Portable MP3 Recorders

I'm interested in getting hold of a portable digital recording device to use at gigs of bands I know (we're not talking about bootlegging here!) but I'd rather go for MP3 instead of Mini-Disc. The trouble is that I can't seem to find any portable MP3 recorder/players that will take an external mike or line in from the mixing desk.

Does anyone know of any - preferable available over here in the UK.

18 answers Last reply
More about portable recorders
  1. Try a laptop (or even a desktop) with some recording software and a decent sized HD and a good sound card on it.
  2. Nomad allows you to record musics (Audio In) from other audio systems and converts them to Wav. It has 6Gb storage. But I am not sure if you can then upload it to your computer. :-(
  3. For some reason, you cannot. I think that this is because of the whole copyrighted thing.
  4. I am sure we will have cracks for this security too. Anyway they can't stop people by doing this. :cool:
  5. The thing I don't get is that any schmuck with a CD ROM on their PC can rip MP3s. So how are we supposed to believe that the inability of the Nomad to transfer back to a PC is an attempt to control copyright infringement?

    I mean honestly. If I want to rip CDs and distribute them on line, am I more likely to rip them off of my CD rom, or to rig up my diskman into my Nomad and then transfer untitled mp3 files from the Nomad to the PC?

    It's gotta just be some stupid software bug. It's hard to believe that anyone who can invent a nifty device like that is dumb enough to honestly think people would actually use it for ripping CDs when they can just use their CD ROM to rip them.
  6. I guess reading yer note, you don't quite understand what the Nomad is. Its basically a piece of hardware that plays MP3's from a built in harddrive.

    I think that they added this feature (hopefully I can explain what yer lookin for) so that ppl can't load up their Nomad and take it over to their friends and d-load all of em on to his computer. 6 gigs is alot of music, pretty much my whole collection.

    "I mean honestly. If I want to rip CDs and distribute them on line, am I more likely to rip them off of my CD rom, or to rig up my diskman into my Nomad and then transfer untitled mp3 files from the Nomad to the PC?"

    Whatcha tryin to say here? diskman to Nomad? Don't get it. To actually transfer the files, the software included with the Nomad must be able to do that, ie. look at the nomad's HD. In my understanding, it doesn't or ever will do that.

    And, I guess you could just take the HD out of the nomad and connect it to yer computer to download/upload files, but that takes a bit of experience and time. Another cool thing I read about this thing on tomshardware is that you can upgrade the hd no problem (woohoo 20 gig laptop drive!!!)...
  7. I completely understand it's capabilities. What I'm saying is that people already have CD ROMs. I could just burn a CD of MP3s to take to a friend's house. So what do I need the Nomad for? Sure, it holds 6 gigs instead of 640 megs, but who needs to transfer 6 gigs of MP3s all in one go anyway?

    And, in the age of high-speed internet connections I could just set up a temporary server on my PC for my friend to download all of my MP3 files from anyway.

    So it seems pointless to disable the transfer of the Nomad to a PC for the reason of giving a friend your MP3 files.

    The only other reason that I can think of is that the Nomad allows you to use a Mic to record MP3s, which means that you could plug a diskman into the Nomad and rip MP3s that way without needing a PC.

    And again, it's pointless to disable the transfer from the Nomad to the PC for that reason. Because anyone can just rip the MP3s from their CD ROM.

    So unless someone can think up a third reason for what disabling the transfer from the Nomad to the PC might accomplish, I think it's just a bug and not intentional. Because the only reasons that I can think of for doing it don't really accomplish anything in the way of copyright protection.

    - Anything can be fixed with duct tape, a swiss army knife, and WD-40. :)
  8. Again, I think its a copyleft issue, so Creative is not liable for that exact use. Due to RIAA's suing nature, Creative didn't want to be a part of that whole napster/mp3 sharing thing :) it is not a bug and has been discussed in length in other forums. The real question is now: what type of OS does that thing run under? Or is it hardcode? Otherwise maybe that can be modified :)

    I didn't know about the MIC thing, that WOULD be cool!!

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by r0gue3 on 11/16/00 09:53 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  9. My guess is that the OS is on the hard drive itself. When Tom told us how to toss a shiny new 20gb HD into the Nomad, one part of the process was copying a section of the HD.

    Now, if the operating system were hardcoded into the device itself, then you shouldn't have needed to do this. You could just have done the button sequence to have it format the hard drive and it would have handled everything.

