I’ve had my eye on the M-Audio MicroTrack ever since it was first announced almost a year ago. It was finally released in the middle of October and Joy let me get one (thank you!). The MT is a small digital audio recorder that uses Compact Flash cards for media. That works out great for me because my digital camera also uses Compact Flash, so I already have several cards.

I got the MT primarily to record my Greek class (which is does perfectly), but I’ve also found it handy for several other things:

  • I record quite a few concerts on our TiVo (Austin City Limits, Breakfast With The Arts, etc.), and it is really easy to plug the digital out from the TiVo into the MT to dump those concerts out to wave files. Once I have the wave files, I can either burn them to CDs or convert them to MP3s to make them available on our media player downstairs in the den.
  • I used the MT to record the Nickel Creek concert Joy and I went to last week (NC has a policy that allows you to record their concerts as long as you are unobtrusive when you do it). I used the microphone that came with the MT since that was all I had. It worked pretty well, though I am certain that a quality microphone would work noticeably better. The biggest problem I had was that the concert was very loud, and even at its lowest input setting the MT was still clipping too often. I patched that up after the fact as best I could by compressing the audio and then raising the overall volume slightly to compensate. After fiddling around for a while I have a pretty decent cut of “Any Old Time”, which was probably my favorite part of the show. I think I have lots to learn regarding how to make better recordings of concerts, but this was a start, and the MT definitely made it easy to do.
  • I’ve found it useful for recording random things since the MT makes it so easy to do. For example, I recorded myself saying Charis’s name for her website since it is not a very common name and people don’t always know how it is pronounced. I also think it would be neat to record my grandparents reading stories to Charis because they live far away and if we had those recordings, we could play them back while we look at the books with Charis.

All in all I am very pleased with the MT. It’s a fun gadget (toy) to have around.

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