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seeking thoughts for voice recorder - maybe minidisc, mayb..

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July 20, 2005 11:04:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Hello all
I'm want to buy something to do voice recording and am wondering
about my options. Many, I know! It's been a while since I was in the
market and I'm looking for suggestions over & above what I know
already.

So that you can get an idea of where I'm coming from, I've been looking
at the Sony MZ-B10 minidisc voice recorder; designed for journalists, I
understand. Here is my impression of its features for my purposes:

pros: (in rough descending order of importance)
- oriented around recording; cue & review buttons
- built in speaker & mic
- decent recording quality - I don't need audiophile but I want better
than an iPod!
- ability to use this for other purposes than just speech
- removable media
- can use external (stealth) mike
- decent build quality I assume from Sony

cons:
- slow (non-digital) transfer to PC
- minidisc an ageing medium?

Because of the cons, I've been looking at alternatives based on flash
technologies. My ideal machine would be something like the Sony but
using removeable flash memory cards - SD/MMC or similar - and a USB
interface. I haven't seen anything exactly like that but I'm willing to
forgo a few of the 'pros' on the list. There are many flash-based MP3
players on the market, many with recording functions, but I haven't
seen many in which this isn't an after-thought.

A 'true' dictation machine like the Olympus's I've seen is OTT for me
both in cost and lack of versatility.

I did also wonder about using a PDA with an external mike and SD card
etc. I don't want to spend a huge amount on this (I can buy an MZ-B10
for GBP 100 ~= $170) so I guess it would have to be a second-hand PDA.
I am pretty techy and can deal with the SW etc. OK. I don't want a
Windows PC machine - ideally something that I could run Linux on.

Your thoughts would be very welcome - thanks.

Jon N
July 21, 2005 4:25:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Hi Tim

>
> Probably over the top for what you want, but have you considered the Tascam
> MRS-4 and similar units aimed at musicians?
>
> http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/prodlist.php?category=...
>

hmm, interesting. Actually that is a thought, since music
recording/mixing would be a nice addition. I knew of these things but
thought they were still a lot more expensive than this. BTW the MRS-4
seems to be made by zoom, not Tascam...

Thanks for the suggestion
Jon N
Anonymous
July 21, 2005 5:00:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

"jkn" <jkn_gg@nicorp.f9.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1121868255.099471.282180@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Hello all
> I'm want to buy something to do voice recording and am wondering
> about my options. Many, I know! It's been a while since I was in the
> market and I'm looking for suggestions over & above what I know
> already.

Probably over the top for what you want, but have you considered the Tascam
MRS-4 and similar units aimed at musicians?

http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/prodlist.php?category=...

Tim
Related resources
July 21, 2005 8:59:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Hi John
Thanks for your reply

> You might consider Hi-MD,
>
> Disadvantages not listed in your list: NO built in mic
> Advantages not listed in your list, Faster xfr to PC, more recording
> time (35 hours per disk)
>

The lack of built-in mike I can live with. Can you suggest a model that
is oriented towards voice recording, something like a more modern
version of the MZ-B10?

> RE: Aging medium comment... Cassette tapes are much older and still
> common in the interview industry. MD is much newer, and better

Yes, I appreciate this - it's not top of my disadvantages...

Thanks
Jon N
July 21, 2005 9:03:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Hi Tim
having had a closer look, the MRS-4 suffers from being based around
SmartMedia cards which have a capacity limited to 128Mb, don't they?
They're also not too suitable for, say, running from a rucsack.

Still, I think I would like an updated version of one of these toys as
well ;-/

Thanks
Jon
July 21, 2005 9:07:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Hi Michael
That does indeed look interesting, if a bit pricey for me at the
moment. This is an area in which 'now' is never the right time to buy!

I have seen a Korean gizmo made by 'Dyne Telecom' called a 'New Clue'
which is similar but much cheaper. It goes up to 512Mb but doesn't
seem to use removable media, which is a shame but something I could
live with given that it has USB (1.1 I think, shame). Anyone got any
experiences of these? (I've only seen them on eBay so far)

Regards
Jon N
Anonymous
July 21, 2005 3:36:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

You might consider Hi-MD,

Disadvantages not listed in your list: NO built in mic
Advantages not listed in your list, Faster xfr to PC, more recording
time (35 hours per disk)

