Philips Voicetracer 600 Dictaphone

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Transcribing notes is a pain for everyone, whether you’re a journalist, a student, a doctor or a lawyer.

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This Philips dictaphone promises to ease the burden of turning voice into data by bundling a copy of Dragon’s Naturally Speaking speech recognition software to automatically transcribe any recordings.

I’ve been familiar with Naturally Speaking since its earliest days when accuracy was limited; recent versions generally work very well once the user has ‘trained’ the software to recognise their individual speech patterns and vocal eccentricities.

So that part of the equation is pretty much covered (unless you speak with something like a thick Afrikaans or Welsh accent) but the limits of the system lie with the recorder itself. It’s a perfectly effective device that does a good job once the manual has been read and understood, but the interface is a little too ‘last millennium office product’ for comfort. The small LCD display is plain and unimaginative, and while you can argue that this is a functional business product not a consumer gadget, it could be so much more intuitive and easy to use. Maybe Apple’s iPod has ruined me for old-school interfaces, but would it have been that hard to pop in a colour screen, fewer buttons and a simpler navigation system?

Am I asking too much from a business product that actually does exactly what it claims? Probably, but look at how simple and effective a Belkin TuneTalk recorder is when combined with an iPod; a monkey could use it without a manual. Come on Philips, poach an Apple employee or two and drag this type of product into the 21st century.

BRETT GIDEON
Philips Voicetracer 600 Dictaphone – Tech Specs

Connectivity: USB 2.0, 3.5mm mic, 3.5mm headphone
Memory: 1GB
Formats: MP3, WMA
Battery: 2 x AAA (50 hours)
Dimensions: 108 x 40 × 18.4mm (H/W/D)
Weight: 81g

Contact

www.dictate.co.nz

 
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  • Greg says
    I am glad a monkey could use this product without a manual because there are a few monkeys at my job who can barely use a toaster.
  • The problem I have with recording devices is that the discussion is usually boring enough the first time through, let alone having to go through it again a second time. I don't even take notes, and happily rely on my memory for the important bits. I take the approach that if it isn't memorable, then it isn't worth remembering.

    I guess there are others out there, though, who have bad memories. To them, they probably enjoy the second reading as if it's a whole new conversation. Haha.

  • Nos4R2D2 says
    Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition software could be used with a similar device.
  • Kiwi Gas says
    Great to see the Dictaphone back, and looking so good too. Now let's bring back the girls from the Typing Pool and the Gestetner Duplicating Machine (young ones, ask your parents!) and all sanity will be restored.
  • TTT says
    Apple ipod has set a high bench mark for electronics.
  • ah a new transponder... beam me up scotty!
  • barnes10 says
    Yeah i think Apple has ruined it for you. It probably still does a great job but not as flash as Apple.
  • Sanela says
    Yeah have one of these at home , very essential tool to use ! loving it !! =)
  • Prettyboy says
    may not be flash but phillips are a decent brand so should be alright
  • Grey Fox says
    Even the greatest man needs to hear his own voice, review his thoughts and... start all over again lol.

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