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How To Shop For A Digital Voice Recorder?

I never thought of buying a professional digital voice recorder for myself, as now most MP3 players, smart phone, or PDA phone include a voice recorder for general purpose.

My Nokia 5800, for example, is able to record high quality voice file for an hour!

However, now I have to look for one seriously as my best friend Lynn is asking “professional” advice on buying a dedicated voice recorder for her lecture classes.

At first, I told her to look for Samsung brand, as I recall that Samsung promoted digital voice recorder few years ago (while the MP3 player was still a fancy gadget at the same time).

So, what are the features of a digital voice recorder that Lynn should consider or take note of, if she desperately needs to buy one?

First, make sure the digital voice recorder can effectively recording the lecture given in front of lecture hall at a good clarity level. Certainly, you do not want to record “noises” more than the lecture (e.g. paper flipping, chit-chat, etc).

According to Susan Ward, these are the few other points to consider when shopping for a “professional” digital voice recorder:

Digital voice recording time

Recording time decrease as recording quality increase – high quality voice recording requires more storage space to keep the big digital voice file.

Digital voice recorder storage mode

Will it be good if the digital voice recorder can also be used as USB thumb drive? As long as both the OS and digital voice recorder supports USB Mass Storage device class, it can function as a USB storage device.

Voice activation feature

Essentially, the digital voice recorder should automatically stops recording when the silence remains for a certain seconds / minutes.

LCD display

A LCD display to show recorded voice file information, such as date, time, file name, length, quality, size, etc. This can be useful for searching and housekeeping instantly without connecting it to a computer.


Do you want to transcribe the recorded voice files into text? If the digital voice recorder bundled with voice recognition software, you do not have to purchase the software separately or searching for open source program or freeware.

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