Digital voice recorder that works just like a tape recorder?
November 3, 2008 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Is there a digital voice recorder that works like a microcassette recorder--specifically, allowing you to stop recording where you are, rewind it back a few seconds to listen, and record over that section if you need to correct it...?

I work in medical transcription and would like to start going from tape dictation to digital. When checking out the digital voice recorders online and reading through user guides and product descriptions, I cannot verify if any of the recorders allow on-the-fly editing specific to report dictation.

With a microcassette recorder, you can stop your dictation (or just after putting down the recorder for a while) and then rewind it a little bit to check the last thing you dictated, and/or you can rewind it and hit record again to re-dictate over an error. Some of the digital recorders have FF and REW buttons, but they are documented as working for menu navigation or playback-only functions. And I don't find any documentation that any of the recorders allow recording over a previously recorded section.

Is this something that digital voice recorders cannot do? It is only possible on high-end pro recorders (though I cannot clarify so in documentation for those either)?

Bonus for something easy to use for technically challenged (though otherwise genius) doctors.
posted by troybob to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Every one I have had doesn't do that but does allow you to split a recording at the "head" point (wherever you stopped listening). Then, you can hit delete to delete the section to the "right" of the head point. So, essentially, it's what you're asking but has an extra step.
posted by Manhasset at 11:45 AM on November 3, 2008


Oh and yes, the ones I've had (2 sonys and a... shit, I forget) will allow you to scan forward and back within the messages.
posted by Manhasset at 11:46 AM on November 3, 2008


I'm betting none of them do this.

Minidisc recorders have a new track button that allows you to split a track into 2. Then you could delete the second track and (I think) start recording there, without erasing anything. But I'm not sure about that.
posted by sully75 at 1:00 PM on November 3, 2008


In my experience only really expensive ($200 and up) recorders have this feature. They're the ones used by journalists, attorneys, and other *professionals*. All of the shit you find at staples / best-buy / etc. will suffer from this missing feature. My wife is an attorney and she's gone back to using a microcasette recorder for exactly this reason.

Here's one that does it: Olympus DS-4000. It will even *insert* recordings into the middle of an existing recording. Yeah, that's not $55, it's $550 MSRP. But they go for around $400. What? True.
posted by zpousman at 1:03 PM on November 3, 2008


Yeah, I'm not surprised. Transcription equipment costs, man! I feel like I might as well give Olympus 10% of everything, like an agent. Looks like I'm with microcassettes for a few years still.

Thanks for the info, all!
posted by troybob at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2008


I have the Olympus DS-4000 and the newer 5000 models in my firm. They're awesome. Especially since they are one of the few digital recorders on the market that also come with Mac OS X software out of the box. It will do everything you're asking for and more.
posted by webhund at 3:10 PM on November 3, 2008


Oops. Forgot a link for where to buy them. I have no affiliation with these guys, other than being a satisfied customer of about 20 of the Olympus units. Their website needs a little work, but that's not what they're selling now, is it. :)
posted by webhund at 3:12 PM on November 3, 2008


Thanks, webhund. Actually, that page has product links to the Olympus DS2300 and DS2400, which can be got for a bit cheaper, but it looks like both have what I have now come to realize is termed 'cue/review' and 'overwrite' capabilities.
posted by troybob at 5:34 PM on November 3, 2008


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