|Digital Voice Recorders
by Jim Hanks
Once introduced, digital recording created striking improvements for voice
recorders. The technology itself allowed for devices to become much smaller,
while improved noise reduction software enhanced clarity and allowed devices
to work well with speech recognition programs.
Hello Direct offers a number of high-quality digital recorders. Each of the
3 products discussed below can fit in the palm of your hand and can simplify
(or eliminate) note taking by recording downloadable files. Additionally, 2
have removable storage capabilities, and 1 can even be used to play MP3s. Below
is a discussion of each device. After reviewing their individual strengths,
you should be able to decide which product best suits your needs.
DS-330 Digital Recorder with USB Docking Station
At $149.99, the Olympus DS-330 is the least inexpensive and perhaps the easiest
device to use. This product comes with its own USB docking station, enabling
you to slide in your recorder and begin downloading with the push of a single
button. Small yet easy to operate, the DS-330 can record more than 5 hours of
conversation at a time. If you want to transcribe conversations, files can be
played back at 25% slower speedhandy for the not-so-swift typists out
As is the case with all 3 of these products, since the DS-330 uses a USB port
for connectivity, it works with both PCs and Macs. But the DS-330 can also be
used for more than simple recording and downloading. Specifically, the device
can be used as an external microphone for speech recognition programs. Or, if
you need to explain something difficult to express in writing, use the DS-330
to record a verbal message and send it as an attachment to your correspondent.
DM-1 Digital Recorder and MP3 Player
Because it recognizes standard MP3 and .WAV formats, this versatile recorder
can be used for both business and pleasure. All of the files, whether voice
or music, are stored on a removable memory card. This 64 MB card can hold up
to 22 hours of voice recordings or you can upload over an hour's worth of music
from your computer. Roughly the same size as a movie ticket stub, this memory
card files recordings into one of 3 folders, each capable of holding 199 files.
Should you need more storage, simply purchase another card and store different
clients or different genres of music separately.
Also included with the DM-1 is MusicMatch softwareone of the best MP3
editing programs on the market. This software also allows you to convert MP3
files to .WAV files, or vice versa. Stylish, easy to operate, and high capacity,
this recorder has won quite a few awards in the industry. Overall, it's my favorite
of the three.
DS-2000 Digital Recorder
The DS-2000 is marketed to the business set, as its primary advantage over the
DM-1 is file retrieval. In addition to the ability to name the 3 folders (the
DM-1 folders are permanently named A, B, and C), the DS-2000 also allows you
to label each file with an 8-character name. These tags are invaluable for usersparticularly
lawyers and doctorswho need to quickly access files for specific clients
Each of these 3 recorders is easy to use and well designed. Their primary differences
are their end uses. For people looking for a straightforward recorder, I would
recommend the DS-330. It's inexpensive and very easy to use. However, the DM-1
has the most versatility of the bunch with its ability to upload MP3s. It also
has the most stylish design. But if your needs are more business oriented, the
DS-2000 provides the best filing options. With its individual labeling, specific
recordings are much easier to find. Whatever your needs may be, any of these
devices will give you the ease and comfort of downloadable digital voice recording.