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Backpacking With A Voice Recorder
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Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 19:49:55 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Backpacking With A Voice Recorder

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 19:58:02 MDT Print View

I have a Sansa Clip - 0.85 ounces - maybe 16 hours on a charge - it does voice recording but I haven't used it yet

I occasionally record something using my camera - record video and start talking - kind of inefficient to record video which takes a lot of memory when all I want is sound, but if I'm just wanting to record a little it doesn't matter

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 20:08:14 MDT Print View

Voice recorders have limited bandwidth to record. So, voice can easily be recorded with only a few kilohertz of bandwidth, and that is why these little gadgets work.

If you are trying to record something fancier, like animal sounds, you probably want to get a audio field recorder with shotgun microphones that will add up to be much more expensive.

Try recording the audio of a pika on its lunch break with a voice recorder!

--B.G.--

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 20:38:26 MDT Print View

memory is cheap, no reason to skimp on bandwidth.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 20:40:03 MDT Print View

Ahh, if it were only that simple.

--B.G.--

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 20:42:54 MDT Print View

This is so those people who talk to themselves can look like they're dictating, blogging or transcribing medical notes?

It's like Lily Tomlin joked 40 years ago, "Those crazy people walking the streets of New York, talking to themselves? We should pair them up so at least they LOOK like they're having a conversation."

Bluetooth has enabled all of us to look like crazy street people.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 21:07:16 MDT Print View

Interesting. I've never come across anyone using one outside. I do have one. Though I too have never brought it with me. Never even thought about it. Rex, have you always been a note maker?

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 22:12:54 MDT Print View

>Rex, have you always been a note maker?

Recording my backpacking experience has changed over time. In the 1970s-1980s, I carried a notebook and camera, and wrote when I got to camp at night. But I forgot a lot, and often I was too tired to write, so days would go by with no notes. I also grew tired of looking at the world for photo opportunities. For a while, I carried nothing to record my experience.

What really motivated me to try a recorder was my job. I started getting work-related ideas at random times when pen-and-paper were inconvenient, so I tried a recorder.

Some people leave themselves voice mail messages with notes and ideas. Not practical for backpacking without cell coverage.

I've seen lots of people talking into cell phones on the trail - or were they secretly using the voice recorder app?

Using a recorder works great for me, and I don't care much what others think. YMMV, HYOH, ...

-- Rex

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 22:33:11 MDT Print View

Never thought of taking one either, but then I never thought about taking a MP3 player either.

Now for someone like Skukra, it makes sense... recording his trip is his job.

I like Nimblefoot's solution :)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 23:47:46 MDT Print View

Your technique screams for a unit with a remote control/mic, leaving the recorder tucked away in a pocket and the mic handy on your shoulder strap. I couldn't find a recorder with the mic and remote in the same module, but the Philips LFH-885 has a remote and a mic jack, so you could wire it all up. That Philps rig has the features you listed too, but I'm not buying you one :)

I don't get the safety thing--- can't stop for 30 seconds?

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/22/2013 23:59:38 MDT Print View

Dale,

I considered the mic + remote + recorder tucked away, but don't like wires running around to snag or break. Hmm, maybe if I ran them through some plastic tubing ...

Safety - yes. I can't write and walk at the same time. I'm grateful I can still walk and talk/record at the same time!

Stopping for 30+ seconds 30-40 times per day to write gets old, fast. So I wait to write down a bunch of stuff "later", forget half, and get frustrated.

Recorder works better for me.

-- Rex

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/23/2013 00:03:09 MDT Print View

>" I started getting work-related ideas at random times when pen-and-paper were inconvenient, so I tried a recorder."

Good point. I get my best engineering ideas (the paid-work kind I mean, although lots of MYOG stuff, too) while on the trail. It nice to bill for hiking time.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 10/23/2013 00:04:34 MDT.

jim logan
(jim_logan) - MLife
Wouldn't Go Without Mine on 10/23/2013 05:47:02 MDT Print View

My voice recorder is surely no longer made: an Olympus VN2100. I have a spare so I am covered when the current one dies (they all do eventually). I started using it when I took long car trips; since then I always have one with me (well, not in the shower).

