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Christmas Gift Guide

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

The Alesis ProTrack brings high-quality stereo recording to your iPod and includes full-size microphone connections that support phantom power.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The ProTrack's independent gain-setting dials for the left and right channels are a little touchy. They often produced off-balance stereo recordings if the dials weren't precisely aligned. For podcast-style recording using external mics, however, the independent dials came in handy for quick adjustments.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The Alesis ProTrack features one of the holy grails of mobile-audio recorders, phantom-powered XLR inputs. These same jacks also accept 0.25-inch instrument cables.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The right side of the Alesis ProTack includes headphone volume, a switch for an integrated audio limiter, a mono/stereo switch, and a slot for a Kensington lock.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
Included with the Alesis ProTrack are two plastic guards for protecting and securing your iPod, a foam windscreen, and a power adapter.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
Like any iPod accessory, the ProTrack's capabilities are hampered by the recording limitations of the iPod. The maximum recording resolution, as dictated by the iPod, is 16-bit/44KHz. A lower-quality 16-bit/22KHz option is available using the iPod's settings, but you won't find any options for recording directly to MP3.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The ProTrack isn't small. In fact, its dimensions (7.25 inches tall by 3 inches wide by 1.75 inch deep) are best described as "brick-like."
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
Alesis rates the ProTrack's battery life at 3 hours, or 2 hours while using phantom power. Those numbers aren't great, but the inclusion of an AC adapter may help smooth things over.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The left side of the Alesis ProTrack includes switches for power, iPod charging, and phantom-microphone power. There's also a latch for releasing the included plastic faceplate, and a power adapter input.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
One of the more impressive features on the ProTrack is the pair of stereo-condenser microphones poking out from the top. These mics are permanently arranged in an X-Y recording position, and are protected by a metal wire brace.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
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