Voice Recorders

I’m thinking about picking up a voice recorder, and thought I’d check with the Scrivener community before I made a choice. Anyone have one they like? I’m looking for USB connectivity, and the ability to dump my recordings onto my Mac, and that’s about it. Basic personal use, no podcasting or anything.

Thanks in advance for your help.

A year ago I bought the highly praised Olympus Voice-Trek DS-20. It records excellently, and there is USB support, plus Mac Software (though I do not feel comfortable with it).

I bought it mostly because of the formats it supports, which are said to be best for the human voice, but I never compared to cheaper classes which only support formats like wmf (sorry, I am absolutely not informed, just my experience).

After all, I never felt comfortable with it and think that an extension to my iPod might have done. I do not use it, partly because I am quicker writing something down in my note than talking into that machine and typing later (and listening my own stupid notes with what is supposed to be my voice…)

Still, the machine is excellent in recording meetings at a large table.

Just a few impressions,

I don’t know if this can help for your purposes.

I use the voice recorder on my cell (Sony Ericsson t630) for quick notes (e.g. brilliant ideas that come to me while I’m driving).

Then I just check and delete, but I could pass them to my iBook via bluetooth.

A few years ago I bought the Olympus DS-2000 which was bloody expensive at the time and ahead of the curve. It has USB connectivity and uses a proprietary format (DSS) for compressed voice recordings.

I don’t think much of the software that came with the DS-2000, which seems awkwardly adapted to the Mac, but I’ve never been let down by the recorder itself.

My only regret now is not getting a recorder that records to mp3 format, but that’s only because I have added new demands to the recorder that I hadn’t thought of at the time (mp3 recordings on the web). The audio quality of DSS files is not good enough for this use.

But for interviews intended for use in print media, it’s great. And the new ones are much cheaper.

I believe the one I have is the Olympus WS-100. I got a refurbished one for about $55, and it’s excellent–the body pulls apart to reveal a USB plug. It holds about 4 hours of voice at the highest quality setting and last a while on one AAA. There’s also a version of the same model with double the RAM.

Two issues I’ve had: It records to WMA format, so you need to use a shareware app called EasyWMA (I think it was $10) to convert the files to MP3 or AAC. It works perfectly. Second, sometimes my Mac won’t recognize the recorder if it’s plugged into a USB extender cable or hub rather than directly into the computer.

Highly recommended. I’ve used it for dozens of interviews, sometimes with a lapel mic and sometimes with the built-in, and it just works great.

I can recommend this with a high level of confidence. It does everything you need for writing notes.

olympusvoice.com.au/products … s2300.html


(My earlier post died a nasty Internal Server Error death… let’s see if this one can survive.)

What kind of recording are you wanting to do? I have an older Sony digital recorder that is lovely and works great, but it pretty much stays in a drawer, so it doesn’t get much use. (I also bought a cheapie MP3 player with recording capability, but since I carry my iPod I tend not to take that so it hangs at home unused.)

I end up using what I’ve used for a long time - my Palm PDA. There’s a button on the side of the unit that I just press for a second or two and I begin recording. All the notes are transferred via bluetooth when I sync. I have a 1G SD card in it, so I can have some fairly lengthy notes.

(When I’m either in a hurry or just need to remind myself of something, I will call with my cell and leave a message on my own phone machine. :smiley: )

Obviously, the Sony (or the others recommended here) would be best for recording meetings or interviews, but for quick notes, I like the ease of use of my trusty old Palm.

Basic one-touch recording of thoughts and ideas – something I can use when I don’t have the time or the free hands to jot down a note. (Okay, the truth: I almost never jot down notes. I have a vast collection of Moleskine notebooks in all shapes and sizes, and I’ve used three pages in each.) I’d also like an easy way to transfer my voice notes onto my Mac.

I don’t really do interviews, although since I’ve begun looking into recorders I have dreams of podcasts and radio essays. But that’s just me sliding recklessly (but happily) down the slippery slope of technology. Yeah, pay no attention to my last few sentences – what I NEED is a simple voice recorder with Mac-compatible output.

I’ve enjoyed using the Olympus DS-2, which uses WMA files for the higher quality formats (I use the standard hidef, which gives me four hours of recording time between downloads). The only problem I’ve found with it so far is that it tends to suck down batteries even when not in use (it kills them after a couple of weeks, even if left in Hold mode).


Then I’d recommend something you can reach for without thinking about it too much. Something you’re familiar with - your phone, maybe? as someone mentioned - or something that’s both easy and intuitive. Otherwise, you’ll most likely put off recording that important bit because you don’t want to stop and fiddle with some gadget.

If you’d really actually :wink: use one of the digital recorders (say, keep it in a pocket where it’s handy), that would be ultimately more useful, imo, because you could offload onto your computer and drag into Scrivener to remind you. MP3s work beautifully!

The biggest problem I’ve found in my own use of recording ideas is that I have to actually go back and listen to them. I’ve been known to, uh, forget that part. :blush: I’m sure most people are more diligent than I am, though.

I agree, You don’t need fancy equipment to capture ideas but something that’s always with you.

That’s hard. I set on my calendar one day a week to go through notes, back up data, etc. Things You need to keep under control, somewhat.

It’s friday, but I usually procastinate it until Sunday, afternoon. :unamused: