updated 04:30 pm EDT, Thu September 21, 2006
Live audio recording is a very common feature of digital music players, but is considered an afterthought just as regularly. Few if any players let the owner adjust the recording settings or replace the microphone to improve the final result. Audio engineers, journalists, and others who record digital audio regularly outside of a studio may prefer the iKEY Plus as a more focused device. The small recorder requires an external microphone or RCA audio source, but can record 320Kbps MP3 or uncompressed WAV to any attached USB mass storage, including iPods. Pro-oriented features extend to a microphone input with phantom power, a phono pre-amp for turntables, and a 6-bar VU meter to help balance the overall volume. Manufacturer iKEY-Audio says the enhanced model will arrive in October for $239.