Musician and author Mark Nelson tries out the highly anticipated M-Audio MicroTrack recorder for O’Reilly Digital media. Mark takes the test seriously, actually heading out into the field (Maui) and recording with it. (See Hawaii, above. Now why don’t I get to do a review like this?)

The verdict? The recorder isn’t perfect: no real phantom power (30V instead of 48V), as others have noted, made worse by the inclusion of TRS inputs (read: don’t fry your mic), and it’s hard to get adequate signal level. Setting record levels is unusually tricky, and there’s no standby mode for recording. The MicroTrack also weirdly doesn’t start over its file numbering from 1 after you’ve deleted old recordings (odd, as even my iRiver can do that). But overall, he loves the recorder for its portability, low price (relative to other options), and computer connectivity. If you’re in the market, don’t miss his detailed review and sound samples; this is the most info on this recorder I’ve seen yet:

Review: M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96 Pocket Digital Recorder [O’Reilly Digital Media]

M-Audio appears committed to this device, and I’d say it has a serious edge on its competitors at the price point (HD-MiniDisc, I’m talking to you).

Previous product reviews in scenic locales:
Numark’s $99 Portable Turntable, Torture Tested in the Burning Man Desert