View Full Version : Handheld Digital Recorders

02-03-2010, 02:00 PM
In late January, a fellow volunteer from another state called me about participating in a public teleconference. The group wanted me to record the event, but I didn't have the equipment for it. Voice recording was never my specialty. Since that time, the public teleconference occurred and another volunteer recorded the event successfully. The other volunteer resides hundreds of miles from here. So in the end, we were able to handle that particular teleconference but I'm still concerned about recording future public meetings and/or teleconferences that may occur.

Up to now, my experience was with video-recording these kinds of meetings when they were held locally. The recent teleconference made it clear to me that our local business and volunteer contacts are behind the times when it comes to Digital Voice Recording. I intend to rectify that by carefully purchasing the right equipment for future events.

I was looking at a few of the possibilities at a local OfficeMax. OfficeMax had mostly Olympus models on display, a few Sonys as well. Most of them, like the Olympus VN-6200 PC and Sony ICD-UX71, use built-in (non-removable) solid state recording storage. At least one Olympus, the DM-420, also offered a SD Card (removable solid state) slot. Of course, all were priced at MSRP. Looking these and related models on the web, I wondered:

1: Does one brand offer any advantages over another? Who's in the market other than Sony and Olympus?

2: Are the really fancy pro-level "dictation" models any better, and do the removable card slots make a difference?

3: I noticed that Sony's ICD-UX71 mentioned Mac compatibility on the packaging. Are any of the players in this field really refined / extra-Mac-friendly on the computerization side of things?

4: When it comes to recording hearings and other public meetings in a meeting hall, are there any special recording features to look for? Do they make a difference? (One lady I've talked to from outside my local area says her Olympus DS-50 does offer such settings, to great effect.)

5: What kind of battery life do these devices offer?

Thanks in advance,

--the Mountain Man

02-03-2010, 02:25 PM
there are a number of solutions out there for capturing audio ranging from consumer to professional solutions. they vary in terms of construction, microphone, inputs and sampling rates. you will get more input on your question at an audio forum.

fyi - as far as compatibility, you're writing audio files (wave, aiff, mp3) to some sort of flash card (sd, compact flash, etc). you shouldn't have any issues whether you're on a mac or a windows pc or a linux box.

take a look here (http://forums.oreilly.com/content/Audio-Community/20/Portable-Digital-Recorders/) - lots of good stuff.

02-03-2010, 03:17 PM
Thank you for the link. It seems pretty high-end. Definitely professional. That's obviously the place to learn what "the best of the best" is. The Olympus LS-10 isn't that far from the consumer stuff I was looking at while shopping OfficeMax. Will keep it in mind.