Latest in voice recording devices?

Subject: Latest in voice recording devices?
From: "Kevin G. Lim" <Kevin -dot- Lim -at- plumtree -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2005 10:54:12 -0800

Cassettes are limited to just 60 to 90 minutes of recording time, gets stretched (you'll lose data) and scratchy (tape hissing) over time, and are a pain to rewind and fast-forward.

You can look into Minidiscs. My Sony Minidisc (MD) player/recorder (with cheap-o microphone that comes free with some computers systems) seems to produce superior recordings unmatched by a Creative MP3 player. The lectures I recorded form the back of large auditoriums are loud and clear with the MD player/recorder (versus the MP3 player, which could just produce wimpy whispers--even though it was recorded from a smaller classroom). The downside: it is more expensive than flash memory MP3 players and only allows analog, not digital transfer to the computer (however, I don't think you are that finicky with transfer quality, because you are dealing with just voice recording, not live music).

The upsides of minidiscs:

1. Longer recording time on just one disk (160 minutes).

2. Better quality than MP3 and cassette recordings.

3. Compact size but great protection. A MD is teeny, but it has a hard shell that keeps it from getting crushed or
muddied up. No need to baby it like a flash memory card or a cassette.

4. CD-player type access. Fast-forwarding and rewinding is a cinch. You can type titles into your recording, so accessing data is so much faster.

5. Editing Functions. You can delete, edit, and move around tracks easily without a computer. Plus, it gives you the flexibility to create new tracks at any point in the recording. You can partition a single track into as many tracks as you want. You can also group tracks into a folder. Lastly, when recording new stuff, you don't have to find the end of the last recording; the recorder automatically puts the data after the last recording.

6. Sips batteries. Just 1 AA battery for many hours of recording.

7. Reusable. You can record over the same MD.

"The MiniDisc was specifically designed for two things: to allow people to make their own recordings, and then take those recordings with them. The MiniDisc is thus very easy to use, extremely flexible in its recording and playback abilities, and extremely portable. In fact, there is a lot to like about the MiniDisc. It is small and cute. It is both writable and erasable, and provides fast random access and robust shock-resistant portability. A MD recorder uses a data compression algorithm called ATRAC to store 80 minutes of music (many recorders let you optionally record 160 minutes of mono audio). The ATRAC algorithm has been steadily improved, and most listeners cannot hear a difference between a CD and a MD, especially in the portable environments where MD is at its strongest. Whether it is as a home player/recorder, car player, or shirt-pocket player, MD has many applications."


Subject: Latest in voice recording devices?
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 20:54:11 -0500
X-Message-Number: 37
I've got a gig ghostwriting a book and need to interview the "author" at
some length. I haven't owned a tape recorder in decades and haven't kept
up much with the technology.
What's good for this kind of project? Mostly I need to be sure that I'm
picking up intelligible conversation as voices modulate and people move
around over a period of a few hours.
I'm being paid well for this project, so price is not a huge
consideration. Mostly I want trouble-free operation; I don't want to be
shuffling tapes every half-hour; and I want something that is
comfortable and convenient to use. Is recording still done on tape? On
CDs? On memory sticks? See how out of it I am?
Help an old fogey out.


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