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It’s not paranoia if you insist on recording every conversation you ever have, it’s just plain common sense.  Zoom obviously know that, since they’ve just outed their latest stereo recorder, the Zoom H1 Handy Recorder, and it’s their smallest and cheapest to-date.  $99 gets you a 2oz handheld with twin stereo microphones capable of slapping down 24-bit/96 kHz stereo audio onto up to 32GB microSDHC cards.

It’s supposedly easier to use, too, with Zoom ousting menus in favor of dedicated buttons that control track markers, auto record, low cut filters, level and volume controls.  A 32GB card is good for 50hrs of audio, an AA battery is good for 10hrs recording, and there are USB, tripod mount, 1/8-inch external mic input and stereo 1/8-inch line outputs along with a reference speaker.  Expect it to hit shelves on July 30th, priced at $99, alongside a $24.99 H1 accessory kit including windscreen, AC adapter (USB type), USB cable, adjustable tripod stand, soft carrying pouch and mic clip adapter.

Press Release:

Available July 30: Zoom’s H1 Handy Recorder

Their smallest, most affordable recorder ever

The H1 puts professional stereo recording capabilities in your pocket

Hauppauge, NY – June 01, 2010 – Zoom is excited to announce availability and shipping dates for its smallest recorder to date, the new H1 Handy Recorder. Weighing in at about 2 oz, the H1 records big sound despite its tiny footprint and features the same studio-quality microphones as Zoom’s renowned H2 – the most popular handheld recorder in the world. The H1 is priced at just $99, making it one of the most affordable professional recording solutions available.

Like all Zoom recorders, the H1’s two onboard microphones are configured in an X/Y pattern, for stunning stereo imaging depth and clarity. The pocket-sized H1 delivers crystal clear 24-bit/96 kHz stereo recordings perfect for music, interviews, lectures, recitals, band practice and more.

“It’s our smallest recorder ever,” said Mark Wilder, Director of Marketing. “But don’t let its size fool you. The H1 Handy Recorder features our studio-quality microphones and our award winning recording technology at a very affordable price.”

The H1 is also the easiest Zoom recorder to use, sporting a newly designed user interface that places all its functions at the touch of a button. Zoom included access to the track marker, auto record, low cut filter, level and volume controls with onboard buttons and no menus.

The H1 can accommodate up to 32GB microSDHC memory cards, providing over 50 hours of recording time. The new pocket sized recorder is powered by a single AA size battery, which provides up to 10 hours or continuous operation. H1 users can purchase an H1 accessory kit for just $24.99 that includes a windscreen, AC adapter (USB type), USB cable, adjustable tripod stand, soft carrying pouch and mic clip adapter.

The Zoom H1 Handy Recorder will be available everywhere on July 30 for $99.

Stereo X/Y mic configuration captures perfect stereo images

Same frequency and SPL handling as popular Zoom H2

Records WAV 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit

Records MP3 from 48 to 320kbps for maximum recording time

USB 2.0 port and integrated reference speaker built-in

One AA size (LR6) battery – 10 hours operation

Includes 2GB microSD memory card and AA battery

Accommodates up to 32GB microSD memory cards

Auto record level setting

Track marker function

Low cut filter

1/8″ external mic input

Stereo 1/8″ line output

Built-in mounting joint for tripod and mic stand mounting

About Zoom Corporation

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Best Portable Audio Recording? Zoom H1 Review

Before actually owning the zoom h1, I did do my own research on the product. Everyone’s conclusion was that it felt like a cheap toy. However, I feel as though, while it is all plastic, it still feels sturdy.  I have dropped this mic before and it has yet to crack. (I hope it doesn’t of course!)  And upside to it being all plastic is that it is very light. The build itself is a very small mic intended for on the go usage. It might just be me, but there is something satisfying when you can buy an a product for use, and not have to worry about it getting scuffed up. Coming in an all plastic and cheap form actually makes me want to bring it around more. I toss it into my bag and go. And I think that’s a very important factor when considering this type of product to buy. Just don’t expect a tank when your buying this product. Keep in mind the satisfying buying price of it and you won’t have any complaints.

