As already stated elsewhere I am getting back into doing my family history fuelled by my wifes new years resolution. Even better I have now found a way of combining the search for my ancestors with my love for my mp3 player! Strange though it may seem but my iRiver iHp-140 is just the thing for capturing the past.

One of the first things that any family historian will tell you is that the best place to start your research is by speaking with your relatives who are still alive. They will have stories and information on your relatives that no trip to the public records office is ever going to tell you.

So how do you record these conversations? Well in the past you would use a trusty tape recorder or perhaps a dictiphone but now there is another way. The iRiver has a built in microphone and the capability of recording huge quantities of high quality sound. On the model I have (iHP-140) there is a 40gb hard drive – more than enough for my entire CD collection and still have plenty of room to record my family.

The recordings themselves can either be recorded as WAV or a MP3 files. The latter also offering the option of changing the bit rate too. These files can then be transferred to a desktop machine where they can be archived to CD or DVD-ROM for safe keeping. They could also be converted to a streaming format, such as realmedia, and made available on a website.

THe iHP-140 also allows an external microphone to be connected and a clip on mic is included as part of the package. The one final neat feature of the iRiver is the ability to plug in external hardware, such as CD players or, perhaps, a dictaphone allowing these sources to be recorded to a more suitable format. This allows me to make recordings on my Olympus dictaphone and then transfer these recordings to MP3 format via the iHP-140.

I think that this is a great way of capturing your family’s history forever.

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