How are iPods for recording music, or for me in particular, singing from a lavalier mic?

I certainly get my best musical inspiration while I’m on the move, and since I’m backpacking across the country this summer, I thought I would wear a lavalier connected to a recorder for fast capture of vocals.

iPods have two ways of recording: iPod Classic with Rockbox firmware or iPod Nano 4g or 5g with stock firmware. Both offer WAV recording in 16-bit at 44kHz. So the bitrate and sampling rate is not an issue. In addition, there are iPod hardware accessories that have their own recording circuitry, but I’m not asking about those since information on them can already be found.

My question is about other aspects of quality: Does anybody out there have either anecdotal evidence or reference to scientific measurement of various iPod models’ recording properties like dynamic range, SNR, etc?

1 Answer 1


If you are only going to be using the iPod for a "sketch pad" for your ideas, I would think that the quality wouldn't be an issue. The important thing is to get the idea recorded in a way that you will remember it as completely as possible.

I have a Sandisk Sansa MP3 player with a built in mic that I have used for recording some ideas on the fly. The recording was pretty distorted due to the high volume levels, but it was definitely good enough for me to figure out the song at a later date and re-create it in the studio.

If you really care about the quality, I would recommend picking up a field recorder.

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