Voice recorder – essential tool for interviews

Olympus VN 712PC voice recorderUnless you only every write fiction I’d like to suggest that a voice recorder is an essential part of every writer’s kit. I use an Olympus VN 712-PC but there are many options available that are similar. Look around and check your budget.

Why interview

Interviews can brighten up almost any article. You might be interviewing someone just to publish what they say (as I often do) but it is also the case that weaving in quotes from experts can lift an otherwise unremarkable piece into something special. I’d like to offer a short news item that I produced for StarBurst that adds some quotes to an item that otherwise says nothing you couldn’t read on the original press snippet.

You also have unique content (hopefully) that adds real value to your article see my piece for an example of what I mean – Big Finish Announces the Returning Survivors cast.

What makes a useful voice recorder

I picked the best device I could get for the money I had at hand. The model I picked has many good features, the ones important to me are:

  • Small – fits into the palm of the hand
  • Records ok – I have used mine in a hall to record a speech and also to record interviews in a medium-sized room
  • Takes batteries – this way you can carry spares
  • Records MP3s – the simplest file format to use
  • USB – plugs into a PC (and presumably a Mac) to make it easy to copy off recordings
  • Simple button interface – power on and hit record!

The one I use also has a slot for an extra memory card which I haven’t needed

Those are my thoughts – do you use a voice recorder? What model do you use? Have you bought an extra microphone?

Let me know


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