RE: Aging medium comment... Cassette tapes are much older and still
common in the interview industry. MD is much newer, and better

jkn wrote:
> Hello all
> I'm want to buy something to do voice recording and am wondering
> about my options. Many, I know! It's been a while since I was in the
> market and I'm looking for suggestions over & above what I know
> already.
>
> So that you can get an idea of where I'm coming from, I've been looking
> at the Sony MZ-B10 minidisc voice recorder; designed for journalists, I
> understand. Here is my impression of its features for my purposes:
>
> pros: (in rough descending order of importance)
> - oriented around recording; cue & review buttons
> - built in speaker & mic
> - decent recording quality - I don't need audiophile but I want better
> than an iPod!
> - ability to use this for other purposes than just speech
> - removable media
> - can use external (stealth) mike
> - decent build quality I assume from Sony
>
> cons:
> - slow (non-digital) transfer to PC
> - minidisc an ageing medium?
>
> Because of the cons, I've been looking at alternatives based on flash
> technologies. My ideal machine would be something like the Sony but
> using removeable flash memory cards - SD/MMC or similar - and a USB
> interface. I haven't seen anything exactly like that but I'm willing to
> forgo a few of the 'pros' on the list. There are many flash-based MP3
> players on the market, many with recording functions, but I haven't
> seen many in which this isn't an after-thought.
>
> A 'true' dictation machine like the Olympus's I've seen is OTT for me
> both in cost and lack of versatility.
>
> I did also wonder about using a PDA with an external mike and SD card
> etc. I don't want to spend a huge amount on this (I can buy an MZ-B10
> for GBP 100 ~= $170) so I guess it would have to be a second-hand PDA.
> I am pretty techy and can deal with the SW etc. OK. I don't want a
> Windows PC machine - ideally something that I could run Linux on.
>
> Your thoughts would be very welcome - thanks.
>
> Jon N
>

--
John F Davis, in Delightful Detroit. WA8YXM(at)arrl(dot)net
"Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business"
Diabetic? http://community.compuserve.com/diabetes
Anonymous
July 21, 2005 5:30:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

An alternative, which is at least interesting would be the new Sony
Memory Stick Duo recorder ICD-MX20. It has a very sensitive built-in
stereo microphone.

<*** Michael Lang ***>

<jkn_gg@nicorp.f9.co.uk> wrote:

>Hello all
> I'm want to buy something to do voice recording and am wondering
>about my options. Many, I know! It's been a while since I was in the
>market and I'm looking for suggestions over & above what I know
>already.
>
>So that you can get an idea of where I'm coming from, I've been looking
>at the Sony MZ-B10 minidisc voice recorder; designed for journalists, I
>understand. Here is my impression of its features for my purposes:
>
>pros: (in rough descending order of importance)
>- oriented around recording; cue & review buttons
>- built in speaker & mic
>- decent recording quality - I don't need audiophile but I want better
>than an iPod!
>- ability to use this for other purposes than just speech
>- removable media
>- can use external (stealth) mike
>- decent build quality I assume from Sony
>
>cons:
>- slow (non-digital) transfer to PC
>- minidisc an ageing medium?
>
>Because of the cons, I've been looking at alternatives based on flash
>technologies. My ideal machine would be something like the Sony but
>using removeable flash memory cards - SD/MMC or similar - and a USB
>interface. I haven't seen anything exactly like that but I'm willing to
>forgo a few of the 'pros' on the list. There are many flash-based MP3
>players on the market, many with recording functions, but I haven't
>seen many in which this isn't an after-thought.
>
>A 'true' dictation machine like the Olympus's I've seen is OTT for me
>both in cost and lack of versatility.
>
>I did also wonder about using a PDA with an external mike and SD card
>etc. I don't want to spend a huge amount on this (I can buy an MZ-B10
>for GBP 100 ~= $170) so I guess it would have to be a second-hand PDA.
>I am pretty techy and can deal with the SW etc. OK. I don't want a
>Windows PC machine - ideally something that I could run Linux on.
>
>Your thoughts would be very welcome - thanks.
>
> Jon N
>
July 21, 2005 6:30:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Hi there
Yes, I've just seen the Monolith II myself, thanks. Looks great,
but it's not clear that it's terribly oriented towards _recording_.

OTOH, have you seen *this* - the forthcoming M-audio 'Flash tracker':

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000510049429/

Compact Flash, USB 2.0, phantom mic power, 24/96 recording ...

I might just start saving now...

Cheers
J^n
July 21, 2005 9:48:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Hi, I stumbled across your post and thought you might like to know
about the Monolith II MP3 Player.
http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk/shop/product_info.p...
http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk/shop/product_info.p...
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5789...
http://www.mstation.com.au/ms/products/review.asp?ID=75

I don't know if this is what you're looking for (and I have nothing to
do with their manufacture or sale), but it might be worth
investigating.
This gadget can play mp3s, record radio shows like a VCR (that's a
cool feature), DO VOICE RECORDING, do line-in recording, doubles as a
USB drive, and more. Also, this player has a Wolfson 24bit sigma delta
DAC, you'll have to ask an expert if that's a good chip or not.

This multi purpose player is available in the UK, but if this MP3
recorder/player is ever available in the US, I want to get one!

