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.)