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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars if the user guide would be more detailed..
The VT is a simple to operate camcorder with "above average" sound quality. I noticed that the VT gets many mixed reviews online and I honestly think that a lot of it is because the user guide is so minimal-not to mention how small it is to read. I have downloaded the user guide from the internet which came in PDF format, that allowed me to see it without going blind...
Published on December 26, 2010 by swingordie

versus
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Recording stops randomly - Alesis won't fix/admit problem
First, let me say I like Alesis. They have created some great and innovative products for great prices. I own many.
Now... I bought my VideoTrack in Dec 2010 from another retailer, but what I have to say here is about Alesis, not the retailer.

Overall impressions, the video quality is pretty bad, but I was ok with that. The device design is ok, and the...
Published on November 21, 2011 by Gabriel R. Barteck


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Recording stops randomly - Alesis won't fix/admit problem, November 21, 2011
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
First, let me say I like Alesis. They have created some great and innovative products for great prices. I own many.
Now... I bought my VideoTrack in Dec 2010 from another retailer, but what I have to say here is about Alesis, not the retailer.

Overall impressions, the video quality is pretty bad, but I was ok with that. The device design is ok, and the stereo audio is pretty decent. All those things were fine for the price point... and if the device worked, I probably would not be writing this.

I noticed immediately that the recorder would stop recording randomly. Could be 5 min, could be 30 min. I tried with the supplied 2GB card and also a high quality 16GB card for video that might go longer than 45 min (like a whole band set). There were problems on both memory cards.

I actually lost valuable gig recordings more than once because of this (I know, I know ... crazy that I actually used it as intended...).

I went to Alesis' website and located the firmware update. I am a computer support person, so I am capable... and despite my exact performance of their steps. The device told me "incorrect FW" every time and refused to update. I can only guess that I already have the latest firmware, but there is no (known) way of knowing
since they don't tell you how to find it on the device screens and I couldn't find it myself either.

I sent at least two detailed emails to Alesis support and never even got an acknowledgement. After several months, giving up and frustrated with the VideoTrack.. I decided to call Alesis directly. I spoke to a rep that acted like he never heard of this problem before (yet I see it all over the web on even in these Amazon reviews). After instructing me that they would RMA the device (RETURN SHIP AT MY EXPENSE!) I agreed. I spent over $10 to ship this piece of garbage back. I waited over a month... no communication. I emailed the tech support contact and he replied "shipping soon".

Well the device arrived about another week later. I immediately inspected the "new" device and was already disappointed to see that it had a serial number LOWER than the one I sent back (I kept a copy of my original serial number)... I know this was not proof of anything, but did not instill confidence. Seems like they must have a stockpile of old ones.. not surprising to me given my experience.

Anyway, to wrap this up... I unpacked, charged the unit overnight, setup and set on a tripod to record (pointed it at a movie playing on my computer screen for some non-still recording). Recorder stopped after 5 min. Test 2 seems like it made it until the battery ran out, but not sure because apparently if the battery runs out it does not save any file. Argh. Recharged. Test 3 stopped after abour 40min with battery bars clearly visible.

I tried the whole firmware update process AGAIN...same results as original recorder.. "incorrect FW". Same problems...I am done wasting my time!

I think Alesis has made a lemon and they are just hoping to sell these units to people who will eventually just give up trying to get them to work reliably. I am way past the point of getting a refund from the retailer, and RMA's just cost me MORE money in return shipping. I am done throwing good money after bad.
Thanks a lot Alesis... I will remember this next time I have to to between you and a competitor. I guess I can still use this for 5 minute movies of things that don't have to record reliably (????).

Don't get burned... I did twice on this thing... avoid the VideoTrack at all costs... there are others way more deserving of your money even if you have to spend a bit more it will be worth it.

