There's something very appealing about recording outside. Who wouldn't want to be Alan Lomax, or Steve Marshall (who makes 5.1 Surround recordings of things like horses galloping - recorded on horseback). So, in principle, Edirol's new R-1 portable recording thingy is very sexy. It has 24-bit recording and runs on AA batteries and all. But look at it! Edirol's product design is always patchy, but the recent UA25 had a bit of industrial chic.
The R-1 looks like a low-end early 90s DAT recorder, and will cost $550. For that kind of money, I want it to look like a Nagra SN (right). And I want some kind of magic whereby I can plug in real microphones that need Phantom Power and XLR sockets. Get me that, and we'll all be out in the fields with acoustic guitars before you can say "Michelle Shocked"