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Bringing Rosie into the 21st Century, aka digital recorders

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rosie, May 10, 2008.

  1. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    It finally happened.

    My ancient mini-recorder, which (gasp!) used actual mini cassette tapes, sported many scratches (ok, it looked like it had gone through a war) and stood loyally by my side to record everything from US Senators to high school kids excited to win their first game of the season, finally gave up the ghost.

    It was a tragic death, despite being from natural causes (old age). A two-hour interview was nowhere to be found, and the recorder decided it just couldn't rewind anymore, despite new batteries.

    That recorder had been a trusted companion for a good part of my journalistic life.

    After the cussing and swearing, and doing my best to reconstruct quotes from my notes, the cold hard realization struck.

    It's time to get a digital recorder.

    I need to get one by Monday afternoon, so I now open the floor to suggestions for reasonably priced recorders. Ease of use counts. What you like about your recorder would also be helpful.

    Thanks all.
  2. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    My advice, Rosie, is to not go too cheap. I made the mistake of buying a $40 RCA recorder a couple years ago, and it sucked. In many cases, you get what you pay for with digital recorders.

    That said, I'm not sure what you're definition of "reasonably priced" is, but my new <a href="http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1321">Olympus W-110 recorder</a> is outstanding. The recording quality is great, it doubles as a flash drive (which allows you to plug it directly into a USB port and drop audio files on your computer) and it records in WMA format (which can easily be converted to mp3 using a free program called "Switch" if you're a Mac user, like me). It was about $80, and you should be able to find it at Best Buy or some such place.

    Take that for what it's worth.
  3. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    I had a Sony cassette recorder that died a few months ago, and I invested in a Sony ICD-8500 digital recorder at Best Buy. Terrific little machine for my needs, cost me about $75 here in Canuckistan.
  4. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    I have six microcassette recorders and three of the regular-sized tape recorders.

    When I'm at a "mart," I buy 3-4 packs of microcassettes.

    I don't plan to switch. Digital may be great but as long as mine hold out I'll use them.
  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

  6. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Olympus DS-2. Bulletproof. Intuitive. Thought I'd hate it when I made the change a couple years ago, but have really grown to appreciate the smaller size and the longer recording times and the convenience.

    When you're shopping for a digital, make sure you're getting Windows/Mac software compatibility with your laptop or desktop. Best thing about digital is that it lets you seamlessly transfer your interview files to your computer.

    The one caveat with any digital is the risk of unintended erasure. Be mindful of your thumbs.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I have six digitals. Four are Sony, two are Olympus. The Olympus are the kind that allow me to download sound, although I didn't know that until one of my staff pointed it out to me and showed me how to do it. We use it to attach sound to press releases and stuff on our Web site.

    My earlier ones were about 50 bones for 2 1/2 hours of recording time. My latest Olympus was 60 bones for 144 hours of time AND the sound download feature.

    Once you've had digital, you'll never go back.
  8. BYH

    BYH Active Member

  9. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, I know. You sound like my wife, but you didn't add another word that she usually uses.

    Two of the smaller ones, one for games and one for practices/other interviews. Bought in my reporter days. Then when I did the book, I bought two more with more capacity. I'm a slow transcriber. Then I got the one Olympus for my next book and the other for my new job.

    I looked down one day and there were six. I let my kids use the smaller one's now to record lectures.
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I thought for sure you were going to explain it away with "well, when I got the new job I invested in recorders for the office and I just count them as mine since I bought them."

    Kudos for your honesty. We can find you a support group. And if you miss a meeting, it'll be recorded for you!
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I don't have that many pairs of shoes.
  12. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Oh, do NOT get him started on shoes.
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