Voice recorders

I’m considering buying a voice recorder to help me get organized. I’m often going from job to job and need to take note of materials and time used at each job. When I have a helper handy I usually have him write these things down as we get on the road. As I can’t drive and write very well at the same time I’m thinking a voice recorder would work pretty well. I am just starting my research into them and am wondering if anyone has experience with them and/or knows if the features I want are available.

I want a digital recorder.
at least an hour recording time.
a menu that allows me to assign categories I can record under ie job times, supplies used supplies needed etc.
I want any message I leave for myself to be time stamped.

any other nifty options I should look for.

Just saw one the other day (Olympus, possibly) that splits in half and plugs directly into your computer (firewire-type plug). You can just drag the files onto your desktop and listen instantly. Very handy.

You might want to consider a PocketPC. I have an old HP iPAQ 4150 that I picked up on eBay for $90. I put a 2 GB card in it and have never run out of recording space (although I’ve never tried to determine how much recording time I have). I use a horizontal leather belt-clip holster with a magnetic flap. The thing is with me wherever I go and yet invisible to me when I’m not using it.

Your recordings can be named and categorized. After I sync with my computer, I like that I can go into Outlook and listen to my recordings there too. You can also jot down notes just like paper - and easily include voice recordings on those notes

You get all of this PLUS having a working computer that runs Excel (I have useful templates so I can provide quick estimates - AND you can embed voice recordings on your spreadsheets), Internet Explorer, contact manager for all my phone numbers etc., plus a few games and online books for when I’m waiting in line.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

I own several voice recorders, Olympus and Sony.

You can set them to record or to play at specific times. Figure on spending from $40 to $150. Also, be sure and spend $20 at Wal Mart for a battery charger else you’ll be spending a small fortune having to buy batteries. I was stupid for going as long as I did before I came to my senses on this.

Nearly all of the recorders have Variable Control Voice Actuators. Be warned about doing what I did and recording to see how loud you snore if you want to test the feature that way. I did it a couple of times and was quite astonished. Not because I was snoring, but rather because I heard what sounded like some type of horrible demon/monster making sounds of TOTAL hatred and anger!

Not to seek pity, but I’ve been a person that was thoroughly stomped on during the first twenty years of my life, and thus was/am aware of my anger for a great many people. But the recordings revealed a level of anger and hatred that I had no idea of. It’s hard to describe the sound, but it sure isn’t snoring.

Anyway, you probably are a normal person so it’s not likely that you’ll be caught off guard in this manner the way I was.

You’ll not have a problem finding recorders that’ll record for an hour, as most record for at least several hours being that they often have 3 recording speeds. I’d recommend that you go to Best Buy either on the Internet or the brick building nearest you. They’ll have a nice selection along with good prices, plus you can purchase an extended 2-year warranty for only 8 bucks or so.

Good luck!

My el cheapo $50 mp3 player can record and play back voice. It seems to be a common feature on mp3 players these days.

One thing I’d look for is available drivers. The secretary where I work brought in her daughter’s recorder and asked me to get the recordings off of it. Even though it was not inexpensive, only a year or so old, and a big name brand, there were no drivers available for it, either on the manufacturer’s website or otherwise. (The thing was nothing like a bulk USB device, and wasn’t doing anything w/o drivers).

The company offered to sell a replacement driver CD for something insane like $50, so she had to use a decrepit old PC she’d installed them on ages ago.