To be blunt the sound is fantastic.  With an onboard mic that you get with your typical DSLR, you’ll notice the sound levels are not equal. Every now and then I would record a conversation with two people, and while they are at the same exact distance from the camera, every now and then one voice would be extremely high while the other would be low.– Not with the zoom h1. If I aim the mic correctly, the audio is not only equal, but it is also accurate.Another problem that I had before using the Zoom h1 was the fact that my onboard mic picked up a certain humming noise in the background. The h1, as im sure many if not all external mics, fix this problem.  The Zoom h1 mic also removed the audio echo that I received with many other cameras. (Especially webcams)

I do not have a wind filter, as it does not come with one, but I have noticed, to no surprised, that in semi-windy condition, without a wind filter, it does pick up a lot of wind noise.  A LOT. Not a negative thing, that’s typical, but don’t be put off by it and buy a wind filter. (If you intend to work in windy conditions)

The Zoom H1 does cannot be directly connected into your camera. You must manually sync you audio. It could be a major pain, and it is something you definitely want to consider. I believe in the new Final Cut Pro X there is a way to automatically sync the audio, but even then, I would of course rather just have the audio recorded right into our DSLR. If this is a problem, you might want to consider the Zoom H1′s big brother: the Zoom H4n.

The zoom consumes only one AA battery, but I still wish it had a charging feature.  It also does have  tripod screw in so if you have an extra tripod you can mount it equally to your camera.

For a budget mic, I think it is a great product.  I do envy the Zoom H4n, but considering the price this product it is going for, I can’t complain much. It’s a mic, that I use to supplement everything, my DSLR, my webcam, and sometimes even my phone. The only downside I would have to say is, again, you have to manually sync the audio in post production. So do I recommend this mic? Yes, yes I do!

The Zoom H1, your portable audio recorder now the perfect supplement to any DSLR or video recording device. Small and affordable, but what does all of that sacrifice?

Lensbaby Composer Pro Promises Smoother Photo Effects

Lensbaby Composer Pro promises smoother photo effects

Lensbaby has outed its latest model, and the company is now targeting professional photo and video experts. The Lensbaby Composer Pro takes the existing Composer and upgrades its ball and focus mechanism with a metal version that, it’s claimed, makes for smoother focus and tilt.

More professional focusing is also promised, thanks to a dampened focus ring. There’s still support for the Lensbaby Optic Swap System, however, meaning that the Fisheye, Soft Focus, Pinhole/Zone plate, Single Glass and Plastic lenses can be swapped in.

Lensbaby expects the Composer Pro to sell for $300 with the Double Glass Optic or for $400 with the Sweet 35 Optic. The regular Composer will see a price cut to $250.

Press Release:

Lensbaby Announces a New SLR Lens: The Composer Pro

The Composer Pro delivers ultra-smooth creative control for the most discerning professional photographers and videographers

Portland, OR – April 4, 2011 – Lensbaby announces its newest SLR creative effects camera lens, the Composer Pro. The Composer Pro refines and enhances the popular and award winning Lensbaby Composer by upgrading the swivel ball and focus mechanism to provide professional performance. The Composer Pro’s metal swivel ball design and refined focus mechanism deliver ultra-smooth focus and tilt control. The updated focus mechanism features a fluid and accurate dampened focus ring comparable to the focus mechanisms of the highest quality professional manual focus lenses. This smooth, fluid operation makes the Composer Pro the perfect choice for discerning professional photographers and videographers who want to create ground-breaking creative imagery.

The Composer Pro is compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System and ships with either the Double Glass Optic or the new Sweet 35 Optic installed. Each optic creates a Sweet Spot of sharp focus that photographers can move around the photo by tilting the Composer Pro’s swiveling lens body. The Composer Pro is compatible with the complete range of creative optics in the Lensbaby Optic Swap System including the Fisheye, Soft Focus, Pinhole/Zone plate, Single Glass, and Plastic. Each optic can be swapped into the Composer Pro to deliver a different creative effect.

“The Composer Pro builds on the strengths of its siblings in the Lensbaby family. In addition to being a core element in the Lensbaby Optic Swap system, it is smooth, fluid and precise to meet the needs of our community of photographer who want to see their unique visions through a precision piece of photographic equipment. Professional photographers continue to be at the core of our customer base.” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer. “The Composer pro is for them.”

