These generally fall into two categories, Digital Dictaphones and Digital Note takers. The main difference being that digital note takers are primarily for personal use and are generally under £100. Digital Dictation machines are primarily for business use and cost between £100 – £300.
Digital dictation offers numerous advantages over the old tape based dictation machines. These benefits include:
• Significantly increased battery life (as there are no moving parts)
• Significantly improved recording time through improved memory capacity and addition of SD cards.
• Simple editing of recordings
• Significantly improved recording quality for easy transcription
Many of the digital dictation machines come with transcription software which once the dictation machine, footpedal & headset is connected to the PC via a USB connection, will allow crisp and clear playback and allows the person transcribing to stop, start, fast forward and rewind for easy transcription. There are some digital dictation machines which come with speech recognition software which, when connected to a PC, will automatically transcribe the recordings.
Digital voice recorders offer significant security benefits. This is of benefit to anyone making confidential recordings such as Medical professionals, Legal professionals or Law enforcement as examples. Using the old style tapes, these needed to be delivered to a secretary for transcription and they may become lost or damaged, compromising the data. With digital recorders, recordings can be encrypted, password protected and some recorders even incorporate biometric fingerprint scanners.
With digital recording formats becoming standardised and compatible, transcription can now be outsourced and sent electronically to companies providing transcription services. This, coupled with the increasing costs of the old style tapes, increasing scarcity of spare parts for old tape recorders, the cost of batteries for the old style recorders and the poor quality tape recorders have in comparison to their digital counterparts means it’s now time for people to make the switch to digital voice recorders.