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No modding needed for VOIP and recording with 1st gen iPod touch

di | 26/11/2008

With the latest firmware update Apple has made a special present to the owners of first generation iPod touch: a recording capability and with no soldering tool and no modding.
Macitynet.it has discovered the feature with a standard software and a standard accessory.
See how you can try it yourself.

With Firmware 2.2. Apple has made an appreciated upgrade to the recording capabilities of its touch devices: the ability to record not only from the iPhone included mics and and the new iPod touch earphone/mic but also from devices connected to its dock port.
This opens the way to external recording tools and mics based on the dock connection.
Such of these devices are already on the market since they’ve been created for standard iPod starting from 5.5 generation and for iPod nano.

But the firmware upgrade brings a more substantial benefit to the first generation of iPod touch that misses the hardware to recognize an external mic trough its multi-function headphone plug: the ability to get a third party input device for VOIP and recording.

Testing Mic
So we took the first step: we made a test with 3 external Dock Mics we had for testing
- The beatiful Belkin Tunetalk Stereo has a mechanical problem since it obstructs the earphone hole on the bottom of the iPod touch
- The Macally iVoice III (now discontinued) is small enough to let you insert your headphone
- at last: Macally iVoice Prois smaller, has an internal speaker (good for the silent touch in any case) and also an external auxiliary input.

As a proof that the new software supports the external inputs when you attach one of these mic you don’t get the “not compatible whatsover” writing on iPod touch screen.
We decided to make a test with the most ergonomic and complete of the two macallies and we started with iVoice Pro… but there was a problem…

If you try to download on you 1Gen iPod touch an application that deals on recording the App store says it’s not compatible with your device!

But there are applications who are not so evil smart to recognize the generation of your touch and one of these is “NimBuzz” that allows you to make voice calls with skype and msn on your iPhone and, guess, also on your iPod touch no matter what generation!

So we got a free NimBuzz account and we set up our skype account: as magic the Green Phone icon was show as solid and we could press the virtual call button.
Our friend Massimo Senna’s voice came out loud from Macally iVoice Pro speaker and he could hear us with the usual noisy feedback effect. It works!

Now the problem is that we can exclude the iVoice Pro speaker if we want more privacy.., and the old Macally Ivoice III comes at hand: it has no speaker and we can use the headphones to hear who is talking on the other side of the line; too bad it isn’t on the market anymore!

Waiting for iPod touch recorder application
We did a little research but at the moment there’s no free voice recording (in the AppStore – we didn’w want to mess up with jailbreaks) that’s aware of the new external mic capabilities: let’s hope that other developers will remove this limitation and let the early touch adopters live a second life as VOIP and live recording users!

You can search also for other tiny external, dock based mics for your touch, anyway the Macally’s ones did their work fine.
Just one suggestion: it would be nice if Macally could exclude the external speaker in the iVoice Pro with a simple switch in a future model!

In the picture below: our iPod touch with Macally iVoice Pro.

ipod touch first gen