Digital micro recorders

All material copyright Inquit Publishing Ltd 2001-2011

We’re often asked about the small digital recorders made by Sony, Olympus and many other manufacturers.

There’s no doubt that they are very attractive - small, silver and sexy -  but, in most cases, they were never designed for high quality acquisition, but for dictation or note-taking. The key features of these functions are intelligibility and long recording times, rather than high quality and so they aren’t really suited for oral history/speech recording.

Also -

  • they may use proprietary file formats exclusive to that manufacturer, which may be difficult to work with and/or convert to generic formats like WAV, MP2 or MP3 which we all know and love for editing, archiving or distribution.
  • it may be difficult to use external microphones, or you may be tied to models from that manufacturer
  • the compression used to achieve long recording times can be very severe
  • they are very small, with even smaller buttons, and can be easily lost or dropped out of pockets and bags. They can be very fiddly to use and have very small screens.

If you really want them, we can get them - call for prices - but we feel they may turn out to be a false economy.

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