I'd like a device that I could use to record the BBC World-Service off NPR (National Public Radio - a network of stations in the USA that is not exclusively commercials and pop music oriented) FM radio. The BBC is broadcast in the middle of the night here and I don't have the option to listen to it live between 12 and 3 AM.
I'd like to record about three hours each night (mono is fine), convert it to a reasonable quality (128kbps if mono; 192kbps if stereo) MP3 file, and store it as a series of 15 minute files on a flash drive. I'd just stick the flash drive in before going to bed, pop it out in the morning, and listen to (and skip to different sections or files) while traveling to work or at work using an MP3 player like WinAmp. It wouldn't hurt to have a stereo MP3 player built in.
I'd love to have something like this. But since nobody in the commercial electronics industry knows or cares what anyone actually wants to buy, this kind of device isn't available anywhere at any price. And since a device like this doesn't make Steve Jobs look any cooler or get any richer, even if it in itself 'insanely great', Apple is unlikely to make anything like it.
So it looks like I (or we) are just going to have to do it ourselves.
It needs an FM tuner, a real-time clock, an audio to MP3 convertor (and vice versa), a USB interface, and a file system to store the recorded audio onto the flash drive.
A variation of this device could be used by people who are about to sign a lease on an apartment but want to know if there are going to be any nasty surprises that the landlord isn't telling them about. They could insist that they be allowed to record 48 hours of background sound in the bedroom of the rental unit in order to know that the neighbors don't come home at 3AM and, without a thought, turn on the hip-hop at 100 dB. Or there isn't a newspaper distributor next door that comes alive at 3am with 100+ cars pulling in and out every night 365 days a year. The 48 hours of tapes could be run through a sound detection/analysis program (that probably doesn't exist) that would detect things that would drive you crazy when you are trying to get to sleep from the MP3 data.
do you know of a device that does these things already?