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  • Best Digital Voice Recorder??

    Seeking recommendations for a good digital voice recorder. Ideally, I’d like one that I could use for presentations. I give a good number of speeches and presentations.

    I'd like to record these on a small/discrete digital recorder, and then download to a PC via USB connection in a format that I could later burn onto a CD.

    Does this make sense? Any tips or recommendations would be deeply appreciated. Thanks!

    Kevin

  • #2
    Standard voice recorder put on the presenters table often gives low quality recording because of the acoustic characteristics of the presentation room, the distance from your mouth and the fact that you are moving during the presentation.
    It is beter to have voice recorder in the pocket with separate small microphone attached to your jacket near your mouth.
    TesTeq

    Comment


    • #3
      Best Digital Voice Recorder??

      I've found my Sony ICD-MS1 digital voice recorder to be excellent as a recording device. (As I purchased it three years ago, this particular model has likely been superseded.) Features I've found useful include:
      • internal mic
        external mic jack
        external power jack (adapter not included)
        external headphone jack
        removable flash memory
        voice operated recording
        support for named folders
      Transferring audio files from my voice recorder via my computer onto CD has not been straightforward, however. First, to upload audio files from the dvr to my laptop, I had to buy a peripheral flashcard reader. Second, as the recorder's audio files are in a Sony proprietary format (.msv), I had to buy software to convert them to a common format (such as mp3) recognizable by CD burning software.

      Regards,

      Comment


      • #4
        I have purchased an iRiver portable mp3 player for use in this way, and also for use in mobile podcast recording. It features a built-in microphone, but also offer an adjustable Line-in jack so you can feed it from either an external microphone or with the output from a sound board/mixer.

        The sampling and encoding rates are adjustable over the entire regular scale, and recordings can be made in mono or stereo.

        The recordings are then transferred to your computer via USB (2.0) and are immediately available as mp3 for posting to the web, e-mailing, archiving, or burning to CD.

        Thus far, it has served me well for the above purposes and for recording telephone conversations, etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have had excellent results from the Panasonic model RR-US006. It's tiny (think of a pack of gum), but it comes with a docking unit for your PC that includes a decent speaker and playback controls. The docking unit also recharges the battery. On the recorder itself, there is a tiny speaker and there are ports for the external mike and headphones. There is also an MP3 connection (cable included). The unit also comes with excellent software that will not only allow you to download the recordings, but also edit them. The built-in microphone is quite sensitive, but the external mike is even better. It is built like a lapel mike--small, discreet, and with a clip--but it also has microphone elements that extend out in several directions. You can place it on the table in a meeting and pick up voices from all over the room. The amount of memory is huge for a digital, and its built-in system for organizing sound clips into directories makes it easy to keep your recordings straight using the LCD window. The only downside is the price. At about $170 street, its not cheap, but it's an excellent value. I wish that my other hardware worked as well.

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          • #6
            You may also wish to look into mini disc recorders. Have been using a Sony B100 for two years with excellent results. The unit is small, good quality audio in/out put, unlimited storage - swap out the disc for another. Keep a music disc (approx 4 hours worth), and one voice for memos, thougts etc.

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            • #7
              I've been using a Sharp minidisc to record all the teleseminars I'm on, almost daily.

              Voice quality is good, but it is only mono, since I use a Radioshack phone jack that plugs in between the phone and minidisc.

              The pain: Each hour of recording is then recorded real time onto my Mac via CD Spin Doctor. This records in AIFF format. Once on my Mac, I can burn a disc or pop it into iTunes.

              Is there an easier way?

              Jeff

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JeffB
                I've been using a Sharp minidisc to record all the teleseminars I'm on, almost daily.

                Voice quality is good, but it is only mono, since I use a Radioshack phone jack that plugs in between the phone and minidisc.
                Do you happen to have a part number for this item?


                Originally posted by JeffB
                The pain: Each hour of recording is then recorded real time onto my Mac via CD Spin Doctor. This records in AIFF format. Once on my Mac, I can burn a disc or pop it into iTunes.
                This is why I stopped using MD recorders for this. Some (many?) now come with the ability to copy the raw file directly to the computer without having to record it, and thereby dropping the 1:1 time ratio but, unfortunately, mine do not.

                With the iRiver, when I hit Stop following a recording session, I've got an mp3 ready to be moved to the computer and filed, played with any mp3 player, or burned to CD for archiving or distribution.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Part number for the Radio Shack item?

                  What model is the iRiver? Approximate cost?

                  Jeff

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JeffB
                    What model is the iRiver? Approximate cost?
                    I have the iRiver iFP-890, which is the 256MB version. It currently lists for $129US, so it was on par (cheaper actually) than the digital dictation-type recorder I had previously used. When recording with the same settings as most mp3's (44kHz, 128m) it will record approximately 8 hours of stereo audio. However, for voice alone, it has many much-lower bitrate settings which would extend the recording time greatly.

                    Another advantage, for those so inclined, is the ability to carry audio books or other music as it is not merely a recorder. While I also have an iPod on which I carry most music/books, I do have a copy of David's GTD book on my iriver for those times when I need it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks,

                      I have ipod also.

                      Radio Shack part number is: 43-1237

                      I use a sharp MD-MT90 mini disc player.

                      Jeff

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        iPod + iTalk

                        My wife uses an iPod and Griffin's iTalk ($40 - http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...talk/index.php) to record lectures. She no longer uses her mini disc player and could never get one of those other USB digital recorders to work properly. Her biggest complaint is that it only records audio in 8khz 16 bit mono WAV files, which is pretty low quality but okay for voice recordings. The thing that she likes the most is that it integrates very well with iTunes. All she has do is plug in her iPod and it automatically transfers the files into iTunes over high speed firewire instantaneously. So the trade-off for her was low voice quality audio vs. superfast transfers and easy iTunes integration.

                        It's a pricey combination compared to the other options, but if you're even thinking of getting an iPod, primarily need voice quality recordings, and like iTunes integration/interface, this may work for you as well. Just be sure to get one of the regular iPods (NOT mini or shuffle) as those are the only ones that support the iTalk.

                        Good Luck!

                        -Michael

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Morias;

                          Great idea. Of course I have 1st gen ipod, but could probably pick up a 3rd gen on ebay.

                          I do all my recordings off telephone. Looks like I could plug right in. Does that seem right?

                          With ipod and iTalk, this could streamline my process.

                          However, looks like it creates WAV files. Any other option?

                          Jeff

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Jeff,

                            The iTalk does have an external 1/8" mic plug, so you should be able to plug-in the phone adapter. WAV files are cross-platform, so they'll play natively in iTunes, Windows Media Player, QuickTime, Toast, CD Spin Doctor and other apps both on the Mac and Windows. You should also be able to burn an Audio CD directly from iTunes without having to convert to AIFF first. The mono WAV files the iTalk creates also takes up a lot less space than AIFF or MP3, making them more accessible to being stored on a server or sent via email.

                            Hope this helps,

                            -Michael

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by morias
                              Hi Jeff,

                              The mono WAV files the iTalk creates also takes up a lot less space than AIFF or MP3, making them more accessible to being stored on a server or sent via email.
                              I'd have to disagree with this last statement. Using typical compression setting, most mp3's will be approximately 1/10th the size of the original, uncompressed, wav file.

                              Comment

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