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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Little AM/FM/MP3 Recorder
Great little recorder. Received mine yesterday, charged it up, recorded a few test recordings on AM and FM. Programmed it to record from midnight to 4am and it worked great. Fairly easy to use! AM receiver is sensitive and worked well with no interference. I followed the instruction manual and turned off th AM Radio display to minimize/eliminate any interference. Uses SD...
Published on October 8, 2008 by Steven E. Brichta

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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Product - If It Works Right
I've had nothing but problems with this device. The first one I received worked for three days, then the screen went blank while I was downloading music and wouldn't come back. The second one I received lasted two weeks, then it stopped playing back the radio programs I was taping, followed by not playing back the music I had on there (all the files were either replaced...
Published on November 13, 2009 by The Bear


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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Little AM/FM/MP3 Recorder, October 8, 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
Great little recorder. Received mine yesterday, charged it up, recorded a few test recordings on AM and FM. Programmed it to record from midnight to 4am and it worked great. Fairly easy to use! AM receiver is sensitive and worked well with no interference. I followed the instruction manual and turned off th AM Radio display to minimize/eliminate any interference. Uses SD Memory devices as big as 16gb! That is in addition to it's built-in 2gb of memory. Maybe in a future model it will use a USB Thumb Drive or maybe a regular USB External Hard Drive! This unit is going to make late night recording and recording of specialty radio programs a real easy task. I calculate my recording usage at slightly more than forty hours a week.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CC witness, August 16, 2009
By 
PCrudy (Fort Lee, NJ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
You can get this cheaper at the company's website but you will still be paying $100.00 more than this product is worth. Considering the size of the talk radio market, I am amazed there is only one company making an MP3 with AM/FM radio and the ability to record the radio portion, but that's what it is right now, so you will have to pay the inflated price. The ONLY reason to buy this product is to record talk radio (you can set up to 20 timers; or you can record on the fly with the push of a button). The built in speakers must have been left over from those 1950's radios 'made in Japan' that we carried around when we were kids (I am dating myself!); so get yourself some decent headphones to 'replace' the ear buds that come with the product. If you record music or streaming radio from an Internet source, make sure you record it at full volume; otherwise, when you copy it to the Witness, the sound level is cut in half. This is OK with me, as this prevents you from damaging your eardrums when you crank up Free Bird, or Stairway to Heaven!! I am near and work in the NYC area so the AM stations are fairly powerful so reception for me is ok (some bleed through from adjacent stations) as long you are not near electrical motors and devices etc. FM reception is more than adequate. You have 10 presets each, on the AM and FM which is more than enough. I put in a $35 16GB HP SD card and it that works fine. You are limited to a total of 2000 files but that should not be a problem. It comes with it's own 24 pin USB cable (only theirs will work with the product) but I bought the accessory pack (recommended) that gives you a charging cradle via AC; and a cover to protect your inflated investment. The manual is ok for those who are not technophobes but all in all, it is fairly well written and covers all of the features of the product. I have already recorded some shows; and copied over 50 tunes. You plug it into your computer using the USB cable, and use Explorer in windows to create folders, delete files, drop and drag etc. - very easy. Again, it's the only product that will record talk radio; and the MP3 features are adequate. The one year warranty is a joke, considering the premium you have to pay - I also purchased a small case (designed for a digital camera) that I use to protect my investment - I hope I get 3 to 5 years of use from this product. If the price and warranty were more reasonable, I would given this five stars.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CC witness, November 28, 2008
By 
K. Lloyd (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
I love the CCWitness. It's easy to use and I never miss my favorite radio shows. I purchased the Witness because it has a built in AM radio. I can record local AM and FM radio. I've also have discovered I can record non local stations by running a line in from my computer. I bought a 16gb SD card and also can use it as a mp3 player for music and audio books. I really am enjoying this device. It was a little expensive, could have got an ipod with video capablities for less but it's the only device I have found that has a built in am radio that records in mp3 format.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clunky, but does what I want it to..., April 11, 2009
By 
Da Boogey Man (sacramento, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
Im sort of a radio geek. I listen to a lot of talk radio during my commutes and when I can at work. I also like having all of my music with me on my mp3 player. Unfortunately for me there are almost no mp3 players that will tune in the AM band.

This little guy will do that! Ah, bliss for this radio geek.

