Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tool of the trade

Aside from my computer, there's no tool more important in my freelancing arsenal than my Olympus DS-2 digital recorder. (Prior to owning it, I went through probably a half-dozen microcassette recorders of varying crappy quality...and still have a bunch of those stupid tapes lingering around.) The other item that goes hand in hand with it is the TP-7 recording device, which is an ear bud that allows you to record both sides of the conversation when you're talking on the phone. Yes, I always ask if it's OK to record; I've only had two people say no.

In short, here's why I can't live without it:
  • If I'm playing back a fast talker, I can slow it down to 87%, 75%, 60% or even 50% of actual speed. If I need to blast through tedious stuff? Speed it up to 125%, etc.
  • It allows me to capture exactly what someone said, no note-taking required. Clients love it when they hear their own words...and interviewees appreciate the accuracy.
  • Depending on what quality setting it's on, it can hold hours of content
  • I can download everything to my computer through a USB cord
I'm not a huge gadget guy, but this thing is an absolute lifesaver. Note: The links are to Amazon, but you can shop around for a better price.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so completely ignorant about the interviewing process, I didn't even know people used these things anymore. Brilliant! There are so many tools of the trade we can't live without--and it differers from person to person. Other than good ol' Word, my trusty sidekick is always my red pen. I've even found myself stuck with the dang thing still in my hands when I've headed to the bathroom.