The very first voice recording took place in 1860 but with the advent of technology what once was primitive and choppy at best has turned into state-of-the-art recordings. The digital recorder, as we know it today, has many more uses than its original intent. Nowadays this device can be useful to everyone but how do you know what to look for? What are the everyday benefits of using a digital recorder? How do digital records benefit the blind or visually impaired?
What to Look for in a Digital Recorder
An article on Rev provides a good rundown on buying a digital recorder in general. Whether you need to record audio for a work meeting, lecture, or interview, a voice recorder is one of the best business tools to use. With the variety of voice recording devices on the market, it might feel like a challenge to choose the right one to fit your needs. Here are 8 points to consider when looking for a voice recorder:
- Audio Quality: Some digital audio devices can include a variable recording setting. This means that with just a simple press of a button, you will be able to record the audio quality you’ll need.
- Convenient Carry: Find one that’s the right size and shape to meet your needs
- Ample Storage (or Memory) Space: The available storage capacity will determine the length of time you are able to record before you need to either transfer files to a computer or delete them.
- Ease of Sharing Files: If you think you’ll need to transfer files make sure your equipment is compatible with each other.
- Editing Capabilities: Make sure it’s capable of editing in the manner you wish.
- Battery Life: Make sure your device has the capacity to stay charged for as long as you may need it at any given time.
- Voice Activation: The recorder will automatically begin recording when it detects sound. Additionally, it will stop after a period of silence.
- Recording Time: Keeping in mind that this can vary depending if you’re using high- or low-quality audio files look for a machine that can record long enough for your needs.
Other items to keep in mind are the interface (how it’s laid out physically and navigation wise) and the quick startup options to keep operation steps to a minimum.
Everyday Benefits of Using a Digital Recorder
There are many everyday uses and benefits to utilizing a digital recorder. They can be as simple as recording your thoughts, taking notes in a lecture, even listening to music. If you scour the internet you can find a whole plethora of uses. Rev and Oral History Association provide several uses that may not spring immediately to mind.
- Speech (or singing) Improvement: Record and playback to listen for areas that need improving.
- Audiobooks for Children: Using your own voice to recite stories brings it to life for them.
- Lectures: Recording lectures frees you up to jot down key points and questions that arise.
- Podcasts: You can also easily get your podcast up and running with a digital voice recorder, downloading the digitized audio files to your computer. (See this article for instructions)
- Recording Oral History: This offers a helpful resource for historical research and to preserve family history. (See this article for best practices)
Of course, you can also listen to audiobooks, talk faster than you can write, and record thoughts while on the go.
How Digital Recorders Benefit the Blind or Visually Impaired
Persons who are blind or visually impaired often cannot access information beyond those things that they can touch or hear. It is imperative that they learn new ways to function in a mostly seeing world. An article from American Foundation for the Blind illustrates that not all persons with vision loss learn the same way, take notes the same way, or even agree on how to record the world around them the same. The fact remains that sound is of utmost importance in their daily lives.
An emerging new science called “soundscape ecology” is ideally suited for persons who are blind or visually impaired in that it takes advantage of what they tend to do best which is listen. It incorporates digital recorders to record and study the world around them through the lens of sound. Students at the Perkins School for the Blind learned about this field with the help of Perdue researchers. The article discussed how the students did a sound scavenger hunt, recording snippets of people talking, laughing and walking with canes; natural sounds like birds chirping or water running; and man-made sounds from cars or appliances. One student even commented that he liked learning how the world’s sounds were created.
Independent living aids, LLC showcases three digital recorders this week with the Voice Recognition Memo Book, Micro-Speak Plus Talking Digital Voice Recorder, and Eltrinex Talking Digital Voice Recorder. To view all other digital recorders that ila has to offer see digital recorders.