Good digital voice recorders?

9 Sep 2008 - 6:46pm
5 years ago
11 replies
892 reads
Jenn Anderson
2008

Hi all:

I'm planning some in-person interviews and am looking for a reliable
digital voice recorder. Any advice on models and why you like it is
greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

Comments

10 Sep 2008 - 2:58pm
Gloria Petron
2007

I've been using an Olympus VN-4100PC. I bought it at Radio Shack. I like it
because I was able to figure it out in less than 10min, I was using it to
record interviews later that same day.
-G

On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 7:46 PM, Jenn Anderson <jennanderson at comcast.net>wrote:

> Hi all:
>
> I'm planning some in-person interviews and am looking for a reliable
> digital voice recorder. Any advice on models and why you like it is greatly
> appreciated!
>
> Thanks.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

10 Sep 2008 - 3:13pm
Paul Trumble
2004

I've got a Sony ICD-P520. I use it to record interviews and it works
great. It was easy to figure out how to record with and the batteries seem
to last a long time.

I've also used some freeware to record on my laptop.

Paul Trumble

On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 7:46 PM, Jenn Anderson <jennanderson at comcast.net>wrote:

> Hi all:
>
> I'm planning some in-person interviews and am looking for a reliable
> digital voice recorder. Any advice on models and why you like it is greatly
> appreciated!
>
> Thanks.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
The truth is more important than the facts - Frank Lloyd Wright

http://www.trumbling.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paultrumble/

10 Sep 2008 - 3:15pm
Mark Schraad
2006

I use an iPod with the Griffin mic attachment. Works great in a
conference room, lecture and when on a call. A little less threatening
than something with tape for some reason. Plus, I then have it in
digital format.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 3:58 PM, Gloria Petron <gpetron at gmail.com> wrote:
> I've been using an Olympus VN-4100PC. I bought it at Radio Shack. I like it
> because I was able to figure it out in less than 10min, I was using it to
> record interviews later that same day.
> -G
>
> On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 7:46 PM, Jenn Anderson <jennanderson at comcast.net>wrote:
>
>> Hi all:
>>
>> I'm planning some in-person interviews and am looking for a reliable
>> digital voice recorder. Any advice on models and why you like it is greatly
>> appreciated!
>>
>> Thanks.
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

10 Sep 2008 - 4:41pm
Anders Ljung
2008

If you have a laptop I would recommend using almost any cheap electret
microphone in combination with a freeware audio recorder like Audacity
(all platforms) or Audio Recorder 3.2 (OSX).

If a laptop is too bulky you could use a Zoom H2 digital recorder. It
can record uncompressed wav files or directly to mp3, and sounds
amazing. It has 4 microphones so you can get 360 degrees coverage.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/H2/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32821

10 Sep 2008 - 4:58pm
Dennis Morrow
2006

I recently purchased the 2GB Pluse Smartpen from Livescribe
(http://www.livescribe.com )

I love it. It's small, holds over 200 hrs of recordings, and will
record what you are writing simultaneously with audio.

Best of all is the replay feature. (Take a look at the site to learn
more)

Sure there are a couple of down sides:
- Currently can not run on a mac (Yet)
- Writing can only be recognized/ recorded with its special paper

If you plan on taking notes while doing your recordings then this is the
product you want.

:D

Dennis Morrow
Director, Information Architecture & Usability
Web Associates
desk. 408.550.2960
cell. 408.621.5084
webassociates.com

10 Sep 2008 - 8:39am
stepheneighmey
2008

Hi Jenn,

I bought an Olympus DS-30 about a year ago and I really like it. It
has a USB connector, records in .wma format but you can download some
free apps to convert it to another file format if you'd like, it has
5 different folders to record into and I like the sound quality.
About a $100 but I'd look it up to be sure. It's also very
compact.

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_archived_product_details.asp?fl=2&id=1276

Hope this helps.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32821

10 Sep 2008 - 3:18pm
Ryan Lum
2006

Got mine at RadioShack $80 Olympus Digital Voice Recorder VN-1000SE

Two fingers wide and fits in shirt pocket. Works great;)

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Paul Trumble
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 1:14 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Good digital voice recorders?

I've got a Sony ICD-P520. I use it to record interviews and it works great. It was easy to figure out how to record with and the batteries seem to last a long time.

I've also used some freeware to record on my laptop.

Paul Trumble

On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 7:46 PM, Jenn Anderson <jennanderson at comcast.net>wrote:

> Hi all:
>
> I'm planning some in-person interviews and am looking for a reliable
> digital voice recorder. Any advice on models and why you like it is
> greatly appreciated!
>
> Thanks.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org Unsubscribe
> ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe List Guidelines
> ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines List Help
> .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
The truth is more important than the facts - Frank Lloyd Wright

http://www.trumbling.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paultrumble/
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

10 Sep 2008 - 3:34pm
Justin Davis
2008

I highly recommend the Zoom H4. It's quite small (will fit in a shirt
pocket), has a very good quality external mic, and also has two XLR inputs
for various mic setups. It uses standard SD cards and records to either
.wav or .mp3. I've been using it for a couple years now, and absolutely
love it. The combination of portability, rich feature set, and audio
quality makes it a killer device.

Good luck!

