iPod as Podcast Recorder (Part 2)


I tried an experiment with my iPod running iPodLinux last night. I stopped by Wal*Mart and picked up a Cheap Ass AudioConferencing Headset 3000â„¢ (for a whopping $19.95), came home and rebooted my iPod into iPodLinux. I set the recording sample rate to 33KHz and tried recording a few things to test it out. Worked well enough. But don't try to playback the files under iPodLinux - it will crash.

Also, while recording, it seems to record the file to disk every 5 seconds, with an audio electronic feedback hum while it's doing it (it only lasts for about half a second, but it's quite annoying). I wound up recording about 45 minutes of nothing, just to see if it would crap out on a long recording. Turns out, since it's recording to disk every 5 seconds, that it isn't the bestest thing you can do to your iPod's battery... Although the linux side was showing full battery strength, when I rebooted back into the Apple iPod OS, the battery was showing almost no juice left. I wasn't too worried, since it often shows little juice, but "warms up" or calibrates or something over a few minutes to show the actual level.

No such luck. On the commute in this morning, with traffic totally backed up and the bus crawling at a breathtaking 5Km/h, I was greeted by the "Hey, your battery is out of juice! Plug it in, dumbass!" warning on my iPod. It was slightly more polite than that, but the effect was the same. An hour of listening to high school cheese babbling on about how much they love the movie "Mean Girls", and how they burned the latest Sum41 video to DVD so they can watch it every day. OMG! I LOVE Sum41! I KNOW, I DO TOO! OMG! Kill. Me. Now.

OK. So, the Colesâ„¢ Notesâ„¢ summary of this is: Don't record directly to your iPod using iPodLinux unless you have it either plugged into juice while recording, or have the AC adaptor handy to top it up afterward. And, only do that if you can live with the electronic feedback hum every 5 seconds.

Oh, and this would have been a podcast, but the Cheap Ass 3000â„¢ headset didn't want to send microphone signal to my PowerBook. Doh. (turns out the line in port on the back of my PowerBook requires a powered microphone. I'll be taking the headset/mic back to Wally World ASAP.


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