Advantages Quality of recordings, storage
Disadvantages No USB port
Imagine my horror when I started my latest module with the Open University and found out I had to interview 3 strangers for 30 minutes each regarding social policy and personal lives! Being a shy person I was absolutely mortified at the thought, but decided to get on with it and start my preparation early. The first thing I knew I needed to sort was something to record the interviews on. A few people mentioned that I should just use the recording section on my blackberry but I was worried about the reliability of it as my phones obvious main function is a phone! You know what I mean! I started researching various dictaphones and decided I didn't want to spend too much but I wanted to ensure that I purchased one that was going to be reliable. I opted for this Sony model which cost me around £20 on Amazon.When the dictaphone arrived, I was immediately impressed. The model seemed small enough that I could operate it easily with one hand, like I would a mobile phone, but it didn't seem so small that I felt it would break. The LCD screen is large enough to show me all the information I need and has well labelled buttons. I was immediately impressed by the folders section of the dictaphone which allows you to separate your work into different folders. For example, I have a few recordings of my daughter singing twinkle twinkle (which I can't bring myself to delete!) and then the more serious folders of University stuff.
The dictaphone has masses of storage with around 300 hours if the quality of the recording is on the lowest setting, but still a massive 60 hours of storage even on its highest possible setting for recording. The playback of the recordings is excellent and very clear; you can hear all the background noises showing the clarity of the sound. It's worth mentioning that if you do use it for interviews, etc., it needs to be in a quiet setting as it will pick up the slightest noise.One little niggle that i did have with the dictaphone was the playback when I wanted to transribe the interviews. There wasn't any playback options other than play - what I mean is, you couldn't slow the recording down in any way to allow for typing time so I literally had to pause the interview every few seconds to allow myself time to catch up with the interview. This wasn't a major problem as I used to be a legal secretary so I can type fairly quickly, however, if for example, my husband wanted to type up something from the dictaphone it would really add to the time because of the amount of times he would have to pause it.
The main negative about this dictaphone is there isn't a USB port for the transfer or back up onto laptops or storage devices. I would have found this useful especially when it came to transcribing the interviews.The dictaphone takes AA batteries and after a few months of use I still haven't had to change them.
All in all a perfect aide for University amongst other uses.
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