Griffin Technology iTalk

Griffin Technology iTalk

Written by Charlie Sinhaseni on 7/1/2004 for PC  

Neat devices are a dime-a-dozen, but only a few of them have a real practical function. Griffin Technology has been the torchbearer when it comes to developing interesting and attractive gadgets, and with the advent of digital music they’ve started to manufacture devices for Apple’s iPod. Last year they released the iTrip, a useful transmitter that allowed users to output their iPod through any FM receiver, and now they’ve released perhaps the most practical and useful device to date.

A large portion of iPod owners are college-aged students who have to cope with a number of responsibilities. In this hustle-and-bustle lifestyle it’s a rarity that anyone has the time to take down each and every task that they have. This is when the new iTalk comes into play. Plugging straight into the headphone jack, the iTalk effectively turns the iPod into a voice recorder with massive amounts of storage space. This means that you can effectively listen to music with your headphones while walking to class and then plug in the attachment and change it into a notation device in a few seconds. Forget about taking notes, just set the device to record and you’re set.

Griffin Technology packages a mini-instruction manual along with the iTalk but it’s doubtful that you’ll ever need it. When the device is plugged into the upper expansion slot of the iPod the screen immediately brings up the iTalk’s interface. You’re faced with two very difficult options, record or head back a screen. Upon selecting record you’ll see an on-screen timer along with the ability to pause the recording or end it entirely. When ended, the device saves the recording to your iPod where you can listen to it immediately thanks to the iTalk’s built-in minispeaker. In another nice design move, the iTalk features an additional headphone jack on the top which allows you to privately listen to the recordings without disturbing others.

To test out the device I decided to try it out in a number of settings. My first test was at E3 2004 at the Convention Center in Los Angeles. As usual, the floor was filled with thousands of raucous gaming geeks desperately trying to fulfill their geek fantasies. During my usual booth tours (which are generally done on the show floor in the middle of all the action) the audio came in quite clearly, although it had a huge tendency to pick up really high-pitched noises. Anything in a relatively quiet or secluded area came in quite clearly while anything near an overwhelming loud noise (read: EA or Square Enix booth) was impossible to hear. Nothing new here though as those were the same results I received from a normal voice recorder. The next venue was a college auditorium during lecture hours. For the duration of the lecture I had little trouble understanding what the professor was saying and could easily follow along with his voice. Overall the quality is clean and crisp, generally what you would expect out of your high-end voice recorder. The quality isn't amazing, so don't buy it expecting to fulfill your grandeur delusions of garageband stardom, but it definitely gets the job done.

Griffin Technology is becoming mighty good at developing innovative devices that are practical and simple to use. The new iTalk is no exception as it's probably the most functional iPod peripheral to date. Most certainly, it's not for everyone out there, but any iPod owner looking to take full advantage of their device would be crazy not to purchase the iTalk.
A highly effective device that turns your iPod into a fully functional voice recorder. It’s not for everyone though, but it’ll definitely make your life easier if you’re a college kid or a reporter.

Rating: 9 Excellent

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.


About Author

Gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. I can still recall many a lost nights spent playing Gyromite with that stupid robot contraption for the old NES. While I'm not as old as the rest of the crew around these parts, I still have a solid understanding of the heritage and the history of the video gaming industry.

It's funny, when I see other people reference games like Doom as "old-school" I almost begin to cringe. I bet that half of these supposed "old-school" gamers don't even remember classic games like Rise of the Triad and Commander Keen. How about Halloween Harry? Does anyone even remember the term "shareware" anymore? If you want to know "old-school" just talk to John. He'll tell you all about his favorite Atari game, Custer's Revenge.

It's okay though, ignorance is bliss and what the kids don't know won't hurt them. I'll just simply smile and nod the next time someone tells me that the best entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was Final Fantasy VII.

When I'm not playing games I'm usually busy sleeping through classes at a boring college in Southern Oregon. My current hobbies are: writing songs for punk rock bands that never quite make it, and teasing Bart about... well just teasing Bart in general. I swear the material writes itself when you're around this guy. He gives new meaning to the term "moving punching bag."

As for games, I enjoy all types except those long-winded turn-based strategy games. I send those games to my good pal Tyler, I hear he has a thing for those games that none of us actually have the time to play.

When I'm not busy plowing through a massive pile of video games I spend all of my time trying to keep my cute little girl fed. She eats a ton but damn she's so hot. Does anyone understand the Asian girl weight principal? Like they'll clean out your fridge yet still weigh less than 110 pounds.

Currently I'm playing: THUG, True Crime, Prince of Persia, Project Gotham 2 and Beyond Good & Evil. View Profile

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