Composer Pro Specs:

Refined metal ball design delivers ultra-smooth focus and tilt control

Ships with either the Sweet 35 Optic or Double Glass Optic installed

Compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System

Focus Type: Manual

Size/Weight: 2.25″ (5.71cm) high x 2.5″ (6.35cm) wide / 4 oz (113.4g)

Tilts from zero to 17.5 degrees

Sweet 35 Optic Product Specs:

Focal Length: 35mm

12 blade internal aperture, controlled by a dial on the front of the optic

Aperture range from f/2.5 through f/22 (sweet spot size ranges from 15%, at f/2.5, to 40%, at f/22, of total image area on APS-C sensor cameras)

Selective focus optic (creates a sweet spot of focus surrounded by gradual blur)

Compatible with Lensbaby Composer, Scout, Muse, and Control Freak lens bodies*

Focus distance when used with Composer Pro: 7.5″ to infinity

4 multi-coated glass elements, in three groups

*The Sweet 35 Optic is not compatible with the Composer with Tilt Transformer for Micro 4/3rds and Sony NEX Cameras.

**The Sweet 35 Optic is not compatible with current 37mm Lensbaby accessories.

Double Glass Optic Product Specs:

Focal Length: 50mm

Low dispersion, high refractive index, multi-coated optical glass doublet

Aperture Type: Interchangeable, magnetic aperture disks

Apertures: f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22

Selective focus optic (creates a sweet spot of focus surrounded by gradual blur)

Focus distance when used with Composer Pro: 18″ to infinity

Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder

Our Review Pros Record system sounds and microphone voice Save audio recordings as MP3 or other files CD ripper and burner, ID3 editor, task scheduler, and more Incredibly intuitive for all user levels Cons No forever-free version

Before getting our final verdict, check out the system requirements, editions, setup operation, interface, and feature set of Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder below.

Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder system requirements

There are no hardware specs listed for this tool, so it should work even with older PCs. You need:

Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP (either 32-bit or 64-bit)

iTunes (to import music into your iTunes library)

Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder editions

Unfortunately, there’s no fully-functional free version of Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder available. It has a free demo you can use to evaluate most options, but it comes with some limitations.

More specifically, you can’t record audio longer than 3 minutes, download more than one piece of music at once, or identify the music information of more than 3 tracks. There’s also a popup reminder with a 5-seconds delay. To lift all these restrictions, you have to buy Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder.

On the bright side, it supports multiple payment modes: monthly or yearly subscriptions, and lifetime licenses for 1 or 5 users. Business pricing plans are available for purchase, too. No matter what you choose, you will also receive a 30-days money-back guarantee.

Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder installation

When setting up Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder on your PC, you can choose the installer language, review and accept the license agreement, pick a different destination folder, and create program shortcuts for quick access. You can launch the tool as soon as the setup is over.

Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder interface

When it comes to the graphical interface, Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder sports a sophisticated and straightforward main window. You can access its critical features from distinct areas: Record, Library, Search, Download, and Radio.

Additional tools and program settings are accessible from a menu on the upper-right corner of this window, so you should take your time to fully explore the application’s interface and discover everything it has to offer.

Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder features


Capture sounds played on your PC: streaming audio, in-game music, microphone voice

Pause, resume and play recordings, adjust the volume level

Select the recording device from system sounds, microphone, or both

Save recordings as MP3, AAC, OGG, WMA, WAV, or FLAC audio tracks

Schedule recording tasks to run automatically and enable PC shutdown when the recording completes


Explore your recordings, including the duration, size, artist, album, and status

Create playlists on the spot out of any selected recordings

Play, convert, edit, rename, remove, or identify recordings, add to iTunes, open folders


Find popular music online that you can download to your PC

View the top 10 songs and artists


Check out all downloading tracks

Pause, resume, or cancel any downloading job

Ask the tool to play music as soon as the download completes

Download audio tracks in MP3, MP2, M4A, WMA, AAC, AC3, FLAC, or WAV format

Specify the audio quality and saving folder

Make a playlist out of downloaded songs, add to iTunes, burn to CD


Play radio stations from all over the world

Discover radio genres like blues, chillout, classical, country, electronic, or jazz

Add stations to a favorites list for quick access

Look up radio stations with a search tool

Play and record streaming radio

Audio converter

Convert local audio tracks to any other format like MP3, MP2, M4A, WMA, AAC, AC3, FLAC, or WAV