According to the advancedmp3players web site
(I didn't verify these reviews)
What Hifi magazine rated the Monolith II 5/5 and awarded it their
"Best Buy" award.
Stuff Magazine rated the Monolith II 5/5 (Nov 2004)
Custom PC rated the Monolith II 6/6 and said,"This stunning portable
is as powerful as its mighty name implies".
If I were doing a lot of voice recording, , you might consider this
device, but maybe a removable media device (MiniDisc or removable
flash) might better suit your needs.

On 20 Jul 2005 07:04:15 -0700, "jkn" <jkn_gg@nicorp.f9.co.uk> wrote:

>Hello all
> I'm want to buy something to do voice recording and am wondering
>about my options. Many, I know! It's been a while since I was in the
>market and I'm looking for suggestions over & above what I know
>already.
>
>So that you can get an idea of where I'm coming from, I've been looking
>at the Sony MZ-B10 minidisc voice recorder; designed for journalists, I
>understand. Here is my impression of its features for my purposes:
>
>pros: (in rough descending order of importance)
>- oriented around recording; cue & review buttons
>- built in speaker & mic
>- decent recording quality - I don't need audiophile but I want better
>than an iPod!
>- ability to use this for other purposes than just speech
>- removable media
>- can use external (stealth) mike
>- decent build quality I assume from Sony
>
>cons:
>- slow (non-digital) transfer to PC
>- minidisc an ageing medium?
>
>Because of the cons, I've been looking at alternatives based on flash
>technologies. My ideal machine would be something like the Sony but
>using removeable flash memory cards - SD/MMC or similar - and a USB
>interface. I haven't seen anything exactly like that but I'm willing to
>forgo a few of the 'pros' on the list. There are many flash-based MP3
>players on the market, many with recording functions, but I haven't
>seen many in which this isn't an after-thought.
>
>A 'true' dictation machine like the Olympus's I've seen is OTT for me
>both in cost and lack of versatility.
>
>I did also wonder about using a PDA with an external mike and SD card
>etc. I don't want to spend a huge amount on this (I can buy an MZ-B10
>for GBP 100 ~= $170) so I guess it would have to be a second-hand PDA.
>I am pretty techy and can deal with the SW etc. OK. I don't want a
>Windows PC machine - ideally something that I could run Linux on.
>
>Your thoughts would be very welcome - thanks.
>
> Jon N
July 22, 2005 2:02:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

I would think think flash type solid state memeory would be a major
advantage for you compared to mechanical rotating disc MD memory in
terms of acusical noise, random access, battery usage, and shock
vibration immunity.

Remeber, mechanical memory MD __playback__ devices can be made
vibration immune by using a solid state buffer memery but you can't
use that trick during __recording__.

Mark
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 3:11:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Mark wrote:

> Remeber, mechanical memory MD __playback__ devices can be made
> vibration immune by using a solid state buffer memery but you can't
> use that trick during __recording__.

Why not?


Bob
--

"Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
simpler."

A. Einstein
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 7:59:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

<jkn_gg@nicorp.f9.co.uk> wrote:

>OTOH, have you seen *this* - the forthcoming M-audio 'Flash tracker':

Have you seen this: The forthcoming Nagra ARES-M: Has a built-in
stereo microphone and a built-in speaker. Records to its one gigabye
of internal memory, can record up to ten hours with two AA batteries.
Compactflash recorders can only record around two hours with two AAs.
One can set markers with the Nagra. I read, that it will cost less than
1000 Euros, when it will come out in September. USB is only 1.1. Like
other people, I'm a bit disapointed with the Marantz PMD660. It makes
a wining noise, when one records with the built-in microphone (Google
for PMD660 review).

<*** Michael Lang ***>
Anonymous
July 23, 2005 6:16:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

At the highest compressions (35 or so hours per disk) all of them are
oriented toward voice, at lower compression (IE PCM) music is, well PCM
is CD or better

jkn wrote:
> Hi John
> Thanks for your reply
>
>
>>You might consider Hi-MD,
>>
>>Disadvantages not listed in your list: NO built in mic
>>Advantages not listed in your list, Faster xfr to PC, more recording
>>time (35 hours per disk)
>>
>
>
> The lack of built-in mike I can live with. Can you suggest a model that
> is oriented towards voice recording, something like a more modern
> version of the MZ-B10?
>
>
>>RE: Aging medium comment... Cassette tapes are much older and still
>>common in the interview industry. MD is much newer, and better
>
>
> Yes, I appreciate this - it's not top of my disadvantages...
>
> Thanks
> Jon N
>

--
John F Davis, in Delightful Detroit. WA8YXM(at)arrl(dot)net
"Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business"
Diabetic? http://community.compuserve.com/diabetes
Anonymous
July 23, 2005 6:27:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Actually. Sony says to protect from vibration ONLY during TOC writes

