General Question

soethe6's avatar

Digital voice recorder for Macs?

Asked by soethe6 (537points) November 1st, 2008

I need a simple digital voice recorder that will work with a recently purchased MacBook Pro. This will be used to record lectures, etc. No significant bells and whistles necessary…I’m just having trouble finding something that’s Mac-compatible. (No hits on the Mac Store site.) Would like to spend 150 or less. Suggestions? Thanks!

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10 Answers

soethe6's avatar

Obviously, something that records to MP3 or other widely compatible format would be nice—rather than something that forces conversion of WMAs.

PupnTaco's avatar

For $50 more you can get an iPhone which will record basic audio via a third-party solution from the iTunes App Store.

Plus a whole lot more :)

soethe6's avatar

I appreciate the sentiment, PupnTaco, since I’m an iPhone user myself. But this will be a gift for someone who, though open to an iPhone one day, is not yet ready for forced conversion. And ultimately he’s probably the kinda guy who’d like to keep his gadgets unconverged—recorder for recording, phone for phoning, etc.

sndfreQ's avatar

Any iPod with Griffin iTalk or similar.

Records as .wav, which will import via iTunes…

PupnTaco's avatar

The Griffin iTalk is a good product, I’ve used it.

faisal's avatar

Most digital recorders are universally compatible and mount as drives when you connect them to your computer. Just make sure it records in a common format like mp3 or wav, and look for phrases like “USB mass storage device” and “no need to install software” in its description.

artificialard's avatar

I did a similar search a few months ago and there are surprisingly few “Mac compatible” (allows for transfer to a Mac and records in an accessible format) recorders that are readily available at a decent price.

I settled on the Olympus WS series, the model I got at the time was the WS-110 but the current equivalent is the WS-321M that has an MSRP of $99.

It’s a great size, does a good job of recording (I used it for press at a really loud backstage event once and it picked up great) but the best part is the ease of transfer: the bottom half of the recorder will actually detach to reveal a USB connector that you just plug into your Mac and the recorder just shows up like a USB flash drive with all your recordings that you can just drag over to your Mac.

The one issue is that the recordings are encoded in .WMA format but I got EasyWMA that makes it very easy to convert the recordings to MP3. iTunes may also do that as well… (I wasn’t able to find other recorders that recording to MP3 while also meeting my other criteria of price/performance/Mac-transfer)

So there you have it – I chose the Olympus WS series for it’s easy Mac-compatible transfer method, excellent recording performance, good value, and is commonly available online and at brick stores.

Oh and if you want to be able to ‘work with’ the recordings on your Mac I’d recommend 2 choices of Mac audio software: Fission by Rogue Amoeba or SoundStudio 3 by Freeverse. They’re not too expensive and are really easy to just pickup and start using to cut your recordings, remove background, boost vocal volume, etc.

sndfreQ's avatar

Second Rogue Amoeba Fission; all of their software is great, intuitive and relatively inexpensive.

maccmann's avatar

Remember that Audacity is free, opensource, and has the ability to use third-party plugins. So after you get your files over to your Mac from your $99+ digital recorder, you have some cash left over. I love all the stuff the Rogue Amoeba does, but if you are on a budget, Audacity is a good alternative.

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