    The fact that you need to first transfer information from the original 6gb hard drive to the new hard drive indicates (to me anyway) that the OS is what you are copying.

    So cracking that should be easily just a matter of time.

    And according to Creative Labs:
    Advanced Recording
    The NOMAD Jukebox supports advanced recording features via the line-in jack. You can record from external devices - even replacing a DAT with dual band recording up to 48 kHz. Your recordings can then be ported back to the PC with the bundled Creative PlayCenter 2 software, for editing and encoding using your favorite music or audio production tools.

    That is taken directly from their own website at:

    Which means that according to them, the transfer from the Nomad to the PC should be working just fine. The fact that it isn't working just fine suggests to me it's not an intentional disabling but just simply a bug. I could easily be wrong. But until someone from Creative Labs says otherwise, that's what I'll believe.

    - Anything can be fixed with duct tape, a swiss army knife, and WD-40. :)
  10. Ok, Ok. I thought I was a know-it-all. I've been put in my place, :)
    I still think that they somehow disabled that due to RIAA's nature, but thats just me.

    BTW, ductape rocks...
  11. Hey, just checked the page that you told me about. Check out the FAQs. There is an answer to our little dispute :) (well not really dispute, whatever....)


    It says there:
    Why can't I upload MP3 files to my PC?
    MP3 files on the NOMAD player cannot be uploaded to the PC due to the compliance of RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) regulations to prevent music piracy.

    I know its dumb, but thats Creatives reasons, not sure if it can be cracked but there's gotta be a way!
  12. That definately makes me laugh. If Creative Labs actually thinks that we'd be using the Nomad Jukebox to copy MP3s when we have computers, well, they need help. It must be a marketting decision. Marketting always makes stupid decisions... for any company.

    But I'm 98.72% sure that it's crackable. It seems to me that from Tom's article on upgrading the Jukebox's hard drive makes that appearant. If you have to copy data from the old hard drive to the new one BEFORE you can format the new one, it says to me that this is like the BIOS/OS for the Nomad Jukebox. And if it's software, it's crackable. It's just a matter of time and someone being bored enough to bother giving the attempt.

    And if it turns out to not be software, someone will still get bored enough to find a way to rewire the hardware to allow it.

    Chances are that by summer we'll see articles on how to do it both by software and hardware. Such are the joys of modern technology.

    Heck, I'd research how to crack it myself if I had the cash to blow on a Nomad Jukebox.

    - Anything can be fixed with duct tape, a swiss army knife, and WD-40. :)
  13. I doubt it is actually the OS that's stored on the HardDrive -- it seems kind of silly and slow. What is probably included in that first part of the hard drive is allocation table and formatting information -- similar to the one on PCs. After all, it has to keep track of files somewhere, no?:)
    The software/OS (as such) is probably on a little chip somewhere. If it is upgradable, as it is supposed to be, software crack should do it. Not that I am nearly smart/experienced/knowledgable enough to do it myself:)
  14. The Nomad isn't the only option for hard drive portable MP3 players, there are several others that came out earlier and some of them are bidirectional. My current favorite is the Neo 25. See http://ssiamerica.com/products/neo25/. You can buy it direct or at the Computer Geeks website. I started with the 12G Neo 25 and then swapped up to a 32G drive. You might like the Neo 35 which is a compact non-portable (I have a 60G drive in mine). You might also want to check out the MP-ROM from Computer Geeks: it is a compact non-portable that you put your own CD drive in (I have spare CD drives lying around from each time I replace my PC's drive with something newer and better) and play MP3 CD's. I have one next to my PC so I can listen to MP3's on CD-R's without involving my PC at all.
  15. Those devices sound nifty too. It makes you wonder though why THG never added reviews of them in with their other MP3 player review... Come on THG, can we see a much more thorough review of a LOT more MP3 devices? After all, we have to know what to buy for Christmas. :)

    - Sanity is purely based on point-of-view.
  16. hey jensen...out of curiousity...where did you find a 60GB notebook drive?? They're barely up to that in desktop drives.


    "intel inside, idiot outside"
  17. The Neo35 uses a 3.5" drive, unlike the Neo25 which uses a 2.5" drive. The Neo35 is for home and car use, while the Neo25 is for portable use.
  18. To clear up earlier confusion...

    I have a Nomad.

    It can transfer files (any file, not just mp3) bidirectionally.
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