Question

mp3 player with line in, SD, no BS software, and standardUSB

can someone please take all the fuzz away from mp3 players, im looking for something simple, but impossible to find because everyone is in love with Apple, Ipod is the best BLAH BLAH BLAH. Im looking for a player that has a

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Answer
Such are usually never in stores.

I think Archos may have this but you should look. About that USB cable, that's a problem. I see nothing but mini and micro USB connections. But you wrote "standard" and may mean it.
Bob

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quick response

thanks for the quick reply, i meand standard like mini usb jack, not the one physically in the computer, i mean like the one on most external peripherals, unlike ipod, you need the specific cable. i want to be able to use the same cable i use for my external hard drive, or camera, and so on Happy

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My external uses mini, my other thing is micro.

See that Archos line and see what you find. There are too many models and at one time or another one of them looked to do most of what you asked. Yet the mini or micro USB may bug you. Those are two different sizes. I carry both when I travel.
Bob

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Answer
Here's what I'm trying...

I just bought an Alesis PalmTrack Digital Voice Recorder. I haven't received it yet, but should have it tomorrow. I'll try to post my impressions soon after. I got it specifically because I was looking for something to make quality recordings, not a cheap MP3 player for listening on the bus. It has everything you mentioned and more: takes a large SD card, has mic and line in, also four internal microphones, can store high quality, 24 bit uncompressed WAVs plus all MP3 resolutions. It also takes AA batteries. I didn't want a built-in rechargeable or some proprietary battery; you always have easy access to AAs if you run out of juice. It also takes external power (but power adapter isn't included). It's got USB and looks just like a mass storage device, so no software needed, or you can just take the card out and put in in your computer's card reader. The battery life is 10 hours, which isn't as good as some cheap MP3 players or memo-type voice recorders, but this is more like a piece of audio equipment. It doesn't play video or anything like that either. The only other thing I wanted that it didn't have was voice-activated recording, which I find useful for quick memos and notes, but that's not the main reason I got it. It was a one-day special at newegg for $49 which is now over, but if you shop around, I'm pretty sure you can get it for under $100. It got generally good reviews, but I don't have personal experience with it yet. We'll se how it goes...

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The reviews are unkind.
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It's a recorder, not a window to Itunes

I agree, but that's the price you pay for the advantages of using AAs. Besides, he's not looking to wear it on his arm while he goes jogging. He's looking to record the output of his mixing console, presumably at commercial/professional quality. Alesis makes professional audio gear. For the $50 I spent, this SD recorder will probably blow away my $800 portable dat recorder.

For a bigger sampling of reviews, see:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=Alesis+PalmTrack+Digital+Voice+Recorder&cid=4276190081967128647&os=reviews

and

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/673227-REG/Alesis_PALMTRACK_PalmTrack_Handheld_Digital_Audio.html

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alesis hmmm???

porsche..... thanx for the info on that device im going to do some research on it, it looks decent and alesis is decent equipment. let me know your personal finding on it when you receive it!!!!!!

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First impressions...

Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but it didn't arrive until after the holiday. My first impression is good, but I also found a few other worthy alternatives. If you look at the links to the reviews I already posted, both the positives and the negatives are pretty accurate. Here's a more detailed review I found helpful:

http://www.gearwire.com/alesis-palmtrack-proreview.html

It's worth noting, the unit is actually made by Medeli Electronics in China and is private labelled by a few companies.

It's clearly an inexpensive unit with a plastic case, but for the price, I'm not disappointed. I haven't done much with it yet, but I did try a few things. When recording with the built-in mics, there is some loss of high and low end, but it sounds pretty good, especially for voice. I only did a quick check, but this weekend I'll try it to record some live music during a jam session, with both built-in and external mic. Recording from the line input was really quite good. I only tested it with my computer line output, and did not optimize the levels, but I was impressed with a quick test. I asked Alesis what the frequency response was for each input, and, to my surprise, they did not have the information. Regardless, for line-in recording, it will probably be adequate.

A few minor annoyances, some already mentioned in the reviews:

The display is small. Break out your reading glasses. Fortunately, the menu isn't hard to navigate.

It doesn't seem to remember any settings after you power it off. Depending on your settings, this can get tiresome. For example, if I play it through the aux input in my car, I have to turn off the internal speaker, otherwise I'll get feedback when not playing. I have to do this every time I cycle the power.

Other models you might want to consider:

The Zoom H2. This unit is a bit more expensive, maybe $130 to $170 street price, but has a lot more features. This also seems to be a very popular unit.

The Tascam DR-07 is another possibility.

There are also a whole range of choices from these companies with even more features at progressively higher cost.

To sum up, so far, I'm happy with the unit, but I'll let you know how it fares when I use it more. For the $49 I paid, I'm definitely satisfied, but if I had to pay closer to $100, I might consider the H2 for a little more.

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