Bob Cain wrote:
>
>
> Mark wrote:
>
>> Remeber, mechanical memory MD __playback__ devices can be made
>> vibration immune by using a solid state buffer memery but you can't
>> use that trick during __recording__.
>
>
> Why not?
>
>
> Bob

--
John F Davis, in Delightful Detroit. WA8YXM(at)arrl(dot)net
"Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business"
Diabetic? http://community.compuserve.com/diabetes
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 3:11:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

"Mark" <makolber@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1122051720.067827.24510@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
>I would think think flash type solid state memeory would be a major
> advantage for you compared to mechanical rotating disc MD memory in
> terms of acusical noise, random access, battery usage, and shock
> vibration immunity.
>
> Remeber, mechanical memory MD __playback__ devices can be made
> vibration immune by using a solid state buffer memery but you can't
> use that trick during __recording__.


Indeed. the issue is price. I can purchase three Sony MZ b-100 units for
one flash recorder with similar functions and features. As flash technology
recorders develop further, their price will likely be lower in future years
and folks will likely choose flash recorders when prices become comparable.
for those without unlimited resources, minidisc remains a better value,
although real time transfers remain a hassle.

Kelly
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 4:59:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

I think the real problem with most flash recorders is the lousy recording
capability compared to MD...and even worse sound. When you look at things
like the iPod...the best is can do is mono recording that
"Kelly Pierce" <kellyjosef@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:K8AEe.16080$aY6.4347@newsread1.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
> "Mark" <makolber@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1122051720.067827.24510@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
>>I would think think flash type solid state memeory would be a major
>> advantage for you compared to mechanical rotating disc MD memory in
>> terms of acusical noise, random access, battery usage, and shock
>> vibration immunity.
>>
>> Remeber, mechanical memory MD __playback__ devices can be made
>> vibration immune by using a solid state buffer memery but you can't
>> use that trick during __recording__.
>
>
> Indeed. the issue is price. I can purchase three Sony MZ b-100 units for
> one flash recorder with similar functions and features. As flash
> technology recorders develop further, their price will likely be lower in
> future years and folks will likely choose flash recorders when prices
> become comparable. for those without unlimited resources, minidisc remains
> a better value, although real time transfers remain a hassle.
>
> Kelly
>
>
>
Anonymous
August 5, 2005 3:20:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

"jkn" <jkn_gg@nicorp.f9.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1121947397.294833.258660@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> Hi Tim
> having had a closer look, the MRS-4 suffers from being based around
> SmartMedia cards which have a capacity limited to 128Mb, don't they?

Yes, I think so. Still, that should be good for an hour or two's recording
depending on quality requirements; extra 128MB cards cost about £15-£20
each.

"They're also not too suitable for, say, running from a rucsack."

Sorry, can't comment on that; but I agree the connectors are probably not
designed to take stress.

Tim
Anonymous
August 5, 2005 3:51:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

"Meryl Arbing" <marbing@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:seFEe.12990$je2.1369468@news20.bellglobal.com...
> I think the real problem with most flash recorders is the lousy recording
> capability compared to MD...and even worse sound.

One point about Minidiscs was that the media were quite cheap, so one could
buy pre-recorded Minidiscs or make Miniidisc copies of CDs at tolerable
prices.

But that wouldn't seem a significant factor for live recording purposes.
..
The Fostex MR8S uses Compact Flash cards, which are available in 1GB
capacity at about £50. That's good for 90 minutes recording in CD-quality
(16-bit 44100Hz stereo), three hours in mono, and more if you use
compression.

I've not used cards for audio, but what I liked about them with a digital
camera was you can take them out and plug them straight into a computer
(using PC-cardadapter). They appear like a removable drive, so you have
instant access to the files for editing - no need to wait for transfers via
USB. You can be processing the files on a computer within about ten seconds
of removing the card from the camera.

For music recording purposes, it may be that removing one card or the mixing
engineer to work on, while the perfomer is recording the next song on
another card, leads to a useful saving in time.

Tim
Anonymous
August 5, 2005 5:25:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,alt.audio.minidisc (More info?)

Tim Martin wrote:
>
> I've not used cards for audio, but what I liked about them with a digital
> camera was you can take them out and plug them straight into a computer
> (using PC-cardadapter). They appear like a removable drive, so you have
> instant access to the files for editing - no need to wait for transfers via
> USB. You can be processing the files on a computer within about ten seconds
> of removing the card from the camera.

Or with many flash memory cards you can plug them into a HP Photo
printer and access them from the computer the same way (Adapter is built
into my PhotoSmart printer)

Of course with HI_MD .... You just plug the MD into the computer
--
John F Davis, in Delightful Detroit. WA8YXM(at)arrl(dot)net
"Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business"
Diabetic? http://community.compuserve.com/diabetes
!