The GoodThe MicroMemo is easy to use, features an adjustable mic, and allows you to switch between mic and line-in recording.
The BadThe MicroMemo doesn't allow you to charge the iPod while you're using it, yet it draws off the player's battery. It only works with fifth-gen and newer iPods and second-gen Nanos, and you'll need your own stereo mic unless you want to record in mono only.
The Bottom LineThe MicroMemo by XtremeMac adds recording capability to newer iPods and Nanos but a gangly microphone may offset the benefit of the included external speaker.
The iPod is a successful music- and video-playing device, but some users have complained about the player's lack of extra features, such as an FM radio and a voice recorder. If you fall into the latter camp, XtremeMac has one possible solution for you: the MicroMemo ($60). Unfortunately, you'll need a fifth-gen or newer iPod or a second-gen Nano to use it, but those who do will be rewarded with an easy-to-use device that gets the job done.
Similar to other microphones built to use with the iPod, MicroMemo snaps into the dock on the bottom of the player. Aside from the removable external mic, which looks rather like a razor-sculpted tail of a show-quality poodle, the device is low profile, measuring just 2.4x1.2x0.4 inches. But about that mic: it's an acquired taste. Some CNETers found the four-inch appendage to be pleasantly old-school, while others thought it inelegant. In any case, it's superflexible and can be easily adjusted for optimal recording.
CNET Editor in Chief Scott Ard has been a journalist for more than 20 years and an early tech adopter for even longer. Those two passions led him to editing one of the first tech sections for a daily newspaper in the mid 1990s, and to joining CNET part-time in 1996 and full-time a few years later.