iPods and recording phone interviews

I’ve completed my migration to using my iPod for recording phone interviews. What a lot of people don’t know is that the iPod has a built-in microphone and recording facility that third-party manufacturers can use. It records 8-bit, mono WAV files and when you plug it into your Mac or PC, iTunes automatically syncs it back into its library, where you can then convert them to AAC files to cut their size by half.
This makes it very useful for journalists: my iPod has a 60GB capacity and a 12-hour rechargeable battery, which means

  1. it’ll outlast any tape recorder
  2. I can store all my interviews digitally, making it easier to keep them for years if I want without having to resort to renting a lock-up
  3. it will almost never run out of power and is automatically recharged when it’s plugged into my iMac.

The two main microphones (ie the ones I know about) for recording phone conversations are the Griffin iTalk and the Belkin Universal Microphone Adaptor.

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Handbags at dawn

The world needs more investigative journalists. Greg Palast is an excellent investigative journalist – he’s no John Pilger, but he does valuable and important work.
But seriously, what was the point of this low grade exchange of sarcasm with Christopher Hitchens? Even worse than the pointless schoolground name calling on both sides are the ridiculous falsehoods and internal contradictions in the arguments. Greg, Chris: you can do better than this.

My past returns to haunt me

I used to edit a magazine called Mapping Awareness. As the name suggests, it was about maps. It was also about GIS systems (geographic information systems. Yes, another of those phrases, such as PIN number, that annoy subs), geographic information, remote sensing and other exciting things.
Anyway, I left MA in 1998, which is now six years ago. My how time flies. A couple of weeks ago, I got my first GIS commission in ages. So I started putting the feelers out to see what’s changed since then. My initial impressions? Nothing. Nothing at all has changed. The same people have the same jobs. The PR people are the same. And everyone’s talking about the same things as they were six years ago. I’m sure that impression is going to change once I start doing a few more interviews, but I feel like I’ve uncovered a Jurassic Park mosquito here.