On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 6:46 PM, Jenn Anderson <jennanderson at comcast.net>wrote:

> Hi all:
>
> I'm planning some in-person interviews and am looking for a reliable
> digital voice recorder. Any advice on models and why you like it is greatly
> appreciated!
>
> Thanks.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

10 Sep 2008 - 9:09pm
Jay Morgan
2006

Hi Jenn,

Apropos post to read, as I spent this afternoon looking at digital voice
recorders. I have to conduct phone and in-person interviews, so I'm looking
for a hardware solution to record from the phone. I want digital to archive
it on a Vista system. So far, I've found Sony and Olympus models, but am
having a hard time finding the critical features or a clear deciding point.

Most recommendations led to Olympus, and this model DS-40
http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Digital-Recorder-ACCESSORY-BUNDLE/dp/B001259XDW/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_2.
I even called Olympus to ask about all their models, since i didn't find
online tools to help pick. The rep made the impression that some of
the VN-xxxx models don't work well with Vista. But, for that DS-40 you have
to upgrade the firmware for Vista integration.

Anyone have a recommendation for phone conversation recording (I won't ask
how you use it), and/or success with Vista?

Thanks.

On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 6:46 PM, Jenn Anderson <jennanderson at comcast.net>wrote:

> Hi all:
>
> I'm planning some in-person interviews and am looking for a reliable
> digital voice recorder. Any advice on models and why you like it is greatly
> appreciated!
>
> Thanks.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Jay A. Morgan

10 Sep 2008 - 9:45pm
Nasir Barday
2006

The Zoom H2 and H4 are acceptable for voice recordings (maybe even a
concert bootleg or two), and they can write to flash cards directly in MP3.
But if you're not a recording geek like me, the H2 mentioned above is
smaller and more affordable. If you're gonna spend in the ballbark of $100
on a recorder, this one's made for field recordings. When you're done, you
pull recordings off the flash card just like you would with a digital
camera-- no OS woes to worry about. The bonus here is that you can swap in
extra flash cards if you run out of space.

If you want to record phone conversations, you can use a free web-based
conferencing system to record conference calls that you set up with people.
After both of you hang up your phones, the recording is saved to a
downloadable file. This is the most no-frills option. Otherwise, to get good
quality, you need to make some physical connections to your phone (a suction
cup or a little box that connects to the phone line, both available at
RadioShack) and worry about cables getting in the way. Some wireless phones
also have functionality to record phone conversations built-in.

One service you might look into is http://www.freeconferencecall.com/. It
has a chintzy "Welcome to Free Conference Call.com" announcement when you
dial in, so avoid this if professionalism is key. There are other free
conferencing services available, though, some with desktop sharing (good for
remote tests). And of course, if you're an innie(?) your office may already
subscribe to WebEx, GlobalCrossing, or some other system with recording
features built right in.

All Salesman-like,
- Nasir

10 Sep 2008 - 9:30pm
Erik Dahl
2008

Jay,

I don't have a recommendation on a handheld digital audio recorder. I
use a variety of different solutions depending on the environment and
recording conditions. I don't have any experience with audio and
Vista, sorry. I will give a general warning though. Do your homework
and check the specs and usability. Alot of audio recorders seem to
have proprietary software (I've had difficulty in the past with alot
of Sony devices) or interfaces (which may make it difficult if you
need to offload audio onto a computer that isn't yours). Secondly,
there are several really great, high end audio recorders out there
that record pristine audio, if you actually get it recorded. I'm
alluding to two things here. Some of these field recorders are
overkill for recording interviews and have many features you will
never use and will just get in your way when you are trying to do
simple straight forward recording in the field. Secondly, some of
these recorders have some fundamental usability flaws that can easily
lead a person to think they are recording audio when nothing is
actually being recorded. (I speak from personal experience using the
Zoom H4)

However, I highly recommend the JK Audio Quicktap <http://www.jkaudio.com/quicktap.htm
> recording phone conversations. It works great for landline phones.
It plugs in between the phone and the headset, and outputs a line-in
signal. I then record the line-in signal either with a digital audio
recorder or straight into my mac, depending on the situation. I
literally used it yesterday, on the fly to record a conference call
that part of my team couldn't be on, and was able to get the whole
thing set up and start recording while I was logging into the
conference call.

hope some of this helps,
Erik

On Sep 10, 2008, at 10:09 PM, Jay Morgan wrote:

> Hi Jenn,
>
> Apropos post to read, as I spent this afternoon looking at digital
> voice
> recorders. I have to conduct phone and in-person interviews, so I'm
> looking
> for a hardware solution to record from the phone. I want digital to
> archive
> it on a Vista system. So far, I've found Sony and Olympus models,
> but am
> having a hard time finding the critical features or a clear deciding
> point.
>
> Most recommendations led to Olympus, and this model DS-40
> http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Digital-Recorder-ACCESSORY-BUNDLE/dp/B001259XDW/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_2
> .
> I even called Olympus to ask about all their models, since i didn't
> find
> online tools to help pick. The rep made the impression that some of
> the VN-xxxx models don't work well with Vista. But, for that DS-40
> you have
> to upgrade the firmware for Vista integration.
>
> Anyone have a recommendation for phone conversation recording (I
> won't ask
> how you use it), and/or success with Vista?
>
>
> Thanks.
>
> On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 6:46 PM, Jenn Anderson <jennanderson at comcast.net
> >wrote:
>
>> Hi all:
>>
>> I'm planning some in-person interviews and am looking for a reliable
>> digital voice recorder. Any advice on models and why you like it is
>> greatly
>> appreciated!
>>
>> Thanks.
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Jay A. Morgan
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

__________
Erik Dahl
Anthropologist & Designer

MAYA Design, Inc.
412.488.2900
www.maya.com

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