I picked up a Griffin iTalk this afternoon because I needed to record a meeting, and my tape recorder had finally died. As I was riding downtown to my meeting, I wondered if I would need to install any software for the iTalk. Since this was a last minute purchase, having to install software would have blown me out of the water. Fortunately, the only installation needed was to place the iTalk atop the iPod.

The microphone quality is very good, much better than the mini tape recorders I had used in the past. The tape recorders always seemed to do a better job at picking up the sound of the motor than the voices in the room. The iTalk recorded nicely, especially in the medium sized meeting room I was in. There was no problem hearing everyone around the table as well as the person on the conference call.

At first, I was a bit disappointed with the sound quality. My opinion changed after I listened to the recording with headphones. As it turns out, the built in speaker leaves something to be desired. However, when compared with tape recorders I have used, it is about equal. Don’t expect to play back recordings with the built in speaker in a larger or noisy room though. Turning the volume up too high causes a lot of distortion.

The only technical problem I had was that my iPod froze after about two minutes of recording. However, after a reboot, the iPod recorded a two hour meeting without issue. I’ve heard of this sort of problem from others, but it seems to happen more consistently for them. Hopefully this was a random event that will never happen again. I’ll keep you updated on this one.

Overall, I’m very impressed. The iTalk is very well designed, and small enough to carry around in your gadget bag without adding a lot of weight. The Griffin iTalk is certainly worth the $39.99 list price. Anyone who plans further in advance than I can pick up one up online for around $32. If you are an iPod owner in the market for a voice recorder of some type, I recommend it.

So, why didn’t they call it the iListen?

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