Jennifer Tribe

Article Summary:

What's the best digital voice recorder for your needs? Here's how to find out.

How to Choose the Best Digital Voice Recorder

Thanks to digital voice recorders, creating audio products has never been easier or more affordable. These recorders are powerful machines capable of capturing quality audio files yet small and lightweight enough to slip into your pocket. And with average prices in the $100 to $200 range, they won't blow your budget.

Whether you want to record teleclasses, scripted readings or live speeches, a digital voice recorder (DVR) is definitely a good investment for an infopreneur interested in audio products. In my own quest to find a suitable recorder, I discovered four things you need to consider when choosing a DVR for an infopreneuring program.

PC Connection
Make sure your DVR comes with a data port and a cable that will connect to your computer and allow you to upload your digitized recordings. This is critical for infopreneurs because getting the files onto your computer is the first step towards turning them into products. Once the files are on your computer, you can manipulate and edit them. Its then a simple matter of burning CDs or creating downloadable audio files such as MP3s.

Recording Time
Digital voice recorders vary widely in the length of the audio files they can hold. Some hold just 90 minutes of voice recordings while others can store more than 20 hours. A few models come with memory sticks to expand the recorder's storage capability.

The amount of audio a DVR can hold is linked to the recording's sound quality since higher quality audio files take up more storage space in the recorder's memory. Many DVRs have two quality settings, a lower setting that gives you poorer quality recordings but more storage space and one that gives you higher quality recordings with less storage space.

The lower setting can be used for practice runs but for audio products you wish to sell, you definitely want to use the setting that will produce the clearest files. Keeping that in mind, make sure the recorder you choose can hold the length of audio you need when it's at its highest setting.

You probably won't need a tremendous amount of storage. Remember that you can upload files to your computer after each recording then clear them from the DVR memory. Thus, if you are recording mostly hour-long teleclasses or 30-minute speaking engagements, a few hours of recording time will be plenty. For myself, I chose a recorder that could hold four hours of audio at its higher setting since I anticipated the longest single recording I might make would be to capture a half-day seminar.

Look for DVRs with a microphone jack since using a microphone will deliver better sound quality. Some recorders even come bundled with a clip-on mic so you don't have to buy one separately. A clip-on mic is great for unobtrusively capturing live speaking engagements while a good quality handheld mic might be the way to go if you are recording scripted material.

Telephone Adaptor
My recorder came bundled with an adaptor that connects to my telephone and captures recordings directly from the phone line. It's wonderful for recording teleclasses. I haven't found any other DVR that comes with a telephone adaptor but it's an extra goodie that's worth looking for if you want to record phone calls.

Digital voice recorders come with a variety of other features beyond these four but I have found these are the top ones to consider if audio products are the end goal for your recordings.

What kind of recorder did I end up buying? I selected a Cubig CVR-L210, which I purchased at Radio Shack for less than $150 CDN ($120 USD). It has served me well.

Jennifer Tribe is the president of Juiced Consulting, a company that helps business owners turn their expertise into money-making information products like books, special reports, teleclasses, and audiotapes and CDs. Jennifer holds a degree in journalism and has worked extensively as a writer and editor. Her articles on information products have been published in Management Magazine, Home Business Magazine, BusinessWoman Canada, and other leading publications. Subscribe to her free e-zine, Infopreneuring Strategies, at www.juiced

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