Digital Voice Recorder

 Posted by on 19 November 2007 at 7:56 am  Uncategorized
Nov 192007

I’m planning to buy a new digital voice recorder sometime before the spring semester begins. I’ve been recording my classes this semester, then posting them on the course web site. That way, students who miss class for whatever reason can listen to them if they so choose. Otherwise, they might miss something critical for the final exam. However, since I also have an attendance policy, students can’t simply rely on the recordings.

I’m pleased with my experiment in recording classes this semester, so I want to continue it next semester. However, I want to do it with a new digital voice recorder. My old Sony works reasonably well, although I’d like to buy a model with a better capacity to pick up what students say in class — or maybe I’ll get a microphone too. Even more importantly, I’d like a model that can be used with my Mac. The Sony files and software can only be used on a PC, so it’s something of a hassle to prepare the files for posting. I often do need to trim the tail of the file, in case I forget to stop my recorder as soon as class officially ends, as I don’t want my after-class chats with students to be posted for all to hear. So I need Mac-compatible editing software, not just Mac-compatible files.

I’ve heard good things about the Olympus Digital Voice Recorders, but the web site doesn’t permit any side-by-side comparison of features, including whether the files and software are Mac-compatible. When I called their customer service number, I was told by some guy who sounded stoned that I’d have to click through on each recorder, then click on specifications, in order to find out that basic information. As as I said before I hung up in disgust: “Yeah, right.” Seriously, that’s pathetic.

So, can anyone recommend a digital recorder that…

(1) records high quality sound
(2) costs less than $100
(3) permits files to be loaded and edited on a Mac
(4) records files in MP3 format — or permits easy conversion to MP3

Or better yet, does anyone have any recommendations for a web site that will allow me to compare the features of digital voice recorders? Epinions is basically useless, since it doesn’t allow me to show only Mac-compatible recorders.

Any help would be most appreciated.

Update: Thanks for all the suggestions! I settled on a new model from Olympus, the WS-210. It promises to suit all my needs. It records in WMA format, so I’ll have to convert it, but that should be better than my current rigmarole with my Sony DVR.

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