Sanyo Electric has built a 1-inch hard-disk drive into a voice recorder using a 5GB capacity drive from Seagate in the HDR-B5GM to give the device a maximum recording time of 693 hours in the lowest quality MP3 recording mode. There are four quality modes and recording time drops to 57 hours when using the highest quality. The device also supports Windows Media Audio and MP3 playback and can double as a music player. In addition to the hard-disk drive, there is an SD card slot and the recorder can copy files from the card to the hard disk and thus free up the card for re-use. Sanyo draws a distinction between music players and voice recorders, which it says have built-in microphones, speakers, and a microphone input socket, and is claiming a world first with the HDR-B5GM. It will go on sale in Japan in early March and will cost around ¥53,000 ($ 507). Sanyo will sell the HDR-B5GM overseas, although no plans have been set.

Sanyo Electric has built a 1-inch hard-disk drive into a voice recorder, the
company announced Friday. The gadget will become the latest in a growing number
of portable electronics products to feature a miniature hard drive. The company
is using a 5GB capacity drive from Seagate in the HDR-B5GM to give the device a
maximum recording time of 693 hours in the lowest quality MP3 recording mode.
There are four quality modes and recording time drops to 57 hours when using the
highest quality, Sanyo said. The device also supports Windows Media Audio and
MP3 playback and can double as a music player. In addition to the hard-disk
drive, there is an SD card slot and the recorder can copy files from the card to
the hard disk and thus free up the card for re-use. Sanyo draws a distinction
between music players and voice recorders, which it says have built-in
microphones, speakers, and a microphone input socket, and is claiming a world
first with the HDR-B5GM. It will go on sale in Japan in early March and will
cost around ¥53,000 ($ 507). Sanyo will sell the HDR-B5GM overseas, although no
plans have been set.