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The TI and Digital Voice Recorders (asking for an acquaintance).

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Ebay has quite a few different cheap and/or inexpensive << digital voice recorders >>.

Anyway, I was asked if anyone has any first-hand experience using one on a TI. Specifically he was interested in:

 

1) Can the downloaded audio file be transferred from a PC to the device?

2) Is the audio output loud enough and of good enough quality to work?

 

If you have a specific model for a unit that you've confirmed works, please let me know so I can pass it along.

 

 

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Is he talking about using a digital voice recorder in place of a cassette recorder to load/save programs?

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Is he talking about using a digital voice recorder in place of a cassette recorder to load/save programs?

 

Yes, he's considering getting a TI, but does not want to spend a fortune on it at first. He wants to get something 'workable' to see if his kid will take to it before thinking about anything else. Space is also an issue as they live in a tiny two bedroom apartment.

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Initial thoughts ...

 

I could imagine that most digital voice recorders would have an earplug socket so probably no problem connecting that (but how good the signal is, don't know - although I have loaded a program to the TI by playing a .wav file through a PC sound card). But do they have a mic socket to record from the TI?

 

Looking at the price of data cassette recorders on eBay - looks to be same sort of ballpark cost as a digital voice recorder. So might be better to get an actual cassette recorder? - many of them are reasonably small. But not all work well with the TI, so you have the problem of possibly getting one off eBay and it not working with the TI. And it breaks after 3 days because it is 30 years old ...

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the thing to consider is does the recorder save in wav form or compressed/mp3? data recordings should be uncompressed

 

Yeah, I noticed unit with WAV format seem to be higher in price. Unless someone here has a first-hand positive experience with a particular unit, I'll just tell him I cannot recommend one.

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If the player supports FLAC then it might be an option as well. I take my cassette audio and recondition it using CS1er, and then I store the file as FLAC. FLAC is a free lossless audio codec that includes file compression so the files take up less space but without any loss in quality. Note: I do however, have to add a second of silence at the start of the CS1 output file for my player (foobar2000) to play it.

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Notice a lack of anyone saying they have made one work! I just tried one- a high end digital recorder from Olympus.

I was aware that the TI had a particular need for fairly squarish waveforms and high volume (maximum voltage peak- 0db) but in theory you should be able to use digital recording if you turn off all the signal processing. Many users experienced difficulty using tape recorders from battery power and we had a list of "sophisticated" recorders the TI simply didn't talk to.

First I dug out my old cassette recorder to check the cassette cable was working- first time load, no problem. Easy.

Now switch to digital recorder. Recording volume and playback volume set to full manual with maximum levels. WAV format. Record- the signal from the TI seemed a little on the low side. Now playback- wow- where is it??? The playback volume- set at maximum- was far too low and the TI didn't see it.

I think a problem today is that earphones are more sensitive than in the 80s, and manufacturers are protecting themselves from action for hearing loss by curtailing the maximum volume their devices will send to an earphone socket.

So- from my experiment, it may be better to dig out some old cassette recorders and try to find some short tapes (don't use C90 tapes!).

Edited by blackbox
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Thanks for testing things out blackbox! I had some suspicion about the output levels, but this pretty much confirms it but with everything you mentioned, I'll tell him he's better off not wasting his time or money. I'll try and steer him towards an FG99 with the hopes it's not out of his price range.

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That looks like just the thing that is needed- no tapes and full voltage from the cassette deck amp! (Caution- may not work with the TI if you use a modern retro deck made for modern headphones)

 

The spec for my digital recorder suggests 70mV to the headphone socket at maximum volume- this is in line with a European standard maximum of 75mV.. Modern headphones are low impedance to work better with a small battery operated devices and obtain high volume at just the low voltage.

 

This is why your old headphones (or the cheap ones!) seem so much quieter than the fashionable modern ones you have just sold your car for!

 

I think my old (1983) cassette recorder supplied over 2 volts and was intended to output to the higher impedance or lower sensitivity headphones of the day (anyone have a catalogue/catalog giving the impedance of a 1980s headphone?). I can't find any specs from TI on the audio signal level required or the impedance offered to the tape input.

 

s

 

 

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