If there was a gadget girl least likely to need yet another audio recording device that would be me. Nonetheless, I’ve just purchased yet another audio recording device! It’s now been discontinued so a few suppliers are selling them off at £99 and I couldn’t resist. The recorder could be useful for recording on-the-spot interviews, field work, providing audio feedback or recording lectures. It’s actually aimed at musicians so you can also adjust the playback speed without changing the pitch in mp3 mode which may be useful for language work or speeding up or slowing down recorded lectures.
Not had a lot of time to put it through its paces yet but happy with it so far. It’s deceptively light, has a built-in stereo mic and speaker for playback, you can also attach an external mic, records in 16-bit 44.1kHz CD quality .wav or mp3 format and comes with a 2Gb microSD card and rechargeable AA eneloop battery. The battery life on one charge is quoted at 44hrs in mp3 mode and about half that for pcm. Seems pretty respectable. Thought I’d record a quick audio overview of Google Alerts – an easy way to keep up-to-date with the latest information on your topics of interests and have the results delivered via email or rss.
As an example I’m currently interested in QR Codes and how they can be used in education. So I’ve set up a Goolge Alert. Here’s the process
1. Head over to Google Alerts. You don’t need a google account but if you have one it makes it easier to manage your alerts. If you’ve got an account sign in.
2. I could just type qr codes into the Search terms box but I can make it a bit more precise by wrapping it in inverted commas. This tells Google to search for the phrase “qr codes” rather than two separate words. I can further customise my search by typing “site:ac.uk” after the “qr codes” bit. This tells Google to return results only from the academic community in the UK – the ac.uk bit.
You can find more information about Google Advanced Search features on their website. Knowing just a few of the features can really improve the quality of your search results.
3. You can also specify what types of information sources you want it to search. You can get results from the latest news articles, web pages, blogs, google video or google groups or choose comprehensive which searches all of these options.
4. You can specify how frequently you receive theses notifications: as-it-happens, once a day or once a week.
5. And finally, if you’re logged in you have the option to have the alerts delivered to your email address or you can have it delivered as an rss feed.
If you choose the feed option it will take you to your manage alerts page where you can copy the rss feed address and put it into your rss reader. I use bloglines, a web based rss reader. If you use Google Reader it’s already there for you. If you’re not logged in, you have the option to specify the email address where you want your google alerts delivered too.
Hmm, hadn’t intended to write up how to set up a Google Alert as the purpose of the post was to demonstrate the audio of the pocketrak. So, if you’re still reading this 🙂 here’s the audio. Recorded at 16-bit 44.1kHz, topped and tailed in Audacity. A bit of compression added. Saved as wav file. Imported into iTunes to do the id3 tagging (the info that shows up in your mp3 player) and exported as mp3. You could do the whole thing in audacity but I prefer to do the latter bit in iTunes. I’ll write that process up shortly.