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Radio reporter trades in kit for iPhone 4

Veteran radio reporter Neal Augustein has traded in all of his bulky gear and now carries little more than an iPhone 4 with him whenever he is on the trail of a scoop.

After nearly 14 years of carting around microphones, cables, laptops and other accessories which weighed 'as much as a bowling ball', the Washington reporter now says he relies on his Apple smartphone for pretty much everything he does.

The PBS Mediashift blog has an eye-opening post from Augustein, which details how he now files reports using the iPhone's inbuilt cameras and microphones using cheap software and a few custom-made and off-the-shelf accessories.

He edits his own audio, video and photographs in the field and reckons he has cut the time it takes to file a report from 30 minutes to an average of ten, which is a big deal in radio journalism where minutes matter.

It's only when Augustein is asked to provide video footage that he resorts to using anything other than the iPhone's built-in microphones, because it points away from the subject being filmed.

The journalist reckons the audio quality he gets with the iPhone 2 alone is 92 per cent as good as when he was carting around much bulkier kit, but admits the gadget is susceptible to wind noise.

He also writes web copy using Apple's Bluetooth keyboard, which must look a bit daft sticking out of his pocket.

I'm not sure I'll be leaving my trusty laptop at home any time soon, but this is certainly food for thought.