Set the sound quality and output directory

Merge all tracks into a single file

Copy the ID3 tags to the new, converted tracks

Audio editor

Analyze the waveform of sound files to edit audio

Cut out unwanted parts or reduce the song to the selected region

Trim songs by setting the start and end time

Cut, copy, and paste in append, insert, or mix mode

Insert silence or sound files

Append audio tracks and mix or overwrite with sound files


Import music into your iTunes library

Video-to-MP3 converter

Extract audio from video to save as MP3 MP2, M4A, WMA, AAC, AC3, FLAC, or WAV audio tracks

Load streaming videos from URL and select the video hosting site

Convert local videos to any supported audio format

Set the sound quality before conversion

ID3 tag editor

Edit audio metadata like title, artist, album, year, genre, and artwork

Load local audio files of any supported format

ID3 tags identifier

Ask the tool to autodetect the ID3 tags of your songs

Adds the title, artist, album, year, genre, and artwork

Identify the ID3 tags of multiple songs at once (by file or folder)

CD burner

Burn audio or data CDs without resorting to a third-party tool

Select the disc writer device and auto-eject the disc after burning

CD ripper

Rip audio CDs to save audio files to your disk

Pick the audio source and eject the CD after ripping

Rip each track into an individual file or merge everything into one

Save the ripped tracks as MP3, AAC, OGG, WMA, FLAC, or WAV files, and pick the level of sound quality

Set the idle time between tracks when merging them into one file

Set the album, artist, year, and genre while ripping songs


Choose from 22 interface languages

Autorun the program at Windows startup

Configure hotkeys for starting, pausing, and stopping recordings

A highly intuitive audio recorder with surprisingly rich features

To sum up, Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder sports a remarkably comprehensive set of features not only for audio recording but also for other audio-related tasks. You can convert files, schedule tasks, rip or burn CDs, as well as download songs from an online database.

We’ve noticed that the application creates high-quality audio tracks after recording, downloading, and conversion. During this time, it uses minimal system resources, so it shouldn’t affect your computer’s stability.

FAQ: Learn more about Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder

Is Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder safe?

Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder is 100% safe. It’s a legitimate software product that does what it says: capture audio from streaming sites and other sources. It doesn’t contain any malware.

How do I use Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder?

Firstly, you must select the audio source from system sounds, microphone, or both. Then, press the Record button to record your new audio track.

What is the best streaming audio recorder?

Apowersoft Streaming Audio Recorder is our first choice when it comes to the best streaming audio recorders for Windows 10. However, if you wish to check out alternative solutions, we suggest starting with Audio Recorder Pro, Spotify Music Converter, or Wondershare Streaming Audio Recorder.

When Can Renters Insurance Come In Handy?

If you’re renting a home or apartment, relying solely on your landlord’s insurance for your own safety and that of the belongings in your space is unwise. Yes, the property itself is insured and protected from damages; however, it doesn’t reimburse you for your possessions, damages to appliances, and injuries sustained in the rented area, just to name a few.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Renters insurance provides:

Coverage of your belongings in the event of theft, fire or water damage, vandalism, a windstorm, hail, and other listed perils according to your policy. This includes furniture, appliances, electronic devices, and clothing.

Loss-of-use coverage. If you are forced to leave the rented premises owing to damage caused by a covered loss, your insurance provider will reimburse you for living expenses while you stay elsewhere.

Personal liability. It protects you if another individual sustains injuries or damage that you are liable for (i.e., a guest trips and breaks their arm in your house). This will cover the injured person’s medical bills.

Renters’ insurance does not go beyond your policy limits and provides compensation without your deductible.

How Renters Insurance Can Help You Even When You’re Not at Home

As much as we don’t like to think about them, unfortunate scenarios happen all the time. Theft of electronic devices is one of them, and it’s a relatively common occurrence.

Your Computer or Phone Gets Stolen

Personal electronics theft is prevalent in airports, trains, public transport, and crowded places. Getting a similar replacement laptop can be very expensive, depending on how sophisticated and new your previous one was. Luckily theft is an included peril in renters insurance, no matter if it takes place inside or outside the property, so you will be reimbursed for your computer.

There are two ways in which personal property compensation can occur: payment based on actual cash value or replacement cost.

Actual cash value corresponds to the initial sum you purchased your laptop for minus depreciation over time. Meaning you will not be reimbursed for the full price of your possession.

