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Digital Recorder Woes

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HeinekenMan, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I was still a little groggy this morning when I decided to pull a few old quotes off my new digital voice recorder to use in a story on a coach. I tried to delete an old gamer interview, and I must have tapped the wrong button. Suddenly, I see "erase all" flashing. Then the file number went to zero. I lost one key feature interview. But I can fix that with notes and, perhaps, a quick phone call. What I can't replace are the two hours of audio I recorded for a book I'm writing. It's just gone. I can go at it again, but there's little chance that my material will be the same.

    I just want folks to be aware of this. You can erase everything if you're not careful. I still prefer using the mini-tape recorders.
  2. Bears00

    Bears00 Member

    Same thing happened to me about four months ago. Thankfully, I didn't lose anything substantial besides one half-hour feature interview that I was able to do again a few days later.
  3. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Heinie -

    Oy. That's awful. I send my sympathies and empathies. Is the machine a flash memory, or itty-bitty hard drive? Because the files might still be retrievable if they're on a hard drive.

    I just made the switch to digital, and download my stuff to my laptop as soon as I get in, to prevent this very thing, which is all too easy. Scares me to death. Do you have some file transfer software and a USB rig for your recorder? Might ease your mind next time out.
  4. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    I'm right there with you. There's something comforting about watching that little red light blink every time your interview subject says something, and then being able to hold the tape in your hand afterward.
  5. WSKY

    WSKY Member

    I got an iriver and I download it straight to my laptop. It opens and saves right into Itunes.
    I then can delete, or save from there as needed. Sorry about your loss, though. Maybe you should go this route.
  6. once had an interview with wayne gretzky. used the tape recorder or so I thought. Got back to the office only to find out that the damn thing never picked up because the batteries were dead. Needless to say I always carry spares when I have the recorder now.
  7. use an iPod and a recorder attachment.

    Just started using this and wish I had sooner.

    1) It saves the file on computer
    2) Makes for easy rewinding/fastforwarding
    3) No more poor sound quality if music or something is in the background. Most of those newer iPod recorders are equipped with automatic gain controls and even in a noisy gym with rap music - the interviewee's voice is crystal clear..
  8. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    Hate to state the obvious here, but that's why I go old school with the pen and paper.
  9. I had a job where all reporters were required to tape their interviews. If a quote was in dispute we were subject to having our "tapes pulled" by the editors - and presumed to be making it up if the quote wasn't on the tape. I escaped ever having any of that happen to me because I take good notes or was wise enough to call the subject back. I can't tell you how many freakin' interviews I did with the pause button on, the batteries ran out or the little bastard tapes malfunctioned.

    Now I occasionally use a digital recorder with me but it's sure nice not being required to use it.
  10. donaugust

    donaugust Member

    I never delete from my digital recorder using the buttons, for that very reason. I always plug it into my laptop and delete the files from the recorder after I've downloaded them.
  11. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    does it transcribe voice into text?
  12. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Glad to see someone else be sensable about this.
    Before my promotion to the desk, I'd hold the pad and tape recorder in one hand and a pen in the other. That way incase the recorder ate the tape, the batteries died, or some other calamity happened I'd have the handwritten backup.
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