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  1. #1
    ms1600's Avatar
    ms1600 is offline Neither here nor there
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    Digital recorders

    All of my reports/interviews I take (for OSHA) I reduce to writing. But there are some cases where I would like to have my boss (and our Assistant AG) hear what the employer/employee said. I've been thinking about getting a digital recorder.

    What kind of digital recorders do you guys/gals use in the field?
    How much time/storage space?
    Do you have different settings for quality?
    Do you use a separate mike?
    What format does your recorder save as (mp3, wav)?


    Thanks,
    ms1600
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  2. #2
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Get yourself some legal guidance, first. You may, for example, be required to get permission before recording.

    I've got an inexpensive Olympus digital recorder that's has a built in USB interface (you pull the battery compartment off, and the recorder has the USB gadget). Makes it easy to copy and save recordings to PC for archiving as CDs or in other formats. I don't generally use a separate mike, nor do I generally record in the stereo mode it has. But you have to figure out what works for the recorder and room your in -- and what you're doing. If I'm recording a phone interview, I need to use the appropriate attachment. Some rooms work better with a mike, as well.
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  3. #3
    SteelCityK9Cop's Avatar
    SteelCityK9Cop is offline Officer First Class
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    I just downloaded the free recorder app for my Droid.

  4. #4
    krauty's Avatar
    krauty is offline Corporal
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    I have an Olympus WS-311M. I have owned a few recorders and this one is BY FAR the best.

  5. #5
    Cidp24's Avatar
    Cidp24 is offline Tempus Fugit
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    Olympus WS-100 here. It's extremely clear and easy to use. I have had it about 5 years and it's still clicking along just fine. You can also pull it apart and use it as a flash drive.
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  6. #6
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    I use a Zoom H2 stereo recorder for my band. It records in wmv or MP3. You can pick what sound quality, decibel level, auto start/stop and loads of other functions. Has built in mikes that can record 360, 90 or 120 degrees. Uses sd memory cards, has USB plug, CD interface etc. Can record for 6 hours on 2 batteries, or much longer (depending on SD card size) using the AC power unit. ANd it's pocket size.
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  7. #7
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    I use an Olympus too, but don't know the model. Works fine I suppose. I don't use an external mic with it, I just drop it in my pocket.

    I also have no idea how much time it can record. I don't think I've ever come close to meeting that threshold.
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  8. #8
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    I use an Olympus too, but don't know the model. Works fine I suppose. I don't use an external mic with it, I just drop it in my pocket.

    I also have no idea how much time it can record. I don't think I've ever come close to meeting that threshold.
    Depending on quality, mine'll hold something like 8 hours. Never used it all on one interview... but I have maxed it out by not emptying it. Runs off of one AAA battery, and I've learned to keep a couple handy and start major interviews with a fresh battery. Murphy's Law... the battery goes dead just as you finally get someone to give it up, and "chirp-chirp" as the battery dies.
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  9. #9
    Pudge's Avatar
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    I'll have to look at mine when I get to work tonight. It's held up well in the 3 or 4 years I've had it. Has numerous folders, so I typically use one folder for stuff on calls, one for interviews, one for voice notes, etc.

    I was also given a patch cord type setup to plug in to my recorder and cell phone to use to record calls. I don't have to return to the office to talk to someone on a recorded line anymore. Pretty slick setup.
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  10. #10
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is online now Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    I've got an el cheapo RCA model. Works fine. Holds something like 100 hours worth of recording.
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  11. #11
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    krauty is offline Corporal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pudge View Post
    I was also given a patch cord type setup to plug in to my recorder and cell phone to use to record calls. I don't have to return to the office to talk to someone on a recorded line anymore. Pretty slick setup.
    I have been wanting to do this with my phone. Any idea how I could do this with my Blackberry?

  12. #12
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by krauty View Post
    I have been wanting to do this with my phone. Any idea how I could do this with my Blackberry?
    The patch cord set up works with a Blackberry. Sometimes it gets a little echoey though. The standard voice note recorder on a Blackberry works amazingly well as a recorder (make sure you turn it off when you're done or you'll record everything you're doing in hour long chunks!)... but you can't use it to record a call. Or at least I've had no luck when I've tried.
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  13. #13
    Code6's Avatar
    Code6 is offline Beep,Beep!!!
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    I have an Olympus Puma II it stores up to 256MB. It can store about 32 hrs of recording on the SP setting and about 8 1/2 hrs on the High quality setting.
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    After doing enough research to realize that I was trying to build a better mousetrap, I realized that you are more likely to get a good quality recorder for a reasonable price than you are to make a bad purchase! I think the posts on this thread confirm that.

    Many of my LEO clients use Digital Voice Recorders on patrol, interviews and conversations with select supervisors. I used one MANY years ago on wrecks I worked in the rain. I held the recorder and dictated the VINs and contents of impounded vehicles. I would then record that information while sitting in my dry patrol car. That was so long ago, it may have been a reel to reel recorder.

    I think they are great idea. Check the state law for consent requirements. You are right, MS1600. It is always best to allow supervisors, prosecutors and courts to hear the words for themselves.

    Stay safe. Blue Line Lawyer

 

 

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