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Voice activated

The Total Recall and MiniJam Springboard modules make your Handspring a true multimedia experience. Mobile Office hed: Voice activated dek: The Total Recall and MiniJam Springboard modules make your Handspring a true multimedia experience.

Targus wants its Total Recall digital voice recorder back after this review, and I can see why.

This handy Handspring Visor Springboard module operates just like a digital sound device should–intuitively, easily, practically. Plug the module into the Visor and you’re ready to go. Record something. To edit it, play the track to automatically call up the editing screen. Set bookmarks, and insert or append remarks to the file.

The sound file is immediately stamped with the date and time you recorded it, and it’s easy to add a description and file it away. (It’s also very easy to wipe out a file or parts of it from the editing screen, so be careful.)

Total recording time for one track can run up to 90 minutes. With two triple-A batteries, the module converts to a standalone recorder, and those recordings automatically appear on the Visor next time you plug it back in–no synching required. If you have a PC, the Targus desktop software will allow you to transmit your files to your PC to edit and send as .wav files via e-mail.

The unit is not perfect, however. I did find myself wishing for the ability to make a bookmark while recording, which would be quite a useful feature during a lengthy interview. And for track editing, I’d wish for a Save or Undo button, as well as the ability to splice an already-recorded track into another track.

The Total Recall module lists for $99.99 on the Targus Web site.

Innogear’s MiniJam MP3 player is another extremely simple, useful, and fun plug-and-play springboard module for your Handspring Visor. The MiniJam ships with earbud headphones, carrying case, CD-ROM, and–most important–a 32MB or 64MB card preprogrammed with songs. Load the CD-ROM into your computer, install the lightning-quick MiniJam Browser, reformat your multimedia (MMC) card, and you’re pretty much ready to start putting your own music on the MiniJam.

I say “pretty much” because there are a couple of other steps not outlined in a very convenient fashion by Innogear. I’m not the only reviewer to ask for some kind of manual–actually, a half-page insert would do. I found that the text and PDF files on the CD-ROM only made the process sound more complicated than it is. Here’s the process I followed on the Mac: Insert the MiniJam into the Handspring and install the MiniJam browser and software update file from the CD-ROM. Hotsync to transfer the update to the Visor. Reformat the memory card (this takes about 15 minutes), and run the update program on the Visor. Set Hotsync to Disable in the Palm desktop program (MiniJam needs to use the USB connection to transfer the MP3s), and then transfer files.

The MiniJam’s sound quality is excellent, and customization features are very user-friendly. MiniJam comes with 2 MB flash memory to reduce battery drain, but you will still notice that it quickly takes a toll. I’d like to see a Visor at-a-glance menu that shows how much space you’ve got left on your MMC card. Overall, the MiniJam (which ranges from $200-300 depending on memory capacity) is a great addition for any dedicated Handspring user.

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