… when it comes to digitisation of sound,  sound recording has changed due to MP3 formats designed for DVD , the web and pod casting.   My question is what equiptment do I need to for audio recording.

The short answer is an MP3 recorder with 16 bit fidelity, This meets ‘hi-fi’ specification which  is perfectly acceptable.

I’m already familiar recording via soundcards with line in microphone and editing software. Opensource audio recording and editing software such as Audacity and Goldwave is available to download and install for free.

MP3 recorders now provide better storage starting from 1 GB which is probably enough. The battery lifetimes can range in both hours and price, some may not be rechargable- so an option to buy an ac power supply could be a good move.

Line in MP3 recorders means this allows recording from any sound source, such as microphone, line in or any sounds currently playing on your PC (internet radio, movie sounds, etc)… transfer some other formats records tapes CDs etc into MP3 (WMA, WAV, OGG, RAW ) formats.

when MP3 players have on board mics what are they- dynamic or condenser?
although the majority of MP3 recorder/players have inbuilt microphones  an alternative is an MP3 recorder with line in.  Dynamic microphones may cause some distortion and not be as sensitive at a distance so another option recording with a condenser omni-direction mic means where you place the microphone will not be as critical, although saying – that the length of mic leads has to be a joke.

These are links to a 1 GB cowan iaudio u3 and downloading pdf of the iaudio u3 Manual

now ….about the microphone.

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