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iRecord’s video isn’t bad for its small resolution, but the watermark gets real old, real fast.
If you haven’t noticed, the transition from analog to digital media is almost complete. We’ll lose a few things in the process, but your memories don’t have to be among them. If you’d like to share home movies stuck on VHS tapes or want to transfer old audio recordings to your Mac, Streaming Network’s iRecord can help. iRecord is expensive and requires a bit of effort, but it can make big analog-to-digital transfer jobs easier—provided you can live with fairly low video quality.
The device connects to an analog source (VCR, TV, turntable, and so on) and a USB storage device like an iPod or external hard drive, letting you record old media as digital files without a computer. iRecord sports a USB port and S-Video and RCA audio/video input jacks, and there are only two buttons: one for power and one to start and stop recording.
iRecord captures audio or video, depending on what sources it detects or which model iPod you use. We had no trouble recording both audio and video to a USB drive and an iPod classic, but only iPods that play video can record video—except for the iPhone and iPod touch—iRecord doesn’t support any direct recording to those devices. Video quality is surprisingly good, but limited to 320x240—OK for viewing on an iPod, less so for a larger screen. An iRecord logo is added to the beginning of every video you record—an obnoxious “feature” that can’t be turned off.
Getting files onto your computer is straightforward. If you record to a USB drive, just connect it to your Mac and copy the files (recordings are saved to the top level of your drive). But to get files from your iPod, you’ll need to download the free iRecord desktop application; without it, files are lost when you sync iPod with iTunes.At $200, the iRecord isn’t a bargain, but it’s not a bad solution, if you want to transfer a lot of old media to your computer and don’t mind a little legwork—and working around some annoyances.