Expo Notes: Portable podcast studio

Editor’s Note: Macworld Expo 2008 is in the books, but Macworld editors still have a few reports from the Macworld Expo show floor on meetings with Mac developers, new product announcements, and anything else that catches their eye.

The Podcast Studio from Belkin

On-the-go audio recording used to be the realm of reporters with tiny cassette recorders, who were more concerned with reliability than audio quality. But that was long ago. These days, with the popularity of podcasting and DIY music production, portable recording is a booming business, and given the popularity of the iPod, it’s no surprise that many vendors are looking to the iPod as the center of a portable recording system.

Unfortunately, most of the tiny iPod microphone attachments out there, while great for basic tasks, don’t cut it for serious recording. At last year’s Macworld Expo, Belkin announced the $180 TuneStudio, a four-channel, full-featured, iPod-based audio mixer. At this year’s Expo, the company gave attendees a peek at a scaled down version, the $100 Podcast Studio.

Like the TuneStudio, the two-channel Podcast Studio records high-quality, stereo audio to recent iPods, but the new model is much smaller—enough so that it can fit in a side pocket of your laptop bag. And it still offers plenty of audio-recording options: two XLR inputs, two 1/4-inch inputs, two 1/8-inch inputs, left and right built-in microphones, and a built-in speaker and headphone jack for live monitoring.

The Podcast Studio runs off batteries, so it doesn’t drain your iPod. It’s compatible with the 5th-generation iPod, the third-generation iPod nano, and the iPod classic.

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