Most songwriters will agree that when inspiration hits, it's vital to get it down fast. Roland's new MP3/WAV handheld recording device, the R-05, could help capture that magic moment before it slips away forever. Having the ability to record and playback in high quality uncompressed stereo, with onboard editing features and a 16 hour continuous recording battery life, the pocket recorder will obviously appeal to musicians. That said, Roland sees it being useful in non-musical applications, too.

Roland's new R-05 pocket recording device is capable of recording and playback in high quality MP3 and WAV formats, offering up to 24-bit/96kHz uncompressed stereo recording resolution. A handy feature is the ability to record both MP3 (for online distribution) and WAV (for studio or CD production) at the same time. Up to 32GB of captured audio can be stored on convenient SD/SDHC cards, the actual recorded library only limited by the number of memory cards at your disposal.

Although the R-05 sports its own stereo microphones, it benefits from both stereo line-in and external mic inputs. There's also onboard editing functionality, in the shape of audio trim, divide and combine as well as built-in reverb for an added touch of class. A convenient rehearsal mode ensures that you won't overload the input, and the practice feature allows a user to change tempo without altering pitch, or repeat a section of a recording as many times as necessary - perfect for rapid learning.

Other notable features include an auto record start, auto song split, auto level adjust, pre-record function that captures two seconds of audio before the REC button is fully depressed, and automatic recording level adjustment to cope with high and low volume situations. The 128 x 64 LCD display keeps the user informed, a headphone jack caters to real-time monitoring and the user swappable batteries are said to provide over 30 hours of continuous playback or over 16 hours of continuous recording.

Roland notes that although musicians will find the device of most use, the R-05 will also be useful to "record lectures, speeches, and meetings, for example. The high-sensitivity, built-in microphone will clearly capture all of the voices in a room." Whilst it may well find its way into the mighty hands of business professionals as well as musicians, at a suggested retail price of US$299 is it really likely to become a student essential?

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