Griffin Technology 4020-TALK iTalk Voice Recorder For iPod

GRIFFIN iTalk finally, an iPod Voice Recorder done the right way, with integrated mic and loudspeaker and styling that makes your iPod look even more heavenly! Plays back recordings through amazingly loud and clear integrated speaker, or optional headphones Pass-through headphone jack allows you to monitor voice recording, or listen to music without having to remove iTalk Download recordings to your computer for archiving or playback With iTalk – your iPod will listen to you. Supported iPod Models – 3rd-Generation (4 Horizontal Buttons) / 4th-Generation (Click Wheel) / iPod color / iPod photo. This is an Amazon’s product review. Checkout more details bellow.

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Technical Details

  • Sleek microphone/speaker turns iPod into portable voice and memo recorder
  • Automatic gain control adjusts signal level to improve recording quality
  • Multifunction pass-through jack for connecting headphones or external mic
  • Attractive housing perfectly fits seamlessly on top of iPod
  • Compatible with any iPod with dock connector; requires iPod software v 2.1 or later

In its bid to make the iPod the handiest device on the planet (right up there with the Swiss Army knife), Griffin created the iTalk voice recorder, a combination microphone/speaker that attaches to your iPod’s headphone and remote outputs. Griffin suggests using the iTalk for any number of tasks, from recording personal memos and interviews to archiving class lectures to listening to an audiobook on the speaker without wearing your headphones. And because the iPod offers such a large storage capacity, iTalk users can literally record thousands of hours of voice audio without running out of memory, making the device far more convenient than a portable cassette recorder.

Design and Setup
Griffin has been designing Apple accessories since 1992, so it’s no stranger to the sleek styling encouraged by Steve Jobs and crew. And the iTalk–with its smooth, white housing and slick, silver-colored speaker–fits in perfectly. It also pays tribute to the Apple ethos by requiring no setup: just plug it in and start recording (the recording functions appear automatically on the iPod screen). Once the device is connected, a user relies on the click wheel to record, pause, play, save, and delete files. The iPod then stores the files in a Voice Memos folder within the Extras menu. Each time you sync your iPod to iTunes, the files transfer into an iTunes playlist also called Voice Memos, where you can listen to them on your computer or transfer them to other multimedia programs (they’re saved as WAV files).

The iTalk includes a couple of features that help it stand out above competitors’ products. The first is an automatic gain control, which instinctively adjusts the signal level to achieve the best possible recording. The second is a multifunction pass-through jack located on top of the unit. This lets users plug their headphones directly into the iTalk rather than removing the device to access the iPod’s headphone output. Users can also connect an external microphone to the iTalk to enjoy additional recording options. In addition, the iTalk archives the date and time of the recording–a plus for people working on date-specific material.

Features and Performance
At its best, the iTalk performs solidly. The recordings are clear and easy to decipher, and the microphone picks up sounds from all over the room. We tested the iTalk’s microphone at distances of a few inches, a foot, 5 feet, and 20 feet, and each time it performed admirably. It also picks up TV speakers and some ambient noise, depending on the situation. Playback quality is mixed, however. It’s decent through the built-in speaker when played at high volumes (the sound can be somewhat scratchy), but very good through the headphones. Anybody using the iPod to transcribe recordings should definitely use the latter, as the audio is much crisper.

Unfortunately, the iTalk isn’t always at its best. For unknown reasons, it often fails to play recordings it just made through the built-in speaker. The files play for a few seconds, and then the menu inexplicably returns to the recording screen. Occasionally, you can play the file by trying again, but other times the file stubbornly refuses to open. The same files often played just fine through the headphones, indicating that the problem originates in the speaker rather than the microphone. However, anyone using the iTalk for important recording tasks–something more than archiving grocery lists, say–should test the iTalk thoroughly to verify that the files are recording properly. Users should also be aware that the iTalk doesn’t actually start recording until three or four seconds after the light turns on, which is somewhat aggravating at first, although you adjust quickly.

The problems with the built-in speaker extended to other forms of playback as well. Griffin touted the iTalk as a great way to listen to audiobooks without headphones, but it refused to play Jon Stewart’s America (the Audiobook). Many users have complained that the iTalk often locks up their iPods, especially if the iTalk is installed when the iPod turns on. We suffered through a single lockup, which required a quick reset, but didn’t experience the problems described by other users. It’s possible that the latest iPod software updates have resolved the freezing issues, but the glitch appears at least common enough to mention.

The iTalk is a mixed bag overall. The concept is terrific, and when Griffin releases the next generation of iTalk, it’ll likely be a great buy. But in the meantime, users should proceed with caution. If you can afford to re-record your memos on the occasions that playback fails–or if you can test the microphone to make sure the speaker is the only source of the problem–the iTalk can be quite handy. However, if reliability is a major concern, such as when recording one-time lectures or interviews or archiving song ideas, iPod owners might want to take a pass. –Rivers Janssen

Pros

  • Recording quality is quite good
  • Sleek, attractive design complements iPod perfectly
  • Pass-through jack lets user connect headphones or external mic

Cons

  • Playback often fails through built-in speaker
  • Many iPod owners have experienced lockups when iTalk is connected
  • 3- or 4-second delay before recording starts

That’s all about the Griffin Technology 4020-TALK. This iTalk Voice Recorder For iPod is available in Amazon.com. You can directly order or buy from here.
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