Comment on a product on Amazon

Digital Voice Recorder; Modea Portable Digital, USB Disk Audio Voice Recorder

I wanted a low cost way to record while the recorder is plugged in. I hate batteries, and charging and guessing when the battery will fail. So I specifically looked for one that said “will record while charging”. Someone complained bitterly there are no instructions. That is not completely true. There ARE instructions, just a little hard to read.

When you are looking at the side of the recorder where there is a switch and a little hole for the laser to shine through. If you read carefully (I had to use a lighted magnifying glass), you will see “Rec” on the left, and “Stop” on the right. Backwards from the way I am used to things, but possibly a very Chinese way of thinking. To start the recording, slide the button to the left, towards “Rec”. When you are done, slide it to the right towards “Stop”.

Now, when I plugged it into Windows for the first time, I got a message there was something wrong with the disk. I think Windows just likes marking anything plugged in. But I carefully read to see which drive it was talking about and let it do its thing. After that, no more warning about the disk format, and it did not really seem to do anything I could see.

When I looked on the disk from Windows, there is a RECORD directory where all the files go. And one file called RECSET.txt. Inside, a bit obscure, but understandable, are the settings for the device. I guess when you plug it in, or start it, it reads that file to get the settings, and goes from there. You can set it for voice activation with bigger numbers for lower threshold. I chose 0 (zero) for NO voice activation. Then sampling rate (I chose 192K). Format (I chose WAV). And Part (I chose 10 minutes). That PART means “How often should we stop the recording and write what we have to disk, then open a new file. I am hoping they are smart enough to buffer incoming data, so they can write the file without losing anything. Not a trusting person, I expect gaps. But I am always hopeful too.

It took a few experiments to find what to do. Turn it to STOP (slide the switch to the right when looking at the place the laser shows). Plug it in. Turn it to REC (slide the switch to the left)

I can’t always see clearly, so I took the sticker off the side, NOT the laser, so there is a sticker that is easy to see, and a laser hole and switch that are NOT easy to see. Habits and practice, practice and habits.

When I took the label off the side NOT the laser, I saw the tiny little hole they mention in the instructions (which I had to use a lighted magnifying glass and eye strain to read). That little hole is there. It is like the reset hole in a modem. If you really get stuck, that does a factory reset. Not sure if it replaces that RECSET.txt file if you happen to wipe it or make a mistake.

Anyway, for the person bitterly complaining, please try again. The sound quality is OK, maybe good. I am going to look at the noise and quality mathematically and statistically when I have time. The size is good, and the price is good. I bought 4 for the price of one of the popular brands.

Why did I buy four? Because I have wanted for many many years to record from multiple microphones at once. Here the recorders operate independently. Each has its own processor, microphone, amplifiers, ADCs and storage. I can plug four into one or two or several USB hubs. i can have other computers copying new files to archive and for processing. I can simply let them run for a while (192 KiloSamples per second, at 8 bits per sample, times 86400 seconds is over 16 GBytes. So I can get many hours of recordings. That is 144 ten minute files. I am going to start several and see what happens. If you have to ask “Why would you want data from several microphones, running unattended, for long periods? I would tell you, but I cannot, since these “reviews” are one sided, questions answered which need clarification or simply to say thank you. Or vendors routinely caring enough to post links and instructions on the product pages – just does not happen often or at all on Amazon.

Hope this helps. I doubt I can edit this if I make a typo, or want to improve it. And no way to have an ordinary conversation. After I use them a while, I would like to change the rating. But likely not possible. If they work for what I want, I will buy more, and buy them and give them away.


Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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