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CNET First Look
Sony PCM-D50If you're looking to make great mobile recordings without lugging around a cumbersome laptop recording rig, the Sony PCM-D50 offers an unbeatable combination of design, recording quality, battery life, and features at a justifiable price.
^M00:00:00 [ Music ] >> Hey. I'm Donald Bell, senior editor for digital audio and mp3 and video. Today we're taking a first look at the Sony PCM-D50 audio recorder. Priced at around $600.00, you can think of the PCM-D50 as a voice recorder on steroids. It includes four gigabytes of internal memory, high-end stereo condenser microphones, a battery that can go up to 12 hours, and a recording resolution that goes up to 24 bit, 94 kilohertz WAV. So why would you need one? Well, maybe you want to make high-quality recordings of concerts, ^M00:00:34 [ Music ] nature, ^M00:00:35 [ Frogs croaking ] ^M00:00:38 interviews, [ Person talking ] lectures. ^M00:00:41 [ Lecturer ] Other fun uses for the PCM-D50 include recording baby's first words, [ Baby crying ] hilarious recordings of pet flatulence, ^M00:00:50 [ Flatulance ] ghost hunting, ^M00:00:52 [ Ghost moaning ] and the time honored tradition of gathering dirt on your enemy. ^M00:00:55 [ Camera shutter ] There are some drawbacks to the PCM-D50 that we're not thrilled about. We're not thrilled that the internal memory caps out at only four gigabytes. Sure, there's a memory expansion port on the side, but it only accepts Sony's own Memory Stick cards. We also wish the Sony PCM-D50 could record direct to MP3 instead of only uncompressed WAV files. The PCM-D50 more than makes up for these shortcomings with cool features like articulated microphones, a recording buffer that can capture audio from five seconds before you hit the record button, digital input and output, double A battery power, and a camera stand mount. Plus, for an extra $50.00, you can buy the Sony PCM-D50 this really cool hat. Actually, this hat is a -- it's a windscreen for the microphone, which actually comes in handy when you're making outdoor recordings without getting a lot of distortion from wind noise. So if you're looking for the best all-in-one portable audio recorder for under a grand, the Sony PCM-D50 is it. Its high price is justified by great built-in microphones, brilliant design, high recording resolution, long battery life, and an excellent assortment of features. I'm Donald Bell, and that is a first look at the Sony PCM-D50. ^M00:02:03 [ Music ]