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Digital Voice Recorders Questions, answers, and tips on pocket voice recorders

#1 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 12:48 PM

I've done several reviews of these handy little gadgets, and each article has interesting discussions following it. So I thought I'd compile all the links in one place and centralize the discussion.
Also see Mark Nelson's reviews of higher-end portable recorders and my tutorial "QuickStart: Digital Audio Editing."
David Battino
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#2 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:58 PM

At the recent NAMM show, Olympus reps told me the company has 60% of the voice recorder market. I thought about that the other day when I saw a photo of Barack Obama surrounded by reporters. At least four of the seven visible voice recorders seemed to be Olympii. I was reminded of those camera ads Canon runs showing a horde of photographers at a pro football game, almost all using Canon lenses.

I've certainly had good experiences with Olympus recorders, but I'm curious what made all the political journalists choose them as well. In my case, the stereo mics were a big factor. And indeed, as I strolled through the voice recorder aisle in Target today, the only stereo model was an Olympus.

What are you looking for in a voice recorder?
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#3 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 12:05 PM

QUOTE (David Battino @ Feb 1 2008, 02:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What are you looking for in a voice recorder?


To answer my own question smile.gif , I reread the 80-plus comments on my blog "Your Top Voice Recorder Questions." Your top criteria seemed to be sound quality, easy computer backup, and price. Based on that, I ordered an Olympus WS-311M for review. With "ultra high quality stereo recording" and a Web price under $99, it seemed to hit the sweet spot between price and features. The friendly UPS man just dropped it off.

Please let me know what types of sounds you're especially interested in capturing, and I'll try to seek them out.
David Battino
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#4 User is offline   TopDog 

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 06:02 AM

Hi David,

I have an Olympus as well and I get pretty good results with it.

The downside is that you need the original CD to install the software you need to download the recordings to your computer.

To this day, I don't understand that madness.

Has this changed with newer models?
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#5 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 11:29 AM

QUOTE (TopDog @ Mar 10 2008, 06:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The downside is that you need the original CD to install the software you need to download the recordings to your computer.

Has this changed with newer models?


Thanks for bringing that up, Dog. The WS models support USB Mass Storage class, so they work just like flash drives: Plug 'em in via USB, a drive icon shows up on your computer screen, and then you can drag files back and forth. I believe it's some of the VN models that require special (and Windows-only) software.

I used the WS-311M at a conference this weekend and was amazed how many helpful little improvements Olympus made since my older WS-200S.
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#6 User is offline   longtimealaskan 

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 07:12 PM

David,

You mentioned that you could help on picking a voice recorder. I'm looking for a very basic voice recorder that I can carry with me and use to remind myself of things. I have a habit of remembering things I was supposed to do when I'm in a situation where I can't write it down, like driving on the highway or fishing for trout on a remote lake. It would be great to have a basic recorder that I could take out of my shirt pocket and record my thoughts.

I'm thinking something small that wouldn't need to have computer compatibility. Any thoughts on a couple that I might consider?
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#7 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:54 PM

QUOTE (longtimealaskan @ Apr 17 2008, 08:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm looking for a very basic voice recorder that I can carry with me and use to remind myself of things . . . something small that wouldn't need to have computer compatibility.


Hi Alaskan.

For those note-to-self applications (meaning convenience and ease of use is more important than sound quality), I'd look for a model that time-stamps the recordings, has fairly big buttons, and boots up quickly. Numerous models from Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony should fit the bill, though you may have to drop by an office-supply store to test bootup time.

For more background, be sure to check my article Your Top Voice Recorder Questions.
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#8 User is offline   longtimealaskan 

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 11:44 PM

QUOTE (David Battino @ Apr 20 2008, 06:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Alaskan.

For those note-to-self applications (meaning convenience and ease of use is more important than sound quality), I'd look for a model that time-stamps the recordings, has fairly big buttons, and boots up quickly. Numerous models from Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony should fit the bill, though you may have to drop by an office-supply store to test bootup time.

For more background, be sure to check my article Your Top Voice Recorder Questions.


Thanks David. I was planning to look at the brands Sony and Olympus but will look at Panasonic as well.

Thanks again
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#9 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 12:43 PM

We just published our review of the new Yamaha Pocketrak 2G (man, that's awkward to spell), the smallest stereo WAV recorder yet. To me, it looks an awful lot like an Olympus voice recorder, even down to the file system. What do you think of my conspiracy theory? Before you answer, note the similarities between the Olympus LS-10 and Yamaha Pocketrak CX as well.
David Battino
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#10 User is offline   Rick1981 

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 07:22 PM

Hi i`m looking to buy a decent digital audio recorder for mostly recording ambiances, sound effects and other such things. The sound quality has to be pretty decent and also looking for something fairly cheap!I understand the Zoom H2 is fairly cheap but has not got great sound quality, so what does everyone recommend?
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#11 User is offline   willion 

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  Posted 02 March 2010 - 11:58 PM

QUOTE (Rick1981 @ Nov 3 2009, 07:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
but has not got great sound quality, so what does everyone recommend?


The sound quality is the most important element on the voice recorder. I recommend the Aigo voice recorder. Aigo is the famous brand in china. The quality is the best. What's more, the price is nice.
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#12 User is offline   Jack011 

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:50 AM

What about me,for record audio I use Macvide Audio Recorder.It’s prog can records many different formats of sound.Try.
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#13 User is offline   Sony PCM-D50 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 03:19 PM

Hi
actually I want to buy sony pcm-d50
but the problem is I am from middle east,,, and in our countries are using Input Voltage: 240VAC.
but the sony pcm-d50 has adopter with Input Voltage: 120VAC, and that could burn the equipment.
and unfortunately we dont have this recorder in my country.
so what is the solution ???
thanks
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#14 User is offline   billgetty 

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:46 AM

I am an amateur spoken word dabbler. I plan to record my voice, add pics, post to youtyube. Pretty simple stuff. I have been inactive for several years and decided to update with a ZOOM H2. Easy to use but one problem. When I play back the spoken word on my computer, the file is weak. If I play back in Real Player or Windows Media Player I have to turn up the computer speakers to hear the file.

I use the provided H2 headphones while recording. I was impressed at how the Zoom picked up background noise and it sounds good on playback. However, when I transfered the files to my pc, they lost a lot of volume.

Any suggestions?
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#15 User is offline   billgetty 

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:46 AM

I am an amateur spoken word dabbler. I plan to record my voice, add pics, post to youtyube. Pretty simple stuff. I have been inactive for several years and decided to update with a ZOOM H2. Easy to use but one problem. When I play back the spoken word on my computer, the file is weak. If I play back in Real Player or Windows Media Player I have to turn up the computer speakers to hear the file.

I use the provided H2 headphones while recording. I was impressed at how the Zoom picked up background noise and it sounds good on playback. However, when I transfered the files to my pc, they lost a lot of volume.

Any suggestions?
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#16 User is offline   cangbho 

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:55 PM

Nice share David.. I'm the beginer about this. I will send my message for you.
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