SonicState has the scoop on an upcoming M-Audio palm recorder called Flash Tracker shown at MusikMesse, not yet officially announced. (Hint to manufacturers: if you’re trying to keep a product secret, don’t show it at a trade show.)

The Flash Tracker is Compact Flash powered, like Edirol’s R-1 which I’ve covered here on CDM. Getting an R-1 has been near impossible because of low stock, though, and the Flash Tracker looks from the SonicState report to be half the size, in an iPod-like, curved shell. It also has S/PDIF digital input, which the R-1 significantly lacks. Other than that, all the specs you’d want: two TRS mic/line jack inputs with phantom power (so you can plug in a real mic), a minijack with 5V power (so you can plug in your cheap mic), 24-bit/96kHz recording and USB 2.0.

These look like exactly the specs people want. I love the R-1’s built-in stereo mic and integrated effects, and while we know the audio quality is great on the Edirol, here it’s unknown. That said, the smaller size and better I/O of this preliminary M-Audio model could make it the one to beat. Now all we have to do is wait for an official announcement. (The UK’s SonicState, by the way, is lesser known than the US-based Harmony Central but just as much of a must-read. Go check it out.)

  • Guest

    My DAT recored, mic and all accessories are so ebay right now.

    Man, it's the size of an ipod, it has real mic inputs with phantom power and it recordes at a nice sample rate. Oh and it has digital ins too. Yeah it's about time.
    My Rode NT4 stereo mic will sound nice with this.

    -jeff-

  • Guest

    It looks cool but how is this better than a good MD Player?
    Size? Price? Capacity? Features?
    😕

    Cheers,
    Kevin
    The Nettles

  • admin

    Simple, Kevin:
    MD players have middling mic ins, over-compress audio, lack digital ins (biggie), and most importantly, don't give you an easy way to move sound right to your computer hard drive. That last one is the killer for me if I'm working with interviews or even found sound.

    Now, whether this justifies the price — that's another matter. Too many other cool toys to buy. Which is why I at least solve the compression and transportability issues by using my iPod for recording, via iPod Linux. (more on that soon)

    Peter

  • Guest

    MD only records up to 80 minutes. MD needs new media. MD doesn't provide phantom power. MD doesn't get anywhere near 24/96 (I think HiMD does 16/44 – CD quality). Basically MD is obsolete. Even the Creative Nomad 3 does more than the HiMD and that's available on Ebay for $150. Why buy MD??? Its obsolete crap.

  • pesya

    what are digital ins and why do they matter so? I have an md and it's not bad at all. Of course mics are limited, you can buy a built from scratch one, or a company name, but the one I've tried didn't amount to much. Still, I love my md, and I haven't found something better yet. I suggest you guys give the thumbs up once you've actually tried the thing. Anyway.