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Poddio App Catches Buzz at NAB Radio Show

Turns iPhone into recorder/DAW

If there was a “buzz” product item at the NAB Radio Show it was VeriCorder’s Poddio.

VeriCorder is a name that will be unfamiliar to most in the radio broadcast industry and the Poddio will be a concept equally unfamiliar to many.

The Poddio is an iPhone application that turns an iPhone into a handheld recorder and digital audio workstation.

In a very simple process the Poddio-ized iPhone records a sound or interview as a WAV file (likely adding MP3 when some licensing issues are worked out). A waveform editor then is used to edit the piece or cut together several pieces. Using the phone’s virtual keyboard a text description or script can be entered. All of this is packaged up and sent via the iPhone to its destination through e-mail or FTP.

At the Radio Show Burli Software was demoing the Poddio’s ability to interface with Burli’s Newsroom content manager. VeriCorder is expecting ultimately for the Poddio to work with many more newsroom systems but as of now Burli is first and only. In fact Burli’s Ian Gunn was probably product evangelist No. 1 for the Poddio at the show.

Very cool and quite eye-catching.

But a few of the more gimlet-eyed see some teething pains. VeriCorder has a small little plug-in mic to replace the less-than-stellar onboard iPhone mic. Admittedly the plug-in mic is not exactly a Neumann. It plugs in via a 1/8-inch plug and is not much bigger than a toe — and not the big toe. So sound quality won’t rate highly.

Also the waveform editor works via the touchscreen so the precision of editing might be a bit fuzzy. The quality of the onboard normalizing processing is likely to be “consumer” level.

Having said that, the whole Poddio system is very interesting and a whole lot smaller and lighter than even the smallest handheld recorder/laptop-hooked-up-to-the-Internet package.

And with a lot of ENG, fidelity isn’t as important as speed. Getting just a rough cut of an on-the-scene actuality is good enough — the gang back at the station can do the fine-tuning.

How long before a Wi-Fi chip and an improved GUI and Web browser are put into a handheld portable recorder? How long before Palm and RIM introduce the me-toos?