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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  • Ella says
    Oh I so need one of these, but it's a bit hard to believe that it would work brilliantly for my needs (I'm a student), given that so many of my lecturers have accents that are hard to understand on the best of days...
  • Deanna says
    I still have a tape style dictaphone, which has been commandeered by my kids who at the age of 5 and 7 , love the sound of their own voices.... loudly and all the time, so we now get to hear everything twice.....aaaaaggghhhh....Win inception tickets.... yes please
  • I'm just glad that things have moved on from recording on tapes to digital....when I first started work I had to get used to fluffing around with tapes all the time...so anything digital is a bonus ;)

    But seriously, I think I can handle not having a "Mac-like" simple user interface, as long as once I have figured out how to use it there aren't too many unnecessary button clicks required. The main thing for me is bundling the voice recognition with the dictaphone itelf, which seem sliek it will save a whole extra step in the tranliteration phase.

    I'm very familar with Dragon, it has evolved into quite a decent product (once trained properly, as the article says)...so I might look into upgrading my dictaphone to an "all-in-one" device like this if it will save me time and hassle. I'm about to start a writing project (personal, not work;))...and I will need to constantly review my work as it gets transcribed, so yeah...an upgrade may well be in order ;)
  • cobex says
    I think everyone needs to poach an apple employee or two... or even if they are to stingy to flash the dollars required at least go buy an apple and rip it to pieces and find out how it does what it does... so well.
  • Raven says
    This would be just the thing for Uni lectures. Might save on serious writers cramp.
  • New Member says
    the Problem is that you train it to your voice so if your using it for lectures the voice to text program is not that accurate. but its good if you want to just record your voice still accuracy is 80% tops
  • Steven says
    Who needs a dictaphone, when you already have women?
    Women always remember important dates and events...... Always.

    ^_^
  • Cindy says
    Gosh I so need something like this! I take minutes and don't do shorthand, takes me forever to read my own writing the next day, or should I say scribble - and then I miss half of it!
  • lette says
    Not just for professionals, all of us have "upped" our busy lives in the last decade, I am constantly needing to remind myself of things to do and post its only work for so long :)
  • Millie says
    Brilliant! Just want I need for uni - am off to get one - thanks Get Frank!

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