Digital voice recordings last longer than tape. And you can't feed a tape into a PC. You have to pick and choose carefully, however, to be sure you select a digital voice recorder that has all the capabilities your business needs. Is digital dictation all you need or do you need a digital voice recorder with transcription capabilities? Here's a guide to digital voice recorder features to help you make the right choice.
Digital Voice Recorder Recording TimeThere are digital voice recorders that boast of over 500 hours of recording time. General recording time numbers for digital voice recorders, however, always have to be taken with a grain of salt. The higher the quality of the recording, the fewer hours of recording time will be available. Be sure to check how long you the digital voice recorder can record in high quality mode, because this is the quality of recording voice-to-print or voice recognition software will need for transcription.
Digital Voice Recorder Data StorageFor business purposes, it's handy to have a digital voice recorder that can handle more than just voice files. Digital voice recorders with USB mass storage class support can store other types of files, such as documents and images, as well as audio. Another aspect of data storage to look for when you're buying a voice recorder is the ability to organize your files. For file management purposes, be sure that the digital voice recorder will store voice data in a minimum of five separate folders.
Digital Voice Recorder Recording FeaturesLook for a digital voice recorder with a full range of features to make managing your recording tasks easier. Does the digital voice recorder have voice activation, for instance, which stops recording automatically whenever there's a period of silence, or include cue/review features that make it easier for you to find the section of the recording you want to play back? Does the digital voice recorder have an LCD display and what information is displayed?
Digital Voice Recorder ConnectivityPC connectivity is a feature that the most inexpensive digital voice recorders don't have - but something I see as a must-have. Most digital voice recorders that do allow you to transfer voice data to a PC use a USB interface. My preference is for a digital voice recorder that plugs directly into the computer's USB port, but some digital voice recorders use docking stations and USB cables.
Digital Voice Recorders & TranscriptionIf you want to be able to transcribe the voice files you record with your digital voice recorder into text, you will have to have some type of software that will perform transcription. Some digital voice recorders come bundled with voice recognition software or their own proprietary transcription software; in other cases, you will have to purchase it separately. You will also have to purchase accessories for your digital voice recorder such as foot pedals and headphones if you want to use manual transcription.
Digital Voice Recorders & Special Transcription FeaturesIf you're going to share your digital voice recorder with your business associates or employees, look for one that allows individual user IDs. Some transcription software includes management features, such as allowing you to assign different work types to dictation, or automatically sending all your downloaded transcription to a specific e-mail address.