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digital voice recorders - any recommendations?

(4 Posts)
edam Fri 27-May-11 11:18:51

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas which is the best to go for? I'm a journalist but have been relying on shorthand. Have always hated relying on recorders because it takes so long to transcribe BUT technophobe that I am I gather digital voice recorders have really come on.

So, what's the best model? I need to record, jump to the interesting bits quickly, ideally be able to use it for phone interviews as well as face to face, and download it to a Mac and a PC (have Mac at home but am starting a new job with a PC).

Help me oh wise ones!

Meita Fri 27-May-11 15:47:52

Hmm it has been a while, but I use a Zoom H2 and have always been pleased. I have not used this feature but I believe you can set 'bookmarks' while recording to then be able to jump to. I'm not sure about phone interviews but think should be possible too.
What you need to think about is, will you be recording one-to-one interviews in ideal sound conditions (-> cheap models will do) or does it need to accommodate group discussions, lots of background noise (for instance when recording outside or by an open window or in a bar with a piano playing, or in a train, or do you want to use it to record notes while you are driving ...). Do you need to be able to record many hours between downloading to your computer (-> you need a model that either allows low-quality mp3 recording or comes with lots of storage or expandable/exchangeable storage such as SD cards)?

Generally, the Olympus models are quite good.

Oh, if you have an iPod (probably iPhone would work too) you can get an accessory which is supposed to be very good. If you don't have an iPod and don't want one, it is too expensive, but if you already have an iPod, it is a good value option!

Meita Fri 27-May-11 15:49:47

oh and think about if you need to be able to plug in a microphone, and if it needs to run on socket power or if batteries are enough. Batteries can be more limiting in recording time than your storage space. Is annoying to have to replace batteries in the middle of an interview.

Btw I used mine for research (narrative interviews), am not a journalist.

edam Fri 27-May-11 16:08:21

Thanks Meita, that's very helpful.

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