Dictaphone for conference and lectures


Hi guys,

Which dictaphone would you recommend buying for recording lectures and conferences?

There are many out there but some aren't worth the money. Any suggestions?



======= Date Modified 11 Jun 2009 11:18:43 =======
If you've already got an iPod it might be worth considering a plug-in voice recorder. I've never used a dictaphone so I don't know how the sound quality compares but the good thing is that it makes digital files so they can be stored on a computer (although maybe dictaphones do that these days too!?)

I've got a Griffin iTalk Pro voice recorder for my iPod which Google product search is listing for betwen £17 and £28 (I think there are others now too though) and I use Express Scribe, a piece of free software from NCH for transcribing or making notes from sound files.


I used to find iTalk and my iPod handy for memos, and I have a similar recording system set up on my new iPod touch. But for recording lectures or conferences the microphone might not be sensitive enough to pick up on the sound to record it well enough. As part of my Disabled Students' Allowance a Sony dictaphone was bought for me together with an external microphone so I could record memos and rough drafts of my thesis ready to type up (due to brain damage I often find that an easier way to work). That dictaphone works pretty well, but the battery tends to be flat whenever I want to use it so I haven't used it as much as I should!

If there's a Disability Services department at your university maybe they could offer you advice on good models since they often recommend such devices are bought for students for disability neds?


Afraid I'm not up to date on the technology, but I thought I would chip in with an observation about protocol. I don't know what other people think, but my sense is that you sometimes have to be a bit careful about recording people without their consent, or at least with the way in which you use the material you've gathered. Whilst giving a lecture or a conference paper does involve a commitment to making your ideas public and up for discussion, it's not quite the same as a book or article: people can misspeak, oral presentations don't come with explanatory footnotes, and responses to questions can be made on the spur of the moment in a way that doesn't give a full representation of the person's views. Basically, if you wanted to record speakers so that you can cite their comments in your thesis I'd try to get a printed copy of the conference paper from them, or find something in their publications to back up your idea, rather than rely only on your recording.
Maybe this is more acceptable in other disciplines though?


I've got an Olympus DS-30 and it's fantastic! Is pricey (around £100) but definitely worth spending more money if you'll be using it a lot.

Hope that helps.


Thx BB... anyone else?


get an olympus .dss recorder. i got my (almost) top of the range one from ebay for 40 quid. the sound quality is excellent.