by: Patsy Bellah
Some of you will remember when we had to type on typewriters. Some of you, present company included, may even remember when we had to type on “standard” or manual typewriters. For those who aren’t in the know, that’s a typewriter without electricity Then we got electric typewriters. That was something new to learn, but all our work could be done faster, easier and with less mess. Then came computers. There was more to learn but with this technology life was made even easier for secretaries, writers, or anyone having to convey information with the written word. With each of these advances there were those who said they couldn’t do it. They didn’t like it, they didn’t like change. They could get along just fine, thank you very much, with a manual typewriter, or an electric one. They didn’t need computers. There was too much to learn. It was too different. Don’t let that attitude keep you from learning the latest time saver for transferring words to paper and that is the digital recorder. As the manual typewriter has given way to more sophisticated electric typewriters, which have given way to the computer, so, too, has the digital recorder made it faster and easier to transfer the spoken word to the written word. On the average a one-hour recording will yield about 20-30 typewritten pages. That means that with a one hour “conversation,” speaking your story or information into a recording device, then getting it transcribed, you can transfer your spoken word to a document in about 25% of the time it would take you to type it yourself. It may take a bit of practice to learn to dictate into a recorder, but once you have, you will find that you can save yourself a ton of time. Statistics prove that the longer it takes to complete a project, the less likely it is that you will finish it. Embrace this new technology. Here are some guidelines you should consider when purchasing a digital recorder: 1. You must be able to download your recording to your computer. Some of the less expensive recorders are not “downloadable.” You need to be able to transfer your recording through the Internet in order to send it to a transcription service or even if you want to transcribe it yourself. 2. Although most recorders come with internal microphones, it is best to have the capability to attach an external microphone. External microphones work better to record presentations or to record from a distance. Additionally, you can elect to use a lavaliere microphone for yourself and not be hampered with holding the recorder. Or, if you are recording more than one person, such as if you are interviewing someone, you can get an attachment which allows you to hook up two microphones. 3. The recorder should have at least four hours of available recording time using the high quality recording setting. You want to make sure the recorder has enough time to record a full presentation before having to be downloaded to the computer. The capabilities of recorders change all the time, and in my recent research I found that the prices, like anything else, are coming down drastically and we are getting more and more recording time. I checked out the Olympus recorder on the Internet and found a very good quality recorder for around $100.00. I also found that you could buy this at Best Buy in the Los Angeles area at the same price. Other locations such as Samy’s Cameras for those in the Los Angeles area, Circuit City, Radio Shack and Frys may also have them. For those of you who live in the Los Angeles area, I found an Olympus and a Marantz at Samy’s Cameras which uses a flash card and can get you as much as 4G-8G of storage space. Both of these sell for just under $400.00. The Sony or the Edirol are also good recorders, and have similar capabilities and prices. Buying a recorder is much like buying a blender or a computer. Although it’s wise to buy as much as your pocketbook allows, at the same time, you don’t need to buy more than you will use. Why spend the extra money. A digital recorder is small and easy to use. On it you can record all of your information products, plus your presentations, blogs or articles. Embrace this new technology. Using a digital recorder to record your information product, presentations or teleseminars, will allow you to finish your product in less than 25% of the time it would take you to type it yourself. If you get your audio transcribed, once you get it back, all you have to do is edit it and you can have your product completed in less than a week.