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Alesis ProTrack photos

Take a closer look at the Alesis ProTrack recording accessory for the Apple iPod.

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Donald Bell
1 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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.
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2 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

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.
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3 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

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.
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4 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

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.
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5 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

Included with the Alesis ProTrack are two plastic guards for protecting and securing your iPod, a foam windscreen, and a power adapter.
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6 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

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.
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7 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

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."
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8 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

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.
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9 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

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.
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10 of 10 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Alesis ProTrack audio recorder for iPod

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.

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