Upsides:

Has 2 gigs of onboard memory and a SD slot so you can add more. I went for the 16 gig. There is a button on the front specifically for switching between the two.

The Witness will play mp3 files and tune in local AM and FM signals. This is the devices main selling point. I have yet to find another mp3 player that will also let you listen to AM stations.

The Witness has a built in microphone, as well as a port for a microphone. Now here is a real cool feature. Anything you record (microphone or radio station) automatically gets turned into a mp3 format! Record then download it onto your computer... or cell phone. Ive had people record something on it then transfered the audio file onto my phone to make it their ring tone. I also plug the Witness into my XM radio (using the male/male audio cord that comes in the box) and record my favorite station.

The Witness also has a small built in speaker. The volume and quality aint great. If you are old enough to remember small hand held AM transister radios... its kinda like that. Again, this is going to be something that a talk radio listener is looking for as opposed to the full out music nut.

The Witness can be set to turn off after a certain time or even turn on and record at a certain time for a certain length of time.

There is a sliding switch on the side to 'lock' current settings. This keeps you from accidently pushing buttons when you slip it into your pocket.

-----------------------------------

Downsides:

The interface is as clunky as... well, its clunky! There is the wheel that we are all familiar with then six more buttons on the front, THEN two volume buttons and the sliding locking switch on the side.

And the screen! Eck! Its a simple, black LED screen, thats it. Its like an old LED watch from the 80's built large. No color, no video capability, no animation. After having used and seen other current mp3 players this feels ancient. It just feels clunky. Now if you are like me and are more interested in the unique featers of the Witness as opposed to its style you wont care.

If you're not careful you can accidently hit the record button and start to record the radio station you are listening to. Not a big deal, its easy to erase but it should have been made so that you cant just brush a button and record. Again, clunky design.

Last downside,
Maybe its just where I am but it seems that the Witness doesnt bring in certain AM stations as well as my old Sony Discman. I get some bleed over from other stations on one of the AM stations I listen to. Maybe I just tend to pass by to many EM sources.

You recharge the thing with the special USB cord they pack in the box. If you dont have a computer you will need to buy a regular charger.

Closing

Im a radio geek, like I said. I wanted an mp3 player that would let you listen to AM as well as FM stations. After looking dam near everywhere this seems to be the only thing that will do that. For me, this as well as the other cool little features make up for the clunky design and ugly LED screen. You could set the timer, put it next to you on your pillow and fall asleep listening to you favorite talk show, record stuff with the microphone then download the file onto you compurter.
If they had built the Witness with a color screen and stream-lined the interface and button layout I would have given this product 5+stars. I gave it 4 starts because of its unique features, some you wont find in any other mp3 player.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Product - If It Works Right, November 13, 2009
By 
The Bear (Garden Grove, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
I've had nothing but problems with this device. The first one I received worked for three days, then the screen went blank while I was downloading music and wouldn't come back. The second one I received lasted two weeks, then it stopped playing back the radio programs I was taping, followed by not playing back the music I had on there (all the files were either replaced with ROOT files or files with weird characters on them). When I plugged it into my computer, though, everything looked normal on the E drive and I could play the music through my computer. But the device alone would not do it and was completely screwed up. All the music was downloaded from Amazon's MP3 market, so it couldn't have been a downloaded bug. Either I'm the only one who got TWO lemons from the manufacturer, or this device is badly made. NOT RECOMMENDED.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BEST AM/FM/Voice/mic MP3 Recorder, BUT NO PAUSE, NO TIME SHIFT, while recording., February 25, 2009
By 
Michael E. Wright "professional scientist & e... (Silicon Valley, CA, USA, proud to be an American) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
Updated 2011-06-27, upon purchase of a Sony Walkman S-544. I'm still using my CC Witness daily since 2008!

Highly recommend the CC Witness, still the best AM/FM/Voice/Mic MP3 recorder player with speakers, even after all these years.

Sony has finally surpassed the CC Witness, in the sense that the Sony S-544 can pause live FM radio, recording or not, but does NOT offer AM or external Mic line in. S-544's display & human interface far superior to CC Witness, many more features, S-544 much smaller, but unlike S-544 the CC Witness display is visible in direct sun light, owing to it being back and white rather than color. The S-544 is the better MP3 player if you can get by without AM & ext mic.

