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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Non-photo ? - voice recorders
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09/10/2009 10:37:20 AM · #1
I know, not photography related, but item will be used specifically in photography related endeavors.

Digital Voice Recorder - anyone use one? Any recommendations? Anything to specifically look for/watch out for?

Would at least like to have USB connectivity preferably with a Mac, but if I have to Windows can be used as well.

TIA
09/10/2009 10:44:40 AM · #2
What exactly are you trying to do? Many of the pro line of cameras have a built in voice recorder that numbers the audio file the same as the jpeg or raw so that you can put notes with them. Is that your intention? If so Olympus makes a pretty good line of them that I used before jumping on the 1 series bandwagon.

Matt
09/10/2009 10:55:04 AM · #3
Well, you can see the model of my camera - I don't have the audio in cam. I have been asked to help a local group with a series of photo projects this fall and I just felt this would be a lot easier to collect information/notes/location conditions and specifics as well as discussions as opposed to scribbling notes that may or may not be legible when I am done.

Message edited by author 2009-09-10 10:56:31.
09/10/2009 11:26:03 AM · #4
I have a Flip camcorder and a Zoom H2 handy recorder. Either can be had for $150 or under. May be worth checking out.
09/10/2009 11:56:52 AM · #5
Hi,

Have you tried your mobile phone?
Almost all current phones have some sort of voice recorder built in.

Regards

Michael
09/10/2009 12:10:28 PM · #6
skewsme - checked those out and neither is what I am looking for.

jelly - I have a very simple mobile phone that I rarely use, sits in my ca, and does not have the capability.

The one I have just found with various searches that seems to fit my needs is the Olympus WS-210S. if I cannot find it locally I will order online I guess.

Thanks for the tips.
09/10/2009 01:21:02 PM · #7
You got me looking around, too, 'cause I've been meaning to get one.

This one looks pretty cool for only about $63. There's a more expensive model, but this one is all I'll need for my journalism classes.
09/10/2009 01:27:56 PM · #8
Originally posted by CEJ:

Well, you can see the model of my camera - I don't have the audio in cam. I have been asked to help a local group with a series of photo projects this fall and I just felt this would be a lot easier to collect information/notes/location conditions and specifics as well as discussions as opposed to scribbling notes that may or may not be legible when I am done.


Sorry I wasn't clear, the reason I mentioned the 1 series, is you can almost pick up an original 1D as the same price of some of the high end voice recorders with USB outputs. I recently picked up one for $500, so as long as the 4MP file is large enough for what you need photo wise, that might be useful.

The Olympus one you mentioned is similar to the one I used.

Matt
09/10/2009 01:40:08 PM · #9
Originally posted by CEJ:

The one I have just found with various searches that seems to fit my needs is the Olympus WS-210S. if I cannot find it locally I will order online I guess.


I swear by my Olympus DS-30 (which has now been replaced by the DS-40, which has twice the capacity, but only comes in that gaudy chrome body).

I use it for personal note taking as well as many interviews. All my band interviews on Metal Monthly were recorded on it -- including the multi-part Ministry interview. (You'll have to poke around to find them any more -- web site has been rearranged, and even I couldn't find them in a minute or two of searching... I'm sure they are buried in there somewhere).

I went with the DS-30 because of the stereo mic and external mic capability, both of which I felt were important for my uses.

I've sure the 210 would work wonderfully for you. Check out the entire Olympus line and find the features you want/need the most.
09/10/2009 01:43:50 PM · #10
If you're using a Mac, don't even think about the Sony recorders, they record in a proprietary format and the software is PC only.

I have an Olympus WS-400S Digital Voice Recorder that I use for anything I want to record. It's USB port is built-in and it records .wma files, which can easily be converted to whatever you want, using whatever software you choose. On the highest quality setting, it will record something like 18 hours of audio and it has jacks for both headphones and an external mic. I think I spent about $60
09/10/2009 01:49:20 PM · #11
I was looking into those this past weekend (for my mom); at Best Buy they seemed to have mostly models by Olympus and Sony. I recommend researching reviews over at Cnet -- I know there are usability/quality issues with some of these devices, but I can't remember any specifics.

If you have a laptop you could use, you might just look into an external microphone and some simpler audio recording software. We evenutally installed QuickVoice on her older iMac and bought a $35 Logitech USB microphone to go with it. It takes a little while to understand the interface/system, but ultimately it's very easy to actually use, and saves in QuickTime format so you can use the audio files almost anywhere.
09/10/2009 09:13:53 PM · #12
Well I ended up getting the WS 500 M Olympus version. Silver. Just waiting for the battery to charge (will be ready in the morning - only negative - charges via USB) and all will be well. Got it at the local Staples store for a good price on sale and with some Olympus code they applied at time of sale. Came with earphones and I already have a mic.

Above someone commented about the manuals. When I plugged the unit into my Mac and looked at what came on it, the manual was there, all 72 pages of it, in .pdf format - one copy each for like 13 languages. I deleted all but the one I needed.

Message edited by author 2009-09-10 21:19:25.
09/11/2009 12:31:55 AM · #13
i use a sony dvr that cost about $90. it records mp3 and works nicely with dragon's naturally speaking (which is one frickin amazing program!). i got the dvr at an officemax store and naturally speaking at officemax online.
09/11/2009 12:42:09 AM · #14
Originally posted by Skip:

... works nicely with dragon's naturally speaking (which is one frickin amazing program!).

Any idea if that will run on a Windows 2000 machine? I want to feed it QuickTime audio files -- should be as good as (or can be converted to) mp3s (I hope!) ... or a similar program which will run on a Mac?
09/11/2009 08:49:50 AM · #15
"Dragon Naturally Speaking v10.1 is NOW Compatible with Windows W2K, XP and Vista (32-bit and 64-bit) Operating Systems only. (NOTE: NOW - NEWEST Dragon - V10.1 - is for 32 AND 64-bit VISTA Operating Systems)"
09/11/2009 01:16:07 PM · #16
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Skip:

... works nicely with dragon's naturally speaking (which is one frickin amazing program!).

Any idea if that will run on a Windows 2000 machine? I want to feed it QuickTime audio files -- should be as good as (or can be converted to) mp3s (I hope!) ... or a similar program which will run on a Mac?

i believe so, but you have to keep in mind that it has to be trained to do the voice recognition...it doesn't simply convert anything you pass through it. it does take some time (i've spent maybe 4 or 5 hours over the past couple months training mine; sometimes intensely, sometimes as i go along). the more you use it, the smarter it gets.

one thing i do is interview people, then listen to them on playback and then "translate" what i hear in my ear (makes me feel like a UN interpreter...). it is simply incredible, as well as unbelievably time-saving.
09/11/2009 04:07:49 PM · #17
As if anyone needs an excuse to buy an iPhone, but the iPhones are able to record voice memo notes, if you have updated to the latest software (v3.0 and higher).

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