I'll admit that I wasn't that impressed when Rode announced the iXY Stereo Recording Microphone for iPhone/iPad recently. At $199 to add a better microphone to the iPhone, I felt that the money would be better spent on a dedicated recorder.
Now they've gone and announced the smartLav, which goes and turns an iPhone into a recorder - also - but this time with a lavaliere mic. Is that a good thing? Well the downsides, as Dan Chang notes in his article, include the fact that you need an iOS device, it has to be in Airplane mode to avoid interruptions, and you can't monitor the recording, so you can't be sure that's it's working correctly (the mic gets obstructed.) But then that's true for most self-contained recording devices.
I guess I like a few things about this:
- the cost is said to be about $60 which is more affordable
- it could be useful for recording audio only sessions; a lav mic is less intimidating than putting even an iPhone in someone's face
- It could be a useful additional audio source; though I wouldn't depend on it as a primary source
- I have an iPhone 3GS that works but wasn't worth selling because the case has a big crack in it.
So I might get one!