Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sony Compact Flash 2 & 4 GB!

Compact Flash MicroDrive

If you really want capacity in your compact-flash driven recorder (see Maycom's Handheld Recorder below), think about using these new MicroDrives from Sony instead of the Flash Memory...much more GB for your bucks. In the US, the Sony 2 GB Microdrive (Model RHMD2G) is available now for a suggested retail price of $179, and the 4 GB Microdrive (Model RHMD4G) is available for a suggested retail price of $279.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Several people have told me about this dual cordless POTS and Skype phone. Great if the PC isn't plugged in and you want to use Skype. More and more businesses (including radio stations) are discovering this technology.  Posted by Hello

BackPack Batteries

Now this is something for remote reporting. It costs US$229, but it works a treat. Embedded in the back of the bag are three tough, light weight, waterproof solar panels, which generate up to 4 watts of power. Bit troublesome on a dark day in Northern Europe, but brilliant if you're backpacking in sunnier climes.

Inside the bag is a Li Ion battery pack. As in a solar powered house, the battery stores energy so it is available when you need it, not just when the sun is up.
The battery pack can also be charged using the included AC travel charger or car charger. So you will have power when you need it, whether you are in the city or the middle of nowhere.
The Voltaic backpack is powerful enough to charge most portable electronics (other than laptops) including: cell phones, cameras, two way radios, GPS's, PDA's, even iPods.
The bag includes: a set of standard adaptors for common cell phones, a set of universal adaptors, and a cigarette lighter socket so you can use a standard car charger. A full range of optional adaptors are also available.

Anyone know of anything like this?

 Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Delphi's MyFi is the first personal satellite-radio receiver to offer a truly portable, I-pod-style for satellite radio . It only works in the US - because you need to sign up for XM's pay radio service. The MyFi lets you listen to all of XM's more than 130 digital stations anywhere you can see the sky. It will be available in December for a list price of $350. According to CNET, the MyFi has a programmable TiVo-like recording buffer that can store up to five hours of XM broadcasts. For example, set it to record a favorite radio programme overnight, and you can play it back on your commute without worrying about passing through tunnels or other reception blind spots. You also get some nice extras: chargers and stands for both your car and home, a cassette-tape adapter, an FM transmitter (to play broadcasts on any FM radio), headphones, a remote control, a belt clip, and a carrying case. Still not sold? The MyFi also displays sports scores and stock quotes, and in a pinch it can even be used as an alarm clock. Downside: If the $350 list price doesn't scare you, don't forget that you'll need to continue your $10-per-month XM subscription to make the MyFi more than a paperweight. And though you'll be able to listen to such XM exclusives as Major League Baseball broadcasts, don't expect to hear Sirius-only fare such as Howard Stern (in 2006) or the NFL. Outlook: After years of luggable boomboxes, we're finally getting a truly portable satellite radio. The MyFi's small size and built-in recording feature have all the makings of a killer app for satellite radio--and the device is smaller and lighter than anything Sirius yet offers.
 Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Live Reporting from the Field

So your radio station sends you to the middle of nowhere....what do they give you to get the story back to the studio?

The Commander G3 field codec (coder/decoder) claims to be the first unit of its kind to combine a choice of POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service), ISDN and GSM (mobile)codecs with an 11x6 Digital Cross Point Audio Router and Digital Audio Mixer. This means you can customize your audio codec to suit your exact needs in a few easy steps, only really paying for what you need. If you're a freelancer, this is good news.

The Commander G3 features two expansion slots which accepts your choice of POTS, ISDN and GSM modules.
You can build a simple (and cheap) POTS or ISDN codec or combine codec modules, mixing and audio routing to create a powerful studio environment in the field.

You can choose from Mono, Dual Mono and Stereo profiles over both POTS and ISDN. Deliver up to 15kHz over each POTS channel and up to 20kHz over ISDN.
Commander delivers between 7.5kHz and 15kHz audio over GSM wireless links. Use the optional 11x6 software audio Router to customize off-air communications and simultaneous program channels.

Control your local codec or the remote codec at the touch of a button and send non-technical people into the field with total confidence. Tieline's European dealership is in the Netherlands.

What are other people using? I wish these units would also include Skype as a possibility. The audio quality from Skype is just brilliant!

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Now this is a recorder!

This is the Aaton Cantar-X portable field recorder designed for those in the film industry who don't mind the US$18,000 price tag. To me it it is an example of the Ferrari of hard-disk recorders. Do the meters help you take better levels? May be! But it sure scares the hell out of the person you're interviewing! The ruggedized recorder is built around a 120GB hard drive with an 10 to 15 hour battery life, 18 simultaneous inputs, water- and dust-proof linear sliders and rotary faders designed to be used even with gloves on. And then once you have all of that 24bit/96kHz audio recorded and mixed down, you can burn the tracks out to DVD with the built-in burner hidden behind the front door. Nice, except the price.
 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

US$500 Comms Jacket

Engadget points out that as the Earth tilts some of us into colder climes, we begin to struggle with the reality that gloves make the operation of our various gadgets (like cellphones) a decidedly onerous task. Fortunately, the new Nike ACG COMMJacket includes a built-in two-way radio system that should help you work around this horrible state of being. Fitted with a speaker near your ear and a microphone near (duh) your mouth, the COMMJacket will allow you to simply tap your chest, Star Trek-style, and talk to your friends. Your journalist friends may think your're a lunatic, but what could be more stylish than this?
 Posted by Hello