Thursday, April 07, 2005

I get Zen

Yesterday an editor suggested that I road-test my idea for a daily Spoleto podcast by creating something similar out of stuff that's going on now that has nothing to do with Spoleto... a mock-up, in a sense.

And since my favorite idea was to hangout at the door to venues and stick a microphone in people's faces as they exited, that put the pressure on me to come up with a portable recording device with output ability.

So this afternoon I bought a Creative Labs Zen Micro, a 5G MP3 player that doubles as a digital voice recorder.

It's not a perfect solution, but it's a start. Plus, it gives me a place to put music and podcasts... no small consideration in my pre-CD-era 1995 Crown Vic.

If I can demonstrate the value of this, then maybe we'll find some money to buy some Olympus DVRs, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. I asked for permission to install the software interface on my work box today (kind of important if I ever want to download an audio file of an interview) and was immediately told that what I was REALLY doing was making a capitol request and there was no budget for new computers.

(In fairness to my friend who told me that, he has a point: these boxes have limited storage space and no CD burners, so if I were to save interviews here, storage could become a problem. In fairness to me, my friend the tech guy was wrong when he said "Your box is almost full already." I've got 20Gs of storage space, and almost 16Gs of it is free.)

So I'm not attaching too much to this experiment. But I've got a new gadget to explore.