digital recorder : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary


digital recorder

aka digital tape recorder aka digital sound recorder aka digital voice recorder aka digital flash recorder (Sony’s term) and digital voice tracer Philip’s term. A battery-powered hand-held unit that lets you record sound, usually voice. It uses solid state flash RAM (Random Access Memory) to store the sound digitally. There is no moving magnetic tape as in an analog recorder. They typically store hundreds of hours of sound. You can hop to a particular snippet, fast forward, fast rewind, record, play and erase. The sound quality is typically pretty bad if you use the built-in microphone and speaker. With an external mike and speakers the device becomes to bulky to carry around in your pocket. I wake up in the night a dozen times or so with ideas for my website. With such a recorder, I can jot them down and go back to sleep without even turning on the light. I have a Panasonic RR-Us430 which I would not recommend. The sound quality is so bad I have to record twice to have much chance to decode what I said later. The s sound disappears entirely, even with earphones. If you hit the wrong button, it goes into some obscure mode that takes about 30 minutes of fiddling about before I can get it working again. Avoid buying extra features you do not need. You will just trip over them. It does not have drivers to let it connect to W7-64. This is a general problem. The unit will stop working as soon as you install a new Microsoft new operating system. Vendors don’t update drivers for older models. High quality models will sometimes work with Dragon Naturally Speaking to automatically transcribe your verbally scribblings into a word processor. Before you buy one for that purpose, make sure it is on the approved Dragon list.

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Shopping for a Digital Recorder

Here are a set of digital recorders, all top rated for use with Dragon Naturally Speaking. They are in order by increasing cost. Amazon does not permit me to display the prices.

electronic product image recommend electronic⇒Sony ICD-UX512BLK Digital Flash Voice Recorderto electronic home
asin B004M8SU2Q
dim 3.81 × 10.48 × 1½ cm
1½ × 4.12 × 0.59 in
2 GB flash RAM. Recommended for musicians. Very good sound quality with the earphones, a little tinny with the built-in speakers. Easy to use. You hit Rec to record. Pause to pause. Stop to stop. But oddly you hit Enter to play. You might find it more cheaply on eBay. This is what I use myself. It is tiny. If I lay it across my palm and close my hand it is hidden. It comes with a CD of Windows and Mac software that lets you merge and export sound from various purposes. It is not smart enough to sync with the computer clock until you configure date/time to auto. It has rechargeable batteries that recharge just by leaving it plugged into the USB port. It comes with a 126 page manual all in English with full step-by-step instructions for anything you might want to do. It can record in PCM or MP3 in various resolutions. It is quite sturdy. The only truly idiotic thing about it is the menu button doubles as a noise cut button. Which function you get seems to be random. You cannot use the microphone as a live mike to your computer. If you use the slider to turn DPC mode on, you can control the speed of playback with the arrow buttons. You can slow it down so you sound as if you were drunk. It quite alarmed me when I accidentally used it and thought I was actually speaking as if I had sustained brain damage. You have to re-adjust the volume each time you plug in the ear buds or switch back to the the speaker. It should internally maintain separate settings. The background lighting turns off almost immediately to save battery power. It is a bit of a nuisance having to keep turning it back on. There should be a button to manually keep in on or turn it off. Another annoyance is there is no obvious way to skip to the next message without deleting the current one. I accidentally found a mode to make it behave, then it jumped out. I could not get it to behave again. The closest I can find is a playback mode that plays the current message over and over continuously. Another problem, it plays messages back in reverse chronological order. I have not figured out how to get them to play in chronological order. This is annoying because if you record an addenmum to a message, it plays the addendum first. You should be able to press an arrow key to move to the next message without deleting the current one.
  • The earbug cords are like ivy vines. They like to wrap themselves around anything they can. Sony should make the wire in them a little stiffer.
  • The case is black, effectively camouflaged.
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