CC Witness battery lasts about 4 or 5 hours recording. Battery goes about 5 times longer listening to AM without recording it. Original battery still good, I use AC power normally. S-544 goes over 40 hours, recording or not (though have not spent enough time yet timing battery life in the more important modes, will get back on this).

I purchased the 100$ C Crane tuned twin coil ferrite antennae, which greatly improves weak signal reception at my residence, but for me unexpectedly did not improve reception at my office, which has lots of AM noise generators, motors, computers. AM reception is about as good as any other of the few and the best pocket AM radios, such as the Sony SRF-M37W (which has no speakers). My 1998 Toyota Avalon car radio is still much better for AM reception than any other AM radio that I have encountered, dozens. Some of the all-analog portables such as the Sony ICF-S10MK2 are a little better. Yes, I own and have used each of these.

The minuscule speakers work for me, I will generally not buy unit without speakers. Fidelity is very limited as with all tiny speakers, much harder to understand what is being said than with ear buds, but speakers are very convenient while moving about. Sony S-544 tiny speakers are slightly louder & clearer than CC Witness's, in my opinion.

For AC power, you MUST get the (40$ in 2008) 5V 1 Amp wall power supply from CC Crane if you wish to tune AM radio on AC power. I tried powering using USB power from computer, 5 different 120V AC and 12V DC to 5V USB, and all but the CC Crane power supply ruined the AM reception.

2014-05 update. My CC witness is still working, though the battery no longer holds much of a charge after all these years.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very convenient, September 17, 2009
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
I own two versions of the ReelTalk: The Talk Radio Recorder, from about 10 years ago. They were also one of C Crane's products. They still work, but they will be donated to Goodwill shortly, because the CC Witness is many times smaller, and far easier to carry around.

Everything about this little gadget is convenient. The display is professional, the font is clear, the interface works very naturally.

The ability to fast forward in various increments was part of my wish list for the CC Witness. They must have read my mind.

Even the unit itself, makes me almost proud to carry it in public. It looks like the kind of device that a 'serious' user would carry around. The silicon case, which comes with the optional accessory kit, makes it look even better and gives it a softer feel when you operate it. It probably also helps protect it from impact, but that's just a guess.

Most of the interface is very intuitive. But when you start scheduling programs, you should make sure that you read the manual, especially the part where you select the specific day.

The first day of use confirmed my general impression of this gem. It was a Saturday, and I brought the Witness with me on a 3-hour train ride, after recording the Dan Lynch radio program on Friday. This thing is so easy to operate, there wasn't any feeling of 'damn, how does this work, how do you locate the file where Friday's program was recorded?' Very smooth.

Ah, almost forgot - one of my favorite features is the ability to drag and drop from Windows. Plug the Witness in, through the USB interface, and it looks like a flash drive. There's no setting up playlists in Windows Media, 'synching' up and that sort of thing. Very easy to add MP3 files to the unit.

I haven't purchased a 16GB SD card for the unit yet, but that will be a life saver. At this point, I have audio recorded from the Dan Lynch radio program and from Dean Edell (I delete them immediately after listening), some songs, and a whole bunch of future technology podcasts from Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon, at FastForward Radio. I plan to add other interesting audio files, and eventually it will pass the internal 2GB limit.

I have no complaints about the Witness. However, because it is was so professionally designed, it feels as if it should have voice recognition commands; I don't know, it just feels like that is missing. Perhaps C. Crane will consider that, in the next version.

Thanks to the C. Crane folks, or whoever decided to manufacture the Witness.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Recording FM Stereo to MP3, December 19, 2008
By 
JFH (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
I have been through a couple of MP3 players with recording capability, but they usually can only record off-air to WAV format, i.e. lo-fi mono Blah. Then I tried using Audacity to record direct to hard drive on computer. Good, but annoying hiss in background whenever line-in to sound card inserted. Then I tried this. It's perfect for my intended use.

I am a big world music fan, and I have been trying to record some of the programs at the low end of the FM dial, i.e. noncommercial FM. This is the best thing yet for me. Works nicely with 32gb SDHC card and charges nicely from my Apple portable USB power supply (the one with the fold-in prongs). The only problem I had was that drag-and-drop would hang when trying to copy to the computer. Tech support at C Crane suggested using copy-and-paste command; they were right, it works perfectly. This was on iMac G5 PPC running Mac OS 10.4.11. I love this thing!!!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent radio recorder for the price, tuner is atrocious, January 22, 2011
By 
R.G. Rader (Council Bluffs, Iowa) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
I purchased this radio on 2/25/2009. It is now 1/22/2011.

