and clear, as where telephone conversations we recorded using the line-in port and a cable connected to the phone. You can remove this microphone to use another one if you wish – the device hosts its own 3.5mm line-in connection. In fact, you can connect any sound source to the recorder using that line-in. You can also use this connection as a line-out to plug your headphones into with the device connected. You toggle between uses with a three-point switch that’s situated at the bottom of the device. On the right MicroMemo hosts a button that can be used to invoke the iPod’s recording function, or to switch on the tiny external speaker it carries for checking recordings. We found the speaker sufficient to check recording quality, but not really powerful enough for proper playback. (XtremeMac also sells MicroMic, a tiny lapel microphone if you want hands-free recording).

The device draws power from the music player and employs the iPod’s built-in Voice Memo function. You’ll see recording time displayed on the nano’s screen. Two recording qualities are supported: Low (22.05kHz, 2.6MB/minute) and High (44.10kHz, 10.3MB/second). As a general guide, you’ll achieve a total of 12 hours (low) or three hours (high) quality recording capacity on an empty 2GB iPod nano (2G). Recordings are saved as WAV files, and can be deleted on the nano if you wish. When you sync your iPod up with your iTunes library, recordings are automatically downloaded to your computer from your player. The audio files can be edited in any capable application, used within iLife projects, or imported into applications such as Transcriva for transcription.

OUR VERDICT

MicroMemo is capable of crystal-clear sound capture, and its ease of use and meticulous iPod nano-matching design help it stand out. The fact you can capture sound using any device fitted with a 3.5mm line-out jack makes is a feature new products in the category share.

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