Here are two MP3 player/recorders that are pretty good for digital recording of interviews:
Creative MUVo Micro N200- Digital player / recorder / radio - flash 256 MB - WMA, MP#, WMA DRM
MSI MegaStick 1 - Digital player/ Voice recorder/ radio- Flash 128 MB (they have a 1GB version now).
Both of these devices are easy to use and produce good quality digital audio files from their built-in microphones. The MSI MegaStick and some other MP3 players can accept an external microphone. These devices are very portable, can store data files, plug directly into the USB port, and cost around $100 USD. By choosing other brands/capacities, some of these devices can cost less than $50.
For someone with more cash and a desire for higher quality audio, I would look into using an I-POD or another similar device. Sony Mini-Disc recorders also produce very good sound, but if you run out of batteries while it is recording, you risk losing an entire interview. MP3 recorders use less battery power.
From: ATLAS.ti The Knowledge Workbench - User Forum
[mailto:ATLAS-TI@LISTSERV.DFN.DE]On Behalf Of Brudvik Ole CHRISTIAN
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: Digital recording
I have audio recordings of students in classroom. The audio is a bit bad as i cant hear what their are saying sometimes because of nios in the classroom. Anyone know if there is a software i can use clear the audio?
Thanks and regards,
National Institute of Education
From: ATLAS.ti The Knowledge Workbench - User Forum on behalf of Gerben Moerman
Sent: Tue 07/06/2005 7:35 PM
Subject: Re: Digital recording
Dear Alan and Nicolas,
I found your discussion on Steven's question very clear and learned a lot from it. However, the digital recording devices you use are quite expensive.
For my research my 36 interviewers used 24 Philips Voice Tracers 7670. These devices were cheap, easy to use and setup, and reasonable to download to a pc. The audio quality is ok. Of course the interviewers had to make really sure that they did follow simple interview rules as were described in one of the links Nicolas gave.
Unfortunately the software included was not very good (crap is a better word), and the audio files are in some Philips format and have to be recoded into wav.
But it might be a cheaper alternative
I compared it to the Olympus devices, which are cheaper, but the ease of use of the voice tracer was a lot better. -And that is important if you have so many different interviewers, with different technical capabilities.-
Even cheaper are those cheap mp3 players you can buy anywhere nowadays. Many do have recording facilities and mine does reasonably well. I didn't use these for my interviews however, since I felt I could not rely for 100% on them and the interface of those devices is horrible. But if you really know what your doing you can use it. Some students I spoke were using them. But as Alan said of Ecuador, one of the students used it in Sri Lanka and the audio quality was horrible.
For example: http://www.apacer.com/apacer_english/product_html/audio_steno_bp300.asp
From: ATLAS.ti The Knowledge Workbench - User Forum [mailto:ATLAS-TI@LISTSERV.DFN.DE]On Behalf Of Alan Stockdale
Sent: dinsdag 31 mei 2005 22:26
Subject: Re: Digital recording
My document on audio recording that Nicolas pointed you to is a little
dated. Here's a quick update on recorders I'd take a look at:
If you are doing lots of recording and want a serious professional tool (and
have the money) buy something from Marantz, PMD670 or the PMD660. Reliable,
good quality audio, easy to use. Both record to CF cards. XLR mic inputs.
record to PCM and MP3. Audio can be quickly uploaded to PC or MAC via USB
for transcription. These cost from $430 to $700. But you'll also need to buy
a CF card. You can read a review (and discussion) of the PMD660 here:
Another option that offers similar features is the Edirol R-1 but, I
suspect, not as durable.
If you want to use something cheaper, the little Olympus recorders may be
the way to go. The newer models are better than the ones from a couple of
years ago. They have significantly higher sampling rates and save at higher
bitrates so better quality audio. The newer models have the option to record
in WMA. Take a look at these models DM-10, DM-20, DS-2200, DS-2.
However, all this said, I do all my work close to my office and what works
in Boston might not be a good choice for rural areas of Ecuador. Maybe
you'll have all sorts of modcons available to you but if not then there are
other issues to think about.
If you are planning on recording in a remote location for an extended period
of time you need to think about storage/backup and power issues carefully.
Solid state memory is getting much cheaper but it is still expensive enough
that at some point you will need to offload onto a different medium. If you
use a recorder based around a large capacity drive then you avoid that issue
for a longer period of time but you'll still need to do a backup as soon as
possible given that hard discs do fail. Taking either into the field
probably means that you also need to take a laptop or portable CD burner or
some other storage/backup solution.
Power is also an important consideration. Something that runs on
rechargeable NiMH and Alkaline AAs is probably the safeest way to go. Your
chance of finding at least Alkaline AAs is much better than anything else,
no matter where you are. There are also solar rechargers for NiMH AAs.
You may also want to take a look at minidisc. That may still be a reasonable
solution for recording in more remote locations. The discs are cheap and if
one fails your recordings are spread around lots of discs so you won't have
lost the lot. They are also very portable, consume low amounts of power
(some use AA batteries and are capable of running for many hours of a single
AA), have a reasonable price, good audio quality. The downside is uploading
for transcription. The newer Sony MD recorders, called Hi-MD, do let you
upload recordings (both ATRAC and PCM) to PC via USB but you have to use
Sony's SonicStage software and a converter to remove the digital rights
wrapper. I think the process is probably complicated, slow and unreliable.
But maybe that's something you could live with.
The bottomline is that there is isn't a perfect recording tool for all
situations so you have to think carefully about your specific needs and what
will work best for the budget you have available.