if you’re looking at Flips and iPods/iPhones for audio and video Simon, then I’d recommend checking our the Blue Mikey in its various forms. A significant audio upgrade for all three machines, and the (free) Bluefire recording app which I’ve been using recently (although only with the built-in iPhone mic, rather than a Mikey sadly..) is very neat too:
I love being able to browse and download recordings the phone with a web browser at home (on Mac) or work (on Windows) while the phone acts as local wireless server – schmoove!
it’s really only a small step from there to fully fledged web-based file exchange anyway… get your point about folder-based heirarchical file structures, but as you say, iTunes is just bloated now – the centre cannot hold!! Time for a rethink…
re VOIP, I know people already using skype on iPods with headphones and inline mics, so it is definitely coming IMO, especially with FaceTime on the iPod now. We just need more widespread wi-fi like in S Korea – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiBro
drop me a line at the JISC Digital Media Helpdesk – info at jiscdigitalmedia dot ac dot uk – if you’d like any advice on a recorder for your particular set-up