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Peter, based on your further inquiry, to me it's a no-brainer if you already have and carry around 
an iPhone -- get something like the Tascam iM2 and be done with it. Why carry another gizmo if you 
don't have to?

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Hirsch" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2013 6:53 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Handheld digital recorder


> Thanks all for the excellent guidance.
>
> Thom, the Transom looks like a particularly good resource for me. I'm
> not planning a career as a documentarian, but my personal interests
> are totally in synch with what I saw in a brief glance at the site.
>
> Richard, the reason I made my intentionally somewhat provocative
> remark about smartphones is that I don't have a cell phone and am not
> planning on letting one intrude on my life anytime in the future. I do
> wonder, on second thought, whether an iPod touch, which seems to be
> essentially an I-phone without the phone might be an option. I know as
> about iPods and I do about iPhones (nothing), so there are people
> reading this who can advise based on their own experiences with
> recording on one and the ease of transferring those recordings to a
> suitable editing/listening environment.
>
> To further inquire of the collective experience of this list, let me
> ask a more targeted question: Since I plan on using this recorder
> mostly in unplanned situations, where a machine that turns on as close
> to instantaneously as possible and doesn't require a number of steps
> to getting the recording mode started would be what I have in mind.
> These features are my main concerns, followed by size and audio
> quality (I would think that anything capable of creating uncompressed
> files would suffice for me), more of less in that order. Do you know
> of any that are superior in this regard or ones that a clumsy to
> operate in a hurry that I should avoid?
>
> Thanks once more,
>
> Peter Hirsch
>
> On Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM, Richard L. Hess
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hi, Peter,
>>
>> Whey you say "no smart phones need apply" it is my understanding that there
>> are good-quality audio interfaces for the iPhone, just say'n.
>>
>> To that end, I have a Zoom H2 which is amazingly good for the price. The
>> slightly thicker, but otherwise improved Zoom H2n seems decent...not enough
>> for me to buy it as the H2 meets my needs (I do have other more serious
>> gear).
>>
>> In general, I think the Tascam units have also been well-received.
>>
>> I delayed a bit sending this after starting it and I see John Schroth has
>> said good things about the Tascams and Don Cox about the Zoom H4n. Two
>> things about the H4n--it is huge compared to many other options and I heard
>> rumours (you should check this out) that the XLR inputs (a plus) are not all
>> that quiet, but then again, I don't think you're looking for something that
>> uses external mics.
>>
>> Also, if you wish to spend less, the Zoom H1 is not bad. My son has one and
>> he's gotten some decent recordings with it.
>>
>> One of the neat things about the Zoom H2n is that it has an MS mic
>> arrangement on the front and a broad XY arrangement on the back (total of
>> five mic capsules) and the MS is much nicer than XY (as on the original Zoom
>> H2) for recording speech as you have a mic dedicated to the direct sound.
>> The H2 and H2n can record two stereo pairs (front and back) which is quite
>> useful. A colleague borrowed my H2n and bought her own to record a major
>> discussion session and she had eight different perspectives to transcribe
>> from.
>>
>> I see Cary brought up the point about battery life--this is something to
>> check. The Zoom H2 gets maybe six hours off a fully charged pair of
>> Maha/Powerex Imedion NiMH cells. The H1 uses a single AA and gets about the
>> same life. I think the H2n has even better battery life. I don't know about
>> the newer Tascams.
>>
>> http://zoom.co.jp/products/h1        Zoom H1 now on version 2
>> http://zoom.co.jp/products/h2n      Zoom H2n
>> http://zoom.co.jp/products/h4n      Zoom H4n
>>
>> http://tascam.com/products/handheld_recorder/   The Tascam lineup
>>
>> I have been happy with 8 and 16 GB cards in the Zoom H2 (I bought one for my
>> church and they record services every Sunday and then extract the sermon for
>> the Web). At 44.1 ks/s 24 bit it is about 1 GB an hour for stereo. I bought
>> a 16 GB card in 2010 when we were going to be away for seven or eight
>> Sundays (only one service a Sunday in the summer).
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Richard
>>
>> On 2013-04-14 1:59 PM, Peter Hirsch wrote:
>>>
>>> I seem to recall the discussion of decent quality portable digital
>>> (audio) recorders on this list a year or three back.
>>>
>>> Can I get suggestions from out there for something pocket sized that
>>> costs up to $250 (or so) that I can use at those moments when I am
>>> saying to myself "I wish I had something to record that (birdcalls,
>>> subway musicians, environmental sounds, etc. - I'm not talking super
>>> hi-fidelity concert recording) with".
>>>
>>> "No smart phones need apply"
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> Peter Hirsch
>>>
>>
>> --
>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
>> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
>