The Missoula conference kicked off last Wednesday with great performances by Montana Indian singers and drummers. I kicked myself for leaving my professional-quality recorder and microphone at home.
But using what I had on hand -- an iPod Touch with a standard "Voice Memo" application, and the inline mic on my headphones -- I got this suprisingly decent recording of the final Round Dance performed by Mike Kenmille and the Chief Cliff Singers, of the Kootenai Tribe on the Flathead Indian Reservation:
For sure, the audio quality isn't up to public radio standards. That said, good thing I didn't just throw my hands up because the good kit was in a drawer in New York City. This recording captures the moment well enough to reminice about the evening, and to make a record of the performance available here on the web.
It's easy to imagine doing this again if I encounter a story unexpectedly while out and about. I don't carry my Sony PCM-D50 in my bag all the time, but I'm seldom without my iPod Touch.
This turned into a case study of just how capable even low-end digital equipment can be, and what we as journalists can do with it -- as long as we're open to experimentation, and not hung up on achieving perfection instead of getting the story.