Sony has launched an affordable option into its range of portable audio recorders with the introduction of the PCM-M10.

The "digital field recorder" is a palm-sized compact device that claims to "offer the budget conscious musician the perfect tool for composing or recording sessions and live performances".

With the ability to also work as a personal music player, the device is also angled at podcasters, as well as those in the wider fields of journalism and broadcast.

With a "rugged construction" and "cool design", the PCM-M10 will record 96 kHz/24-bit audio, boasts 4GB of internal flash memory and a microSD/Memory Stick Micro slot.

Other features include a built-in speaker, cross-memory recording, digital pitch control, digital limiter, low-cut filter, track mark functions, a 5-second pre-recording buffer and A-B repeat capability.

Complete with software, the device offers USB hook-up for WAV or MP3 format uploads and runs on AA batteries.

Although announced for the European market, as well as in the States, UK pricing and availability is to be confirmed.