A couple of weeks back, Guido van Nispen showed me what looks like a great gadget for both radio and podcasters. It is going to cost 500 Euros(including BTW, plus the cost of memory cards. My first impressions about an 8 minute play around - looks good, although the colour looks a bit cheap. Technically it is a nice piece of equipment and very easy to use! The unit has professional input jacks (balanced) for an external mike (internal one is really only emergency quality), and 2 hours of battery life between charges. (The brochure claims 8, but Guido (who has the only prototype in Europe) has other experiences). You can get about 8 hours of excellent quality MP3 and WAV recordings on a 1 GB flash memory.
MP3 recording rates possible: 96 to 320kbps at 32, 44.1 or 48kHz
PCM (linear) recording possible : 16 or 24-bit at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kHz
The company M-Audio is owned by Avid. Dealers in Europe, including Mafico in the Netherlands, tell me the first production units expected at the end of November -early December at the earliest. The unit is made in China. There does not seem to be a way (on the prototype) to double the left or right channel to get full-track mono. We've passed that suggestion on to the manufacturers...would be useful.
Another death knell for the Sony Mini-Disc in this branch of the business.