Using an iPod Touch to record lectures from Prof Hacker:  Here’s how to make recordings with your second- and third-generation iPod Touch.

  1. Purchase a small plug-in microphone.  Like  SwitchEasy’s Thumbtack microphone, which plugs into the audio output spot on the iPod touch, where the headphones would normally go. At $12.99, the price is very good and the quality is great. Set the iPod Touch on the lectern during class, and the ThumbTack picks up audio from all over the room quite well, even questions that students pose during the lecture.
  2. Download recording software. Griffin’s iTalk recording app works great and is $1.99 for the full version or free for the ad-supported version, which limits file recordings to 2MB. Recording lectures is very easy; you open up the app, press the big red button which appears on the screen to begin recording, and then press it again to stop recording. You can pause recording during a lecture ( when discussion gets way off topic, for example) by pressing the big screen button again, which is green while recording and will turn to red when it is paused, and the recording will continue. You can choose a sampling rate to manage file size, and the app uses a Wi-Fi network to transfer the files to your desktop.
  3. Convert your files and edit them. The Griffin iTalk app records files in .aiff format, but you may want to convert to .mp3 or other format as well as edit your files. The free program Audacity works well for this.

Once you’re done, you can use your files for lecture archival, review, post to OAKS, anything you want, all for less than $15. If you’ve been tempted to purchase the newer version of the iPod Touch for its added recording capabilities, adding a small microphone and using the free software mentioned above can be an economical fix.