Digital Voice Recorder

Olympus VN-6200 PCI like tax-refunds because they allow me to splurge. No extravagant splurging this year, however. Not while I'm still unemployed. I have been wanting to buy myself a digital voice recorder for some time, though, so yesterday I went shopping.

I originally purchased the Sony ICD-PX720 Digital Voice Recorder with PC Link at the local Best Buy. I thought it was cross-platform compatible since it records messages in MP3 format. Not hardly. When I got home and used it, it recorded messages just fine, but I couldn't transfer the files to my laptop. File transfer, I learned, required Sony's proprietary software, which was included, but was not Macintosh compatible (it wasn't even Windows 7 compatible, in fact, until just recently). This was more than annoying and on discovering it, I immediately set about doing more in-depth research than I had done prior to going to Best Buy.

During my earlier trip to Best Buy, I discovered that they carried only two brands of digital voice recorders (which surprised me): Sony and Olympus. In my research, I discovered that the Olympus model pictured here (VN-6200 PC) was, indeed, Mac-compatible. So, today, I returned to Best Buy and exchanged the Sony for the Olympus.

Once home, I removed it from its packaging, installed the batteries, did a quick read of the instructions, recorded a message, plugged it into my Mac, and, lo and behold, it appeared on my desktop just as if it were an external hard drive. The files are recorded in WMA format, a Windows-format, but Apple's QuickTime can easily read WMA files, and, indeed, I was able to play the recorded file quite easily on my wee iBook.

Because it appears as a removable hard disk on my computer I can also store other files on its disk, as well: photos, music, whatever. However, the headphone jack is monaural, which means that it doesn't do stereo. You'll get audio in only the left ear with stereo headphones/earphones. (Adapter plugs allow audio to be heard in both ears with stereo headphones/earphones and are available at places like Radio Shack. Olympus also offers dual monaural earphones as an accessory.) Obviously, this digital voice recorder isn't meant to double as an MP3 player, and I'm fine with that; I've got an iPod. I do, however, like that I can store other things on its 1GB internal disk.

This is meant to replace my old micro-cassette recorder; I'd used it to record thoughts and story ideas while driving. My phone (made by Nokia), I've learned, can record and store voice recordings, but it will store only 1 hour of audio. It's also very inconvenient for in-car use due to the menus that have to be navigated. With this Olympus digital voice recorder, I simply press the record button and start talking. For me, that's perfect.



Specifications — Frequency Response/Recording Time:
HQ Mode — 200-13,000Hz / 70h 55m
SP Mode — 200-7,000Hz / 139h 35m
LP Mode — 200-3,000Hz / 444h

The frequency response in long-play (LP) mode is more than adequate for voice recordings — phone lines have a bandwidth of 4,000Hz.

File management is another handy feature of this voice recorder: It has five file folders, and up to 200 files can be stored in each.

4 comment(s):

monstro said...
February 28, 2010 2:45 PM

Very nice! :D I knew you wanted to buy one for a long time, I'm glad you finally managed to. It seems to have lots of useful things to explore. :D

g d townshende said...
March 01, 2010 3:51 AM

It's very cool, Sara. I explored all of its options as soon as I got it home, pouring through the documentation thoroughly and trying everything out — with the exception of transferring non-audio files (photos, music, whatever) to its internal storage and then transferring them back. I'll try that next.

gypsyharper said...
May 05, 2010 11:58 AM

That's the same one I have. I use it for recording my voice lessons and class lectures (I take abysmal notes). I love it!

g d townshende said...
May 09, 2010 2:59 AM

I think it's fabulous. :D

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