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TASCAM has announced the release of version 2.0 operating system for the Pocketstudio 5 ($499.00 MSRP), expanding the capabilities of the popular handheld recorder. Version 2.0 adds a metronome tool, an MP3 play list, SMF and MIDI Pattern key change function, built-in marker names and improved editing features. The new v2.0 capabilities expand upon the recent v1.13 release, which provided Pocketstudio 5 users compatibility with Mac OS X versions 10.1 and above, increased the number of songs a single compact flash card can hold, and added new LCD metering display modes. The new Pocketstudio 5 v2.0 OS is available as a free download from TASCAM's web site at www.tascam.com.

"One of the best advantages of software based products is that users can easily update their equipment without having to take the unit in to an authorized service center," states Jace Nuzback, TASCAM product specialist. "The Pocketstudio 5 was already an excellent recorder with high value, but the new functions really make it the most powerful portable multitrack in its class."

With the version 2.0 OS, Pocketstudio 5 users can use the metronome function as a timing device for performances or as a count-in for MIDI patterns. The MP3 playlist feature allows the Pocketstudio 5 to access and catalog up to 63 MP3 files, with infinite looping capabilities. Its new pattern key change function lets users alter the key of a Standard MIDI File or MIDI pattern to match vocal range, or to simply practice in different keys.

Pocketstudio 5's v2.0 also provides preset marker names, so users can place standard song part names to better organize their tunes. Marker names include Intro, Verse 1/ 2/ 3, Bridge 1/2/3, Chorus 1/2/3 and Ending, and combined with the ability to view songs in bars and beats allow users to easily compose and edit song parts. The v2.0 update also provides improved editing features so that users can edit a pair of tracks (or even all tracks) simultaneously, or copy from one track to another.

This new update also includes the powerful improvements found in the recent v1.13 update, which gave the Pocketstudio 5 compatibility with Mac OS X 10.1 and above, in addition to Mac OS 9 and higher. Compact flash cards that have been formatted using Pocketstudio 5 version 1.13 or higher are recognized as another hard disk when the unit is connected to a computer via USB, allowing users to easily move, copy and delete files between their computer and the recorder. Up to 9 songs can now be stored on a compact flash card. MP3 files with bit rates other than 128kbps are now supported for playback, and users can now select between "long fat" and "short slim" metering on the LCD screen.

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