iPod — MiniDisc killer?

Via iPoding — iPod-Linux Installer 0.3a Released.

According the manual, “Podzilla now supports Voice Recording for the 3rd Generation iPods (Dock connector + touch wheel).” This in and of itself isn’t all that exciting, but when you read on — “The format for recording is 44.1 kHz uncompressed RAW.”

Wow! That sure is better than the 8kHz, 16 bit mono files that the Apple firmware limits you to. The iPod community has known for a long time that the device is capable of much higher-quality recordings:

Before Apple released new firmware and Belkin released the Voice Recorder, much was made of the 3G iPod’s technical capabilities for audio recording. On paper, the 3G iPod could actually sample audio at CD-quality rates (thanks to Wolfson’s older 8731 chip) and record it in MP3 format (thanks to PortalPlayer’s earlier 5002 chip). But when Apple released new firmware, the iPod was limited to sampling audio at unimpressive, voice only-quality rates, and recording in uncompressed WAV format.

The Linux on iPod featureset isn’t 100% yet, but this does indeed look promising. I’d love to carry around a single, all-digital recording solution with virtually unlimited capacity.

Update: Just read Jordan Carter’s review of Linux on the iPod, and he calls the recording capability “a remarkable feature, unfortunately limited only to 3G iPods. A friend with Linux on his 3G demonstrated this to me – and it’s mind-blowing.”