Voice recorders are important tools for those who need to review a speech or lecture, or if the conversation or session needs to be transcribed. Digital tape recorders are mostly used by students to record lectures, stenographers who document hearings, and medical practitioners who need to keep a record of the medical procedure they have done. These are transcribed into text for future reference, so the quality of the audio recording should be really clear so the one putting it on paper will capture the essence and will be able to jot down the right words.
Aside from transcribing lessons and medical procedures, telephone recorders have been useful for taking telephone messages while there is no one to answer the phone. Another use of a voice recorder is to record live music, which most music enthusiasts use to listen to their personal recordings or to get a chance to keep a live concert. In some voice recorders, you can also play recorded music files, using it like an mp3 player.
In choosing a voice recorder, here are some tips that may be of help to you:
- Your choice of a voice recorder will depend on where you will use it, and how long your recording time will be. Digital recorders can usually record for at least 50 hours. Compare recorder models before settling for one that suits your needs.
- Determine whether you need a recorder that will give you high quality in terms of sound, or whether a low quality recorder is acceptable. High quality sound usually takes up more memory space, therefore shortening the recording time that the recorder can take. Make sure you take note of the recording time depending on the sound quality.
- In some cases, you might need a separate microphone aside from the built-in microphone that the recorder has. A lapel microphone is ideal especially if you will be recording your own voice in public. This way, you can put your portable digital recorder in your pocket and just clip the lapel microphone on your shirt.
- If you need to use your recorder frequently and you are not able to transcribe everything before the next recording, you will need one that has the capability to transfer files to a computer. Most digital recorders have USB ports so you can transfer the audio file to a computer and free the recorder memory of all files. There are freeware sound recorders available on the Net, which can convert your voice recorder file to mp3 format so it eats up little space on your computer.
- Choose a voice recorder that does not have too many complicated control buttons. It is very useful for a recorder to have a switch for "pause", so you can pause recording in a millisecond, and resume without having to fumble for the right button. A small recorder is also useful when you are always on the go.
- Other considerations in choosing a voice recorder are the kind of batteries needed, if it can be plugged to an electric outlet, and whether its memory is expandable.