If you are reimbursed based on replacement cost, you’re paid for the price of a PC with comparable quality and functionality to your stolen one.

The same can be said about stolen phones, scooters, bikes, and other property at risk of being stolen when you are traveling, commuting, running errands, etc.

Also read:

Top 6 Tips to Stay Focused on Your Financial Goals

Property Stored in Vehicle Gets Stolen

Even if renters insurance does not provide coverage for your vehicle directly, it may take care of property compensation if it was taken out of your car. Be aware of your policy limits and the listed perils to know for certain that you are covered for this scenario.

Fire Damage

Fires don’t have to be huge in order to be damaging – a minor kitchen fire that’s quickly put out can leave the surrounding furniture charred and affected appliances unusable. Considerable losses can be caused by something as simple as setting the temperature too high for cooking with oil.

Leaky Pipes

If you have defective plumbing in your home, or your neighbors upstairs left their water running, and it flooded your space, you’re at risk of significant water damage. Tenants’ insurance will reimburse you for your belongings if they are damaged as a consequence of this peril.

Covering Medical Bills

If another person sustains damages or injuries in your home, you are liable for it. Renters insurance helps to protect yourself from potentially pricey medical bills.

What Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Renters’ insurance often does not cover regular wear and tear, as well as damage or losses that happened prior to the purchase of the insurance or that were caused by factors not listed on the policy (excluded perils). Items broken accidentally will not be reimbursed.

Tenants’ insurance does not kick in for certain natural disasters, such as earthquakes.

If you have valuable items in your home (jewelry, collectibles, expensive gadgets), renters insurance will not suffice to protect them, and more coverage is required.


In short, renters insurance can protect you from serious losses and expensive replacements, repairs, and medical bills. It’s a very useful policy that can save you from trouble in common life situations. Get a quote and consider purchasing this policy to be confident in the safety of your belongings.

Fitbit Premium Subscription Promises More Personal Touch

Fitbit Premium subscription promises more personal touch

Fitbit isn’t just something you strap to your wrist to count your steps and log your workouts any more, with the launch of the Fitbit Premium subscription service to help guide users through getting healthier. Launching alongside the new Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit Premium promises personalized coaching and thousands of workouts, which the company says were developed both from its experience in health tracking and by consulting experts.

That roster doesn’t just include personal trainers and professional gym talent, either. Fitbit says it has also consulted with clinical and exercise psychologists, nutritionists, sleep scientists, and others, to make sure it’s getting subscribers into the right state of mind as much as into the right workout.

To begin with there’ll be nine guided health and fitness programs. They’ll run the gamut for personal health, from how to get more sleep and wake up feeling more energized, to increasing activity, and managing nutrition. The full nine programs are as follows:

– Intro to Healthy Habits

– Get More Zzz’s

– Habits for Restful Sleep

– Get Active

– Beginner Running

– Run Training

– Understand Calories

– Kick Your Sugar Habit

– Kick Your Salt Habit

Each will include tips and tricks for the day, coaching with suggested actions, workout plans, relaxation tools, and even recipe suggestions. More programs will be added before the end of the year, together with new adaptive challenges and games which encourage more activity through the day. It’ll be 2023, though, when the really interesting features arrive.

Then, Fitbit plans to launch a personal, one-to-one coaching service. After a limited pilot it expects to run in 2023, it will build on the coaching tools in Fitbit Care with a personalized plan and direct support from the Fitbit health and wellness coaches through the app.

As for sleep, Fitbit Premium will include greater metrics from the data the wearables collect overnight. That will include daily analysis of the Sleep Score, breaking it down into metrics like time asleep, what percentage was spent in deep or REM stages, and how restful it was. There’ll also be 15- to 45-minute audio relaxation tools, and better insights connecting how well you sleep with how active you are.

For broader healthcare, Fitbit Premium will allow a wellness report to be created. That will not only include trend data and graphs of your activity, but insights into that activity, heart rate, sleep, and weight. Fitbit envisages it being a useful data set that could be shared with a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, or other specialist.

Fitbit Premium launches in September in the US, and will be priced at $9.99 per month or $79.99 for a year. Come the fall, it will be available in English in 17 countries, and with additional languages promised for 2023, including Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. One-to-one coaching will cost extra, and will be offered later this year as a limited trial to US users only.

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