Thursday, December 8, 2011

Applied Gadgetry Series: Sony Digital Voice Recorder

I never realized how technology-dependent I was until most of my daily gadgets suddenly went coo-coo or just completely gave up on me in a span of two days. Smart Bro would crash in Lion X, my Kindle’s 3G was a dud, car’s accelerator making scary growling sounds, and BB’s trackpad had a mind of its own – if you’re a law student, an OLA intern, and a control freak, with deadlines, then this situation isn’t funny.

You think I’ve learned my lesson but I’m crazy about gadgets. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not one to replace a phone because a new version came out a week after. And while I agree that technology has isolating effects, I still prefer meaningful conversations over coffee than through smileys and BBM. But truly, other than how sleek they look like, gadgets are very convenient, and serve as an easy and efficient way of accomplishing things. It’s just a matter of what, where and when they should be used. Hence, this 'applied gadgetry' series.

I particularly love my digital voice recorder, which my mom got for me last Christmas. When I was writing for the University paper in undergrad, I used to record interviews in a mini tape recorder, and I thought that was convenient. Now I have a Sony ICD-PX820, which has a 2GB built-in flash memory, which is roughly 530 hours in long play mode (20 hours in super high quality), records in MP3 format, transferable to a PC or Mac via USB (like a generic flash disk), and the interface is super user-friendly. My mom bought it in a store in the SM North Cyberzone for roughly P6,000, its dimensions are 1.36" x 4.31" x 0.7", so it’s small, and uses two AAA batteries (that’s about 26 hours of recording time).

But my two favorite features are: first, the Digital Pitch Control, which allows playback at the desired speed + or – 50 percent, without changing the ‘pitch’ of the voice of the speaker. It makes listening and taking down notes easier; and second, the Voice Operated Recording, which serves as a recording buffer, i.e., recording automatically pauses when no one is speaking, and resumes likewise, when it detects spoken word or sound.

I actually wish I could use it for class, but I learned law professors don’t like their classes recorded. But I’ve used it for several interviews, OLA client meetings, and random lectures. I also wanted to try recording eureka moments (like in television), but I haven’t had the chance yet.

I recommend it for anyone who interacts with people, does a lot of interviews, and meetings. While I am a heavy note-taker I still find it hard to note down every important detail, and it’s always easier to rewind. Although I haven’t tried yet, it might be useful for trials too, especially when the court stenographer has no tape recorder.

Photo from:

Mary Rhauline Lambino, Entry No. 2

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