I don't use the radio to record AM talk shows. I use it to record any and all AM stations that I can receive. I am a DX'er. My hobby is listening to the AM band to try and see what AM stations I can receive. I keep a log of these stations and the digital recorder is wonderful when you want to play that reception back to verify that you actually received the station.

The main thing I do with this radio is to set up multiple timers through the night (while I am asleep). I listen to them the next day to see if there are any new stations I have received. The timer function is the finest feature on this radio. Setting up the timers is relatively easy and so it gets a high mark from me on that.

Now comes the bad part. The radio's tuner is one of the worst I have ever seen!

I found that this radio has what I call 'bleedover' on the frequencies. Here's an example. I have a local station called Magic 1490. Not a very powerful station, but because it is local station--it comes in very strong. Magic 1490 or KOMJ runs on (of course) 1490 kHZ. But this local 1490 frequency bleeds over to the 1470, 1480, 1500, 1510, and 1520 frequencies. In other words--if you want to make a timed recording of the 1500 or 1510 frequency--you will record KOMJ 1490 instead. This is true of all the local Omaha, Nebraska frequencies. KOIL 1180 and KKAR 1290 does this too. All local stations do the bleedover to other frequencies.

Basically, what I am saying is that if you want to record certain frequencies--you can't--if there is a local station on an adjoining frequency. The tuner selectivity is terrible. I own a Degen DE1123 which has a better tuner than this radio has (and it cost me 4 times less)--but the Degen can't do timed recordings.

Here is another thing I found a few months ago. I went to the CCRANE web site and downloaded the latest firmware-software update for the radio. After I installed the firmware upgrade, the display on the radio quit working. I can't get it back either. By display I mean the one that shows you what frequency you are on! See the photo at the top of the page for the CCW radio. The photo shows a picture that has the 810 KHz on the display. I don't get that display any more! When tuning stations I have to kind of guess what frequency I am on because I can't see the display any more. I do get a display for the Menus and setting up the timers--but not a display to show me what frequency I am on. I tried re-installing the old version of the firmware, but the display never did come back.

I did not contact CCRANE for help on this because I have had the radio for almost 2 years, and have used it for hundreds of hours. Perhaps I wore it out or something!

I paid $230.00 for the radio when I bought it. I guess you could say that I have gotten my money's worth on the investment--but I do wish the radio could have lasted a little longer than it did. Perhaps it was my heavy usage of it that wore it out, but I don't think so.

Final summation. If you want a radio to record AM talk shows, then this is the radio for you. You better hope that the talk show is on one of your local stations, because if it is outside your immediate area--then you are out of luck.

The CCW scores a 5 star for the timer function. It scores a 1 star for the atrocious tuner they put in this thing. Overall ease of use gets 3 stars. Overall--I give it a 3 out of 5 stars for what it does. The tuner is the number one drawback on this item. Outside of the bad tuner, it really is worth the $174.00 they are asking for it now.

Update: 08-27-2011

Went back to the CCrane web site and downloaded the latest version of their firmware update. Went through all the install procedures and finished with the Font install. Turned on the radio and my frequency display was back. Maybe if I had contacted CCrane, I could have had this fixed a long time ago. I swear that I don't remember doing a Font install. Maybe this didn't work when I did the update last January? Or perhaps I did something wrong? Either way, their fault or mine--the radio is 100% again. I still recommend this product for anyone who wants to record from AM and FM. The tuner still troubles me, but I can live with that.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little gadget!, January 31, 2009
This review is from: CC Witness 2GB Digital Recorder/MP3 players with AM/FM (Office Product)
Wow - I love this little thing! I've always wanted a MP3 player that also had AM, but the CC Witness did even better by having the recording feature. Works great - pretty easy to use, a little learning curve, but not bad at all. One thing I REALLY love is the ability to speed up the recording, I've hate "slow speakers", so this way I can listen as fast as my little brain can process! Also, I like the fast forward, I can get past those commercials in no time. I agree it's pricey, but what new gadget isn't these days. I got a big SDHC card and put my entire music collection on it. All it all - I'm very happy with it. By the way - I ordered the desk cradle and charger, nice option to have.
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