UPDATE AUGUST 2012:
Well, my unreliable VideoTrack was in the box for months since I had given up on it. I happened across a post where some people had found a firmware update 1.46 that actually worked for them. I located it on one of the Alesis support boards, and was pleasantly surprised that it actually loaded (where previous firmware updates had all failed with "incorrect FW" messages). I verified the FW was indeed updated to 1.46 and also saw the new AUDIO ONLY mode. I then tested several hours of recording both with battery and while connected to USB power. The "intermittent recording stop" seems to be cured. I seem to be able to record about 4 hours on battery power before it shuts down, but I also successfully recorded over 6 hours on USB power without a glitch. I think the battery indicator may be a bit misleading because it seems after 3-4 hours of recording it still shows 2 bars right up until low power shutdown. I thought maybe the recording problem was back... because it still showed 2 battery bars at shutdown and when I powered it back up, But then I realized it quickly goes to "no bars" and shuts down. OK.. I can deal with a misleading battery indicator. Anyway, I thought I would share my experience to maybe get some usable life out of my VideoTrack and maybe you can too with firmware 1.46. I only upped my star rating to TWO stars however, because my overall experience was terrible and Alesis support remains inexcusable... More evidence? The official Alesis support webpage still has the old firmware (1.24?) posted and customers have to fend for themselves to find this fix. C'mon Alesis.. you actually have a fix and you can't even update your support page?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stops Recording, May 15, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
When the recorder stayed on it worked as expected. However, the first time I used it, it stopped recording a 45 minute performance after 2 minutes. (I had it on a mic stand up in the air). I thought maybe I should upgrade firmware. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME! (They make a big deal about following the instructions exactly and when you do it doesn't work).

Around 8 times over three weeks, I tried recording a one hour live performance and it stopped every time during the recording. I had to get someone to stand on a chair and start the recording every time it stopped, which varied from 2 minutes to 22 minutes, sometimes during a loud section with activity.

Don't waste your time!!!!! Way too frustrating!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars if the user guide would be more detailed.., December 26, 2010
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
The VT is a simple to operate camcorder with "above average" sound quality. I noticed that the VT gets many mixed reviews online and I honestly think that a lot of it is because the user guide is so minimal-not to mention how small it is to read. I have downloaded the user guide from the internet which came in PDF format, that allowed me to see it without going blind. Now for the details: You need to connect the headphones after you turn on the VT, and not after you record cause you will not hear the recorded audio in both sides. Many costumers thought that that is because one of the mics is a defect, so the VT records only in mono. I wish Alesis would also tell us that you have to transfer files to iMovie using only the original size, or the program will crash..even Apple could not figure this out, but that should be Alesis job to print on the VT user guide.I cannot complain on VT overall quality, keeping in mind that it is a very simple interface to manage. I also thought that the VT's construction is rather sturdy, but the ultralight weight of this camcorder could raises some questions regarding it's overall street price, which should be lower. All in all I got what I need: easy drag and drop so I can post my playing on Youtube with no rippers or converters, while the sound is better than my older camcorder. Alesis really sacrificed their name and reputation because of this product and that's a shame.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New firmware fixes many of the issues, June 22, 2012
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
If you read the negative reviews, most are nearly a year old. New firmware fixes the random shut off problem and adds an audio only option. My videotrack came with firmware version 1.24. To find out your firmware version, hold plus and power when the unit is off. It will power up to a self test mode, and show the firmware version at the bottom of the screen. I didn't have any issues with the few recordings I made, but I went ahead and upgraded to firmware version 1.46 which adds an audio only mode. You'll need to search the alesis community forum for the latest firmware. You'll find a link to dropbox with the new firmware. The download includes the instructions on how to install it.

I had a zoom Q3, and while the Alesis is much lighter weight and probably less well built, the results are very comparable. Video quality on both the videotrack and Q3 is substandard, which is why I sold my Q3. The audio on both is good, but not as great as a dedicated audio recorder. For the current price of the videotrack, I'm willing to accept the results. For the price of the Zoom Q3, the results just weren't worth it. The videotrack is OK, not great, but it's cheap enough for what it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very limited, December 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
For the $40. 00 I paid it's worth it. My problem is there is no way to edit video. If I record say for an hour and I would like to use 2 minutes, no way to do it. Sound quality is terrible. I am a bass player and it just does not pick up the lower frequencies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A waste of money, August 18, 2012
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
We bought two of them. From the beginning, there were glitches. You never know if you're actually going to get a good take instead of green visual noise. Now the one I have is permanently out of focus on the left half of the lens. At best, the video quality is adequate for documenting something.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bargain on garbage is no bargain, April 11, 2012
By 
soft boy (Bristol, Pa. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
I really don't use the video on this - primarily bought it for voice/guitar demos. With those two ridiculous microphones I thought the audio performance would make up for the naff design. Well the think stinks in every department. Sound is hissy, the controls are totally non-intuitive and frustrating, volume control is a joke and the speaker is so, so small! Maybe it's good for some uses, enough to make it worth the $, but if you buy it, I bet you use it for a week and then never dig it out of the junk-drawer again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great device for the(now) price!, February 18, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
I've only really tested it out for a couple of times and I can already make out a conclusion about this item.

