I need a low-end digital voice recorder!
December 9, 2004 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Please help me purchase a reasonably priced, low-end digital voice recorder [m.i.]

I am looking to purchase (before Monday) a low-end, no frills, digital voice recorder, but research is difficult online because the spec descriptions are limited, and I’m unfamiliar with the product.

We are a scrappy non-profit, so we just need the basics. I am allowed to spend between $50-$100 USD. I will need it for work to record 1-2 hour interviews with around 12 authors over the next 2 years. The interviews will then be transferred to my computer, edited, and used as mp3 files to put on our website.

I'm lamely unfamiliar with voice recorder technology, so a bonus would be towards ease of file transfer to my computer. We don't have an IT department either, so I need to be able to troubleshoot myself. Should I look for specifically a flash card or a USB option? Specific bundled software? How exactly do these things work? HALP!
posted by naxosaxur to Shopping (7 answers total)
I've bought two models recently, one for personal use and one for work. For work, I got this Sony ICD-ST25 ($150), and am very pleased with it. For myself, I went low-end and got this Cubig R230, and have not been pleased with it. In WinXP, I haven't been able to get it to connect through USB, and I think it's download software caused me to blue screen repeatedly. (I uninstalled it along with other stuff, so I don't know if this was the culprit, and the problem went away.) In looking around, I didn't see anything in the $50-$100 range that could connect to a PC through USB.

What you might consider, if it's feasible for what you're doing, is seeing if you can get a laptop with a mic input, and record directly to the laptop.
posted by claxton6 at 8:52 AM on December 9, 2004

Oh, I forgot to add, I sent Cubig a request for assistance for transferring through USB two weeks ago, and haven't heard back.

I'm planning on sending it back tomorrow or next week, so I'm also keen for low-end alternatives.
posted by claxton6 at 8:53 AM on December 9, 2004

Gateway DMP-210 4-in-1 128MB Music Player - $50
posted by recursive at 9:19 AM on December 9, 2004

For simplicity's sake, you might just want to get a minicassette recorder (or something) and just record it onto the computer afterwards. Would also be the cheapest solution. Just make sure it has a Line Out jack.
posted by neckro23 at 9:54 AM on December 9, 2004

My advice for DVRs from a past question is here. Some of it won't suit your budget but you might want to give it a read anyway.
posted by dobbs at 10:38 AM on December 9, 2004

I just bought an Olympus VN-240PC on sale at Comp USA for $50.00. It came with all the stuff to xfer the sound files via USB to my PC. Downside - xfer software is PC only. It's easy to use. I'm happy. I think it will hold about two hours worth of audio. The memory is not expandable.
posted by shino-boy at 4:42 PM on December 9, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks all. Regardless, I went to Staples tonight and got a Panosonic IC Recorder RR-US360 for about $75.00. But i just read reviews on amazon, and about half said that the software is crap, and the support is non-existant. I might stop at comp usa on my way into work and get the Olympus VN that you (shino-boy) recommended. We will see, we will see...
posted by naxosaxur at 8:00 PM on December 9, 2004

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