Digital recorders

review by Davey Winder

recording has just about destroyed taped formats everywhere they have gone head
to head. First the music cassette was hounded out of our homes and cars by the
CD, now the VHS video is fighting a losing battle against DVD. So why are so
many high-flying executives still using low-quality, inefficient, tape-bound
portable voice recorders?

same high-flyers wouldn’t be seen dead listening to music on some beat up
cassette player. But they plod along using an ancient device that when it isn’t
running out of power or chewing up a tape, is recording something of such poor
quality it takes longer to work out what was said than it did to figure out
which way the tape went in.

now I have discovered the joy of the digital voice recorder. I appreciate the
difference not having noisy mechanisms makes to the quality of the recording. I
love being able to see exactly how much longer I have left to record, and to
date stamp recordings. My digital diva lets me accurately re-record bits that
went wrong without destroying the sentences either side.

only downside is having to choose from the array available. If cost is a
factor, an Olympus V90 provides 90 minutes of recording power in a 45g package
designed to fit in your hand. If money is no object and you want the most
powerful machine on the market, choose the Olympus DS-3000. Recording up to 22
hours on a removable 64Mb SmartMedia card, it is compatible with IBM ViaVoice
voice recognition, so your PC can transcribe recordings. However, if you demand
the ultimate in functionality and form at a reasonable price, go for the slick
Sony ICD-MS1. I bought mine because it has all the power I need in the smallest
possible form. And I know my tape won’t self-destruct.


small, powerful, reliable and with long battery life, the high sound-quality
and functionality show the world you mean business.

costly compared to their tape-using relations – but that’s the only downside.

ICD-MS1 (, costs approx $250

V90 (, costs
approx $100

DS-3000 (, costs
approx $399

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