If you're looking for something that can do more high quality video-look else where. This devices' strong points are mostly only audio quality and the included items to make it work.

The video I've taken with it so far look pretty decent. I know a lot of people were probably expecting something along the lines of HD or something but it obviously does not state it.
I haven't had the chance to try it out at a concert but it'll be great for recording myself play drums.
I love the little grip-type thing that it comes with. Will come in handy for when holding it up at a concert or linking it to a tripod.

Also, a lot of people have complained about the screen or front surface being scratched out of the box. If you look closely, there is a thin layer of film guarding it and it is removable!!

Cons:*still have yet to see if it does stop recording*
-Putting it in audio only mode makes the audio not have great quality...unless it was me but I will test it out again.
-I admit, for photo-taking in the dark even WITH the flash, it is horrible!
-Not much documentation on exactly how it works is an Alesis thing but it's rather easy to figure out how it works.

Still this item does not deserve all the hate. I can understand for people who bought it at the starting price, but it is a great device for the lower price they are selling for on here now. I actually only had to pay $4 because I had a $40 gift card.

As for the conclusion, I'd have to say that it does what it's advertised to do, is pretty light and comfortable when carrying around, and even comes with the zip pouch, a 2GB SD card, and a grip that links to a tripod.
As I stated above, I haven't tested it out for long periods of time and I will do so to see if it stops recording on me. Even then, owners of the Zoom HD have experienced the same thing!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Way less expensive than other options, great sound, okay video, August 29, 2011
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
Not sure what everyone else was expecting for this price. I bought this for my very loud rock band because every time we tried to take video the sound would clip and be distorted. I had a Zoom H2 for sound, but also wanted something easy for video. The Zoom Q3HD is 3 times the price of this camera, so despite all the bad reviews I thought I'd give it a shot. If it was awful, I'd return it and go with the more expensive option. I recorded our last live show, and another friend had a Flip Ultra HD set up right next to me. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the video is a little grainy, but the sound is great (which is what this little thing is designed for), and it's exactly what I was looking for... something simple with good sound where we could take some videos and post them on our website/facebook/youtube. While the Flip had much better video quality, the sound on the Alesis was MUCH better. The flip didn't distort, but it wasn't nearly as clear as the Alesis. I didn't have any problems with the device stopping recording, and everything ran smoothly. Plus it's incredibly small and lightweight, looks pretty cool, and comes with a pretty great attachment for a mic stand... no need to get a separate tripod. If you're on the fence after reading all the terrible reviews, are looking for a very simple camcorder with a big focus on sound quality, and don't care if the video isn't HD, AND want to spend a third of what you'd spend for anything else in this field, grab one of these.

UPDATE: The video on this thing is terrible in low light. Tried to take a video in a dimly lit small music venue from about 30 feet back from the stage, could barely see anything. Still sounded good though.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Will ruin your performance videos, November 13, 2011
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder (Electronics)
The Alesis VideoTrack Handheld recorder would be fairly nice if it didn't shut itself down randomly during recordings. I wish I had researched a little before taking a friends advice that it would be a pretty cool recorder. Apparently this is a widespread phenomenon. You come back after recording a rehearsal or performance and realize the nasty little thing turned itself off after a random time that is usually between 2 and 25 minutes! So even if you get a friend or loved one to keep an eye on it, there is still a high probability that it will miss a small bit of the song you are on at the moment. Another thing that isn't so great, Alesis won't respond to my emails leading me to believe that they really don't care about service after the sale. Should you wish to record very short videos, like 2 or 3 minute songs, and don't mind redo's... this gadget is probably ok. Sound is pretty good for what it costs, video is kinda grainy and blurry, it isn't HD. It is easy to upload to youtube, just put in your name and PW and good to go. But again, you have to ask yourself if you want to support companies like Alesis that leave ya twisting on a rope after they nab your wallet.
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Alesis VideoTrack Handheld Recorder
$299.00 $82.53
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