Soundcard or Good Digital Recorder

  Buccaneer47 09:27 08 Feb 2010

I am starting to convert written documents to audio versions. Which would be the better path to follow, buying a good digital voice recorder such as the Sony ICD-SX800 or to go for a good sound card and microphone. Of course the one advantage of the Sony is it's portability, but leaving that aside which would the best?

  MAJ 10:07 08 Feb 2010

The less expensive and fastest option would be to buy a decent headset, plug it into the microphone socket of your computer, most computers now have a fairly decent sound card built in (unless you're an audiophile), then use the free Audacity click here to record your audio to whichever format you prefer, MP3 probably.

  Buccaneer47 10:24 08 Feb 2010

thanks MAJ this sounds a good idea, but the computer is a bit old so a dedicated new sound card would be better than the existing onboard AC97 version would be better, and the recording would be for blind/partialy sighted people to listen to.

  MAJ 10:37 08 Feb 2010

AC97 sound is usually good enough for this sort of thing, but it would be fairly easy and inexpensive to test it out yourself. I have never used a digital voice recorder so I'm not sure how they sound.

  canarieslover 10:54 08 Feb 2010

A lot depends on how many copies you need of the audio documents. If you only need the one copy of each one, and you need to carry it with you to each person, then I would save a lot of time and get the Sony. If you need multiple copies then mic/soundcard approach could save a lot of messing about. I agree with MAJ that for spoken word you don't need anything better than the AC97.

  Buccaneer47 11:26 08 Feb 2010

MAJ I have tried a digital recorder and the quality is very good, almost too good, but the files can be saved straight to mp3 and written to the computer via USB. The headphone set I tried are fairly cheap and are only useful for messenger chats.
Canarieslover, it would indeed be multiple copies being produced, so straight to computer would be the best answer, however I would need to find a set of headpones with a really good mic or an excellent stand alone mic.
I might, however want to have the portability option in the future. So I will keep the digital recorder idea in mind.

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