I record before getting on the trail: how many miles was it and how long did it take to get there? I find this very helpful in dealing with Maine roads in the middle of nowhere: it's amazing the difference in how long you remember it taking to get somewhere and how long it actually took. A lot of the roads I take to get to a hike are not meaningfully covered by maps online. Since a lot of Maine hiking areas are clustered, it's also helpful for trip planning. If on a trail, I also note times to features. That's helpful to me if I return or to friends who decide to go there.

As Rex said, when alone, it's amazing how many great thoughts you have. If you record them and listen later you will often find how many unimportant thoughts you had! That makes you even happier you didn't stop to write them down. I keep my recorder in a pants pocket that is either VERY deep or zippered. I want it secure but close for when I really want it.

Addition: I have also used it several times to have a friend identify bird calls from the woods. Unfortunately, he has several time removed life-listers I thought I had discovered!

Edited by jim_logan on 10/23/2013 05:49:10 MDT.

Robert Langer
(milkmonsta) - MLife
Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/23/2013 06:57:55 MDT Print View

"At home I transcribe most of the recordings into text files."

This is the crucial flaw for me. It means I have to listen to all notes again, cannot search them effectively ("Ctrl+F") and even need more time to write them all down.

I would love to see a solution that easily does this job for me. Like a build in voice recognition mode. I record some verbal note and the output is a txt file (or something similar). Would be great for blogging too!

Does anyone know a solution to that?

BTW: Siri, Google Now or other "voice recognition" software on smartphones need internet access since the processing is not done on the smartphone but on the remote server. What a pity!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/23/2013 07:12:29 MDT Print View

"Does anyone know a solution to that?"

http://reeselectronics.com/philips-voice-tracer-digital-recorder-with-dragon-naturallyspeaking-dvr-software/?gclid=COjYpouErboCFQif4AodqG8AZg

There are others as well.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/23/2013 07:18:44 MDT Print View

"It nice to bill for hiking time."

What?

You bill for hiking time if you come up with a work idea?

You chemical engineers....

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/23/2013 07:27:06 MDT Print View

I just use my iPhone's voice recorder and it works fine for me. I use it at work and not so much in the back-40.

As long as I keep it in airplane mode, I don't need to turn it off; I've never bothered to remove the SIM card. I can go four days without a re-charge even when I take it out of airplane mode 2-4 times per day to plot a GPS coordinate.

To each their own.

Robert Langer
(milkmonsta) - MLife
Re: Re: Backpacking With A Voice Recorder on 10/23/2013 07:33:57 MDT Print View

Thanks Doug! I knew this would be possible!

James Castleberry
(Winterland76)
Idea Man on 10/23/2013 07:49:38 MDT Print View

Michael Keaton in Night Shift explains why he carries a voice recorder. Great article!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U5UH1kQeUA

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
voice recorder on 10/23/2013 09:34:50 MDT Print View

I also often carry a voice recorder backpacking. For me it's a Olympus V90 which I purchased in the 1990s

I really like it because it's smaller, lighter (31grams), and more ergonomically shaped than current recorders. It also has a replaceable AAA battery. Nowhere near the record time of the modern recorders, but I am typically just doing quick notes to self, so I don't need a lot of time.

My wishlist would be be the same size/shape, less weight, at least IPX7 water resistant, bigger memory, with usb sync which would auto-transcript the notes and give a user interface which lets me listen to the recording while the transcription is highlighted and lets me edit the transcription to clean it up. Bonus point for nice integration with Evernote.

For backpacking, I actually like the object being in my pocket with a start / stop button -and a lock switch, because I don't need or want continuous recording and given weather I want to bring it to my mouth (often with hand cups over to block wind). Mounted on shoulder strap would be too likely to pick up wind be unnecessarily exposed to weather, and doing an in-the-ear approach (which are used by some devices I use) would be bothersome.

When not backpacking I would love something like kapture except I would want it to have a longer memory buffer and not interested in the easy sharing feature but have easy editing (ideally with sync / transcript feature above).

--Mark

Edited by verber on 10/23/2013 09:38:00 MDT.