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  #1  
Old 08-28-2006, 06:29 PM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
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Can an iPod be used as a digital voice recorder, for recording interviews?

My knowledge of iPods is nonexistent, but I need a high-quality digital voice recorder, to record generalogy-related interviews for my extended family. I want the ability to upload each interview into my PC, as a .wav (or similar) file.

Long question short: Can I do this with an iPod? If so, will a good unit clearly pick up voices in a room?

(Yes, I know standalone digital voice recorders are available.)
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2006, 06:30 PM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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I know you can use them to record. One of my coworkers uses his to record all of his lectures at school so he can listen to them again as he works. I can't tell you how good the quality is, or if uploading would be a problem.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:33 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is online now
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ipods do not have recording ability as is. You have to get an addon to help.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,12...1/article.html
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303100
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2006, 08:48 PM
commasense commasense is offline
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I recommend you look into using a Mini-disc (MD) recorder for this purpose. MDs will let you do all that you say you want to do, and have several advantages over other digital systems.

The first is that your recordings will be on a permanent (although erasable) physical medium, rather than just stored as files on some device somewhere that could be misplaced or unintentionally erased. Also, you don't have to worry about filling up your recording space and then having to copy to your computer before continuing. Just slip in another disc.

The latest edition of MD recorder, using the HD format, allows you to record more than 24 hours of high-quality stereo digital audio on a disc that costs about $1.50. You can connect the unit to your computer with a USB cable and transfer the recordings to your computer, then burn them as CDs for distribution, if desired. (Note that you must get an HD MD recorder to have this capability. The old standard HD recorders can't do it.) You can also transfer files of any kind to he minidisc, and use it for storage, if you want.

Learn all you need to know about MDs at http://www.minidisco.com. They have a good selection of recorders and discs, but you might find better deals by shopping around a little. For recorders I can recommend the Sony MZ-NH700S, which Minidisco offers for only $150. I think I paid almost $100 more for it a year or two ago. If you get a different model, make sure it has a microphone input jack.

Also, I can't exaggerate the importance of buying a good mike. Your recordings will only be as good as your mike, so don't scrimp here. I recommend the selection available at Sound Professionals, and specifically the SP-SPSM-10. I've been using this mike for years, and it's great. I'm a journalist and use this setup for recording interviews and conference sessions in addition to taking notes.

You can get that mike, the MZ-NH700S, and a box of discs for about $300. I haven't checked the latest prices, but I think that's in the ballpark of a medium-priced iPod plus the recording add-ons.

If you have any questions, feel free ask.
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:52 PM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense
I recommend you look into using a Mini-disc (MD) recorder for this purpose. MDs will let you do all that you say you want to do, and have several advantages over other digital systems.

If you have any questions, feel free ask.



Thanks for the information. Currently, I'm using a Sony tape recorder with mini cassette tapes, which seems antiquated.

Questions:

1) What advantages does digital offer--reliability?
2) If need be, are the mini-discs re-writeable?
3) Do you think the Olympus or Sony digital (non-disc) systems are reliable?
4) I pay a family friend to transcribe these recordings, which is a pain, though I pay her well. Because she can't type as fast as people talk, she has to replay and replay the tape, as she transcribes. Can you think of a better system?
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2006, 10:00 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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I actually used my iPod as a flashlight last week. Darn near saved my life.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2006, 11:53 PM
commasense commasense is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnac the Magnificent!
Thanks for the information. Currently, I'm using a Sony tape recorder with mini cassette tapes, which seems antiquated.
Yes, and relatively poor quality, relatively short recording time, and prone to jamming. I used micro-cassettes for years before going to MD. The difference is like night and day.

Quote:
Questions:

1) What advantages does digital offer--reliability?
2) If need be, are the mini-discs re-writeable?
3) Do you think the Olympus or Sony digital (non-disc) systems are reliable?
4) I pay a family friend to transcribe these recordings, which is a pain, though I pay her well. Because she can't type as fast as people talk, she has to replay and replay the tape, as she transcribes. Can you think of a better system?
1. Reliability, much higher quality, the ability to transfer to your computer at high speed with no loss of quality, and on and on.

2. Yes, absolutely. (But with 24 hours of recording time on each disk, why bother?)

3. Do you mean the solid-state digital recorders? Sorry, I have no experience with them. But I think most have relatively low capacity--a couple of hours--before you have to dump it to your computer. And I would be surprised if their quality matches that of an MD with a good mike.

4. I've found it is much easier to transcribe a recording once it's on the computer. You make the player small, float it over your word processor, and just hit pause and play as needed.
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