Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
I hear voices
on 2 November 2011
NOTE: I have the pre-2012 2GB version of this device, which is what this review was originally written for but I have noticed that the product description has changed to 'New version 2012', so would be wise to check out more recent reviews.
Needed something cheap and cheerful for recording university lectures. Other recorders might have better sound quality, but they also have many other features which I don't need at all (with price tags to match). What's more, some of the more expensive offerings demand some ridiculous conversion techniques for saving the recording to a PC.
The sound quality is ok-ish at best (describing it as crystal clear is stretching it - NOTE this observation is directed at the manufacturers description, not other reviewers' opinions as it is subjective for everyone). If the speaker is within 5ft and facing the recorder it's fine, but playback volume will need to be raised significantly beyond that point, so positioning is tricky, especially if the speaker is highly 'mobile' or speaking out to the audience one minute and turning round to look at the projection screen the next. Additionally, you MUST place it on a surface where no one else is sitting, because every time an elbow, hand or pen hits the table top (even lightly), it will 'boom' through on playback and make it impossible to hear the speaker (the sensitivity of a recording device is not synonymous with clarity). This is also a problem if you have 'chatty' members of the audience around you. Whilst 36hrs storage is useful, that's of no use to me if I cannot record for more than 5hrs before having to recharge it on a USB port, at which point I would be transferring the recordings anyway, so I would be much happier with a higher recording bit-rate in exchange for less storage.
Obviously you cannot playback recordings from the unit itself, but that's perfectly logical given the functionality and price-point.
Transferring the recordings to PC is very simple. Right-click on a recording in the 'VoiceList' partition of the drive and select 'Save to Computer'. Once you've done that you can rename the file to whatever you like in any folder of your choice. Being .WAV files, they can be played in Windows Media Player instantly. I use this stick between two different computers and I've noticed that it has registered the fact by offering separate 'VoiceLists' for both XP and Windows 7. Clever.
There is just a single slide switch on the side to turn it on/off. It is suitably stiff and would be very difficult to turn it on or off inadvertently, which is great.
Despite any shortcomings, I am very happy with the purchase and would recommend it: no-nonsense product at a reasonable price. I also like the way people don't believe me when I tell them it's a voice recorder!
- Ease of use
- Recordings directly transferable to PC for simple playback and storage
- Dual purpose (recorder and data storage)
- Middling quality/clarity of recordings
- Files cannot be renamed until transferred to PC
(Flawless operation in XP Home 32-bit on WMP11 and Windows7 64-bit on WMP12)