CNET Reviews posted a great article last week on the best MP3 players for people who like to record audio directly to a device without the aid of a computer. (The article referred to these people as "pirates," rather than "lawful archivers of personally owned content." Argh, mateys!) I second their strong approval of Toshiba's Gigabeat U, and generally think the Gigabeats were sorely underrated.
But what if you've already got an iPod, as sales statistics suggest more than 70 percent of you do? Streaming Networks' iRecord is the answer. Connect any device with an S-video or composite video (or audio-only) output to the iRecord, connect the iRecord's USB output to your iPod or other MP3 player, hit the record button, and you're on.
The original was released two years ago, and the iRecord Pro came out earlier this year, adding support for more devices (including the iPhone and iPod Touch), a timer that lets you set recording times, and the ability to transcode MPEG-2 video files stored on a computer to the device's preferred H.264 video format. Today, the company announced support for the iPhone 3G as well.
It's a bit expensive for an accessory--the Pro costs $259.95--but worth it if you like to grab content from a wide variety of audio and video sources for your iPhone or MP3 player, and don't want to muck around with a computer and recording software in the middle.