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Thread: How to switch from tape cassettes.. to the real world (thee digital world)

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    How to switch from tape cassettes.. to the real world (thee digital world)

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    Hello all, newbie here. I am currently also somewhat of a newbie in my career working as a Forest Technician where I'm required to use a tape cassette recorder almost daily. Being handy little tools, they're preferred over the more common data collection methods of pen n pad as it tends to speed things up. However, we've recognized a problem-- the world's running out! We can't find many new one's at all and the used ones come with problems (IF they can be found at all..).

    Understanding this issue, we realize the need to explore the digital realm. The issue with digital recorders though-- no instant rewind function. Our data collection requires specific functionality that the cassette player/recorders suite extremely well. Here's a data collection example: [Red Oak, 16", 1 Log]. That's 1 entry of a particular "file," if you will. So I measured that tree> recorded the data via audio recorder> paused the recording> found next tree to measure> repeat (300, literally). All 300 trees MUST be on the same recording.

    A list of requirements/examples:

    -We MUST be able to review each recording- ex) rewind, make sure we didn't cough and misspeak, trip, fart, etc.. Test to make sure recorder is funtional too; understand, these devices will go through Hell.. Rocky terrain etc. We're use to buying replacements and would rather do that than pay 3 the price for durability that is unrealistic for this 'improper use' of the devices lol.

    -1 file per day. I cannot have 1 tree per file.. that could be 500 files...for 1 crew man.. (we could have up to 5 crew members per day..). I would be willing to combine all 500 into 1 file but seems inconvenient. I must sound picky as Hell..!

    -NEED the ability to record over a previous entry- ex) if I say, [Red Oak, 16", 1 Half] but realize I should've said [Red Oak 16" 1 Log], I MUST be able to record over the error. The data recorded will be transcribed and analyzed with a computer program. While transcribing, I don't wanna hear [Red Oak 16" 1 Half.. Oh wait, delete that 1].

    -SD card compatible (or something similar)

    -Certainly open to Play Store/Apple app recommendations

    -Handheld device strongly preferred but possibly something that would fit in a smal, wearable bag/bookbag.

    -Please know.. as I mentioned, I am being picky. What I've described above is extremely ideal.. Having said that, I'll take what ya got! Any suggestions, links, comments, advice, whatever! Lay it on me!

    Thank you,
    Mitch (Dylan)

    Also..
    If I'm at the wrong place- sorry y'alls

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    Thoughts:

    1 Your requirements would be met by getting something like the Zoom H4 hand held digital recorder. There are many similar devices appearing on the market, with varying degrees of sophistication, but effectively at their basic level they operate like hand-held cassette recorders. As for 'no instant rewind function' . . I'm not sure where that comes from. Cassettes certainly have a rewind button, but that doesn't take yo instantly to the start of a recording, whereas a digital recorder will.

    Zoom H4n Handy Recorder | Zoom

    2 When you enter the digital realm, the number of files becomes largely immaterial. What you might like to do is go through a work process redesign to develop the best way to get your requirements using new technology, rather than trying to make new technology do what old technology did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    What you might like to do is go through a work process redesign to develop the best way to get your requirements using new technology, rather than trying to make new technology do what old technology did.
    Exactly.
    You don't want to enter the digital world and then continue to approach any usage as though you're still using cassette tapes.
    Sure...some thing will be the same and/or feel the same...but you will certainly have many more options that you didn't have with the tape, and those are the things you want to look at and develop and new working process.

    Like for instance...rather than trying to edit/re-record on the fly at your job sites, you can just make a verbal note, keep recording...and then simply edit out the wrong stuff later on, using a simple computer application...and then make a bunch of copies, store them, send them to people as need...etc.

    One thing you might want to do, is for a time, overlap...use both, that way you have the tape recording, and at the same time you're working out the process of the digital recording. Yeah, a little more work...but at least you have a fall-back comfort zone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    As for 'no instant rewind function' . . I'm not sure where that comes from. Cassettes certainly have a rewind button, but that doesn't take yo instantly to the start of a recording, whereas a digital recorder will.
    I think he just wants to rewind a few seconds then start recording again, effectively editing on the fly. That should be doable on a digital recorder. I bet one designed more for dictation would have that function.

    A digital voice recorder is probably the solution.

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    Review: Olympus Voice Recorder Is Tough As Nails, Nails Tough Audio | WIRED

    ^Said to be very rugged. If money is no problem Sound Devices would have something I have no doubt but a total quality overkill.

    I have just tried Easy Voice Recorder on my Android phone, might do? Everyone carries a phone these days? There are dozens of sound recording apps for phones. How about taking vids of the trees to go along with the commentary? 64G of storage is peanuts and would hold a shedload of videos. Can be backed up in a cloud as you go.

    The paid for version of EVR has no ads and has Bluetooth file transfer.

    Dave.

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    Yep . . . just use your phone. That seems like the easiest

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