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Customer Review

421 of 444 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to transfer its MP3 audio files onto your hard drive!, April 24, 2011
This review is from: Sony Digital Flash Voice Recorder (ICD-PX312) (Office Product)
I just retired my Sony ICD-B600 Digital Voice Recorders (I had several) and replaced them all with this Sony ICD-PX312 unit. When I saw the Amaz. delivery promise for this PX312 had shifted to "1 to 3 months," well I figured the PX312 for out-of-production ... and so this was as low as prices were going to get. So I snagged several off the pegs at WorstBuy.

The primary reason I upgraded is that the PX312 makes it very easy to save audio files on my hard drive. It has a female A-Mini-USB plug on the side and so I can use my Zip-Linq Retractable USB to A-Mini-USB Cable to connect it to the computer. The PX312 then appears on my computer as a plug-n-play flash drive, no software drivers required. Then I can just copy any audio files off of it and on to my computer. The PX312 stores its audio files in MP3 format, so there are no file conversions involved. In fact, there's no software or drivers needed at all for this gizmo. Sweet!

The Sony website offers a download titled "Sony Sound Organizer for IC Recorder v 1.1" to help you do things like create/move/delete folders on the device. I wouldn't bother. My experience with Sony software and drivers is that it's usually buggy-as-cr@p, so why complicate my computer's environment for such trivial stuff. Any recordings made are found in the Voice/Folder1 folder, and that's all I need to know or do to snag them or erase them.

[The B600 had no computer software, no USB, etc. to support sound transfer. The only option for transferring its recordings was to use the speaker/audio out jack. I ended up using Windows Sound Recorder and the microphone in jack on the back of the PC, and even then there was some odd tweaking required to make that solution work. At the time, I would have had to cough up another forty smackers or so to get the model that provided file transfer support ... and it required software drivers to do it.]

The PX312 also has gobs of memory and will even accept an M2 MicroSD card for expansion. When some reasonably sized M2 cards get cheap as dirt, well I'll snag 'em ... but I probably won't even need them.

The weird "hold" button thing that was going on with the B600 is solved. On this PX312 there is a ON/OFF/HOLD slider switch. Pull down to turn on, pull down again to turn off. (You do have to hold it there for a few seconds sometimes.) Pull the slider switch UP for the hold function. That function locks all the buttons while the device is powered up (so you won't accidentally punch one). On the B600 the "HOLD" slider was actually nothing more than an ON/OFF slider. But anyone could have gone crazy trying to find the ON/OFF slider. Since it was cryptically labeled "HOLD."

Also gone with the PX312 is the weird "erase" function that was on the B600. With the B600, if you followed the instructions for erasing a recording, it resulted in the entire recording being played 10 times before it was erased. Why anyone would have a need for THAT to occur is beyond me. But simply pressing the "Erase" button twice in succession while playing the recording would erase the recording instantly. That approach was undocumented in the instructions. With the PX312 it's much smoother. Push the 'erase' button and the recording to be erased starts to play. The screen asks you to confirm the erase. Select "Yes" and it's gone.

Also solved: The PX312, unlike the B600, has an auto-power-off option and the timer can be adjusted by the user.

The PX312 does bring forward some unresolved shortcomings from the B600. The PX312, as was the B600, is way "over-engineered." The basic operation/buttons and the display screens are not as simple as they could be. It took a bit of reading/plowing through the manual (and reading reviews here on Amazon) to get oriented. And there is other functional overkill. I don't need five storage folders (or a way to transfer files between them), an alarm clock (and a way to select a message for the alarm), the ability to go back and splice previous messages, the ability to append recordings to existing recordings and other such what not. All those functions and buttons just complicate the device/screens/menus needlessly, imho. I just wanted a gizmo that would make audio recordings at the push of a button, that would let me move them to my computer for storage and that made them in a format that didn't require any conversion efforts. And I suspect that is just about all most users want out of these devices. I guess Sony thinks it has to load up a bunch of this useless functionality to justify the asking price.

The price of the Sony devices with this level of capability had been steadily dropping, of course, and so these PX312s cost me no more than what I paid for the ICD-B600s a few years ago. Now the ICD-B600s will be sold on eBay ... and so I've upgraded for practically nothing. Double Sweet!!
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Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 40 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 2, 2011 11:40:05 AM PDT
MollyM/CA says:
Thank you so much for the detailed take on this recorder! And for getting in a few digs about the clutter of silly apps/functions -- maybe if we all keep doing it we'll get our ideal recorder one day.

Rhonda of the Mountain

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2011 7:29:08 PM PDT
Tony Polito says:
Molly M, Thank you very much for your kind words.

Posted on Jul 2, 2011 8:25:19 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 2, 2011 8:26:35 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 26, 2011 5:11:41 PM PDT
Deronda says:
Thx 4 sharin all the download audio specs! U saved me a LOT of time! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2011 11:18:05 PM PDT
Tony Polito says:
Thank you for your kind words, T.McMichael !

Posted on Oct 16, 2011 5:44:49 PM PDT
j d says:
I agree with you on the function issue. By the way, I wasn't sure who to ask but on this recorder can I mark a certain short section of a file, say 1 or 2 seconds, and have the device repeat only that section. Sorry for the novice question.

Posted on Oct 17, 2011 6:42:43 PM PDT
A. Davis says:
Suggestion--I almost wasn't going to buy this bc your review made it sound like one had to buy a separate USB cable. You might want to put a parenthetical note that this is not the case when you talk about the cable you bought separately.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 7:06:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2011 10:26:08 PM PST
Tony Polito says:
@ A. Davis

Yes, thank you for pointing this out. You are correct. This model DOES come boxed with a USB cable. I just watched an 'unboxing' video on YouTube to confirm that. It is just that I find the retractable USB cable more handy.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2011 10:24:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2011 10:25:34 PM PST
Tony Polito says:
@ John Lloyd Denys Jr.

I had to look at the instructions, of course, but the answer is "yes."

On page 54 it explains that (basically) there is a button on the side called/labelled "Repeat A-B." As you are playing back, push the button once to mark the startpoint for the repeat cycle (called the "A" point) and then as the playback continues, push the button again to mark the endpoint for the repeat cycle (called the "B" point).

Once the endpoint is marked, the playback will repeat that marked section again and again.

To stop the repeating playback, just push the stop button.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2011 5:46:02 AM PST
j d says:
@ Tony Polito Thank you very much for your help.
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