Saturday, June 14, 2008

Audio Recorder the Size of a Pack of Juicy Fruit

I love my little Olympus WS-310M (the WS--311M is the current model) digital voice recorder. It captures high quality audio in the WMA format for radio or online audio pieces. I can also download MP3 files into it, so it serves as my poor man's Ipod for traveling. The battery case pulls off, revealing a USB plug for direct connection to your desktop or laptop computer.

Some editing programs will not natively edit the WMA format, so you have to convert the files (I use a shareware program called Switch to do this). But higher end editing tools like Adobe Audition will import the files directly. Audio purists might not like that there is no way to control the record level manually, only the built-in ALC. But
I find that to almost never be a problem for interviews or nat sound.

One weakness...the battery door falls off easily. So, I keep a rubber band wrapped around mine.

Thanks to Mindy McAdams for recommending this particular recorder. As you can see from this week's New York Times photo, it has become popular with journalists on the campaign trail.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Spanning the Globe

Today we pause from summer vacation to honor the memory of Jim McKay, a pioneering sports television journalist. McKay was best known for hosting Olympic Games coverage and for the long-running ABC's Wide World of Sports.

McKay won a dozen Emmys for his sports coverage, but also won a news coverage Emmy for his masterful anchoring of the coverage of terrorism at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Update: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Brian Burwell has this insightful column on McKay's legacy.