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Sony ICDCX50 Digital Voice Recorder
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- Accessories Included - Software, carrying case, stereo earshone, AC adapter
- Activation/Review Functions - Voice activated record
- Clock/Alarm Features - Clock/calendar
- Connector/Port - USB
- Display - Backlit
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Sony ICDCX50 Digital Voice Recorder
From the Manufacturer
Capture sound and images together. Sony's ICD-CX50 visual voice recorder is an ingenious little device that combines a 256MB flash memory digital voice recorder with a 1.2 megapixel camera. You can record audio and capture images simultaneously, and the information will be saved into a synchronized file. Document an auto claim. Record meetings and lectures. Complete a home inspection. There are more real life applications than you can dream up. A great work tool for claims adjusters, realtors and building inspectors, but also incredibly useful for students, homeowners and travelers. Features a 1.2 inch color LCD, rechargeable battery and 4X digital zoom.
- 1.2 Megapixel Effective Camera --- provides a way to "see" what is being spoken about. Take digital pictures as audio is being recorded to capture the whole story.
- 256MB Flash Memory2 --- allows for up to 4000 Pictures (640 x 480 JPG) or Up to 93 Hours of Recording Time (LP Mode) to be recorded onto the embedded memory.
- USB 2.01 Compatible --- High speed transfer of audio and images to PC from device.
- 4X Digital Zoom --- can be used to get up to 4x closer to the object getting photographed.
- 1.2-Inch Color LCD --- displays a wealth of information from image thumbnails to file names making it fast and easy to navigate to the desired screen.
- Rechargeable Battery --- can be recharged using AC adaptor or supplied USB cable and a PC.
- New STLP Recording Mode --- Offers a longer recording time while maintaining 2-channel recording.
- Digital Voice-Up Function --- increases the volume of the person speaking when recorded at a distance from the unit while maintaining overall quality.
- Built-In Playback Speaker --- for monitoring playback of recordings.
- Built in Stereo Mic --- records separate left and right channels in stereo, and provides convenient recording versatility in a variety of situations.
- External Microphone Jack --- allows connection of an external microphone for special recording applications.
Top customer reviews
For what I have used this recorder for it is fantastic. I am a research psychologist and I go to a few conferences over the course of the year in which I attend many presentations that use slides. I sit in the front and snap a picture of every slide while I record the talks. Then when I get home from the conference, I can actually see the talks again!
(I must admit that I use Camtasia Studio Version 5 to capture the entire recording so that I can play it on, well, anything else that's not the supplied interface. Which is good, but...only on the system on which you have it installed.)
Also, this unit works with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 Preferred (I do not work for these people---their software rocks) speech recognition software. Wow! Very cool, indeed. I can talk into the unit all day and then when I get home, I can plug in the recorder to my computer and everything get converted into type on the screen. This is a very Buck Rogers experience, IMO.
Ultimately, this little baby is a high priced item. But, if you are really into recording slide presentations or if you really want to get the most out of software like Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 Preferred then I highly recommend this unit.
Finally, I have never had any problems (other that the charge issue mentioned above)with this unit. The SONY ICD-CX50 is a great device. The entire interface in intuitive and well thought out. I can only assume that the reviewer who did not enjoy his/hers
I purchased it for two reasons. One, the rechargable battery, either by a USB port or the included AC charger. Total charge time from a dead state is 2.5 hours. (Battery life is rated at 10.5 hours to 14.5 hours, depending on recording settings. Not shabby at all.) What was nice is the shutdown feature once the battery is fully charged, protecting the unit from becoming hot. My other reason of purchase is the 256 MB of built in flash memory. (If you can talk and create the 1000 total messages this unit can store within its 256 MB of memory, you have way too much to say.) The quality and features Sony has placed within the unit is a nice plus, and is something a concerned consumer should come to expect. (Unfortunately, no, Sony isn't paying me to patronize them.)
Once charged, I was ready to put the unit thru its paces. The internal clock and date can be set manually, or automatically when the unit is connected to a PC or laptop. The unit looks like an electric razor, due to the hood which extends and reveals the 1.2 inch LCD screen. It didn't take long to become comfortable with the controls. The recorder has a HOLD feature, that prevents the user from accidently pressing a button and destroying information.
Pressing REC, I made a test recording and played it back. The sound reproduction was good, and enhanced with the Digital Voice Up switch, that amplifies the low level and inaudible sounds to an optimal level. The rocker switch on the side that controls volume provides a very decent sound when increased. Playback can be heard from the built in speakers. Attaching a set of headphones and listening to the recording - WOW! My simple voice recording was meaty and full and rich. The internal software can hold as many as 10 folders, each folder containing up to 99 messages each. Recording time is anywhere from 11.5 hours to 95.5 hours, depending on recording setting (stereo or mono, standard play or long extended play)
The unit includes a 1.3 MP camera lens, with a fixed f4 stop. The pictures turned out clear and crisp. Nice if you have a cell phone company that nickel and dimes their customers every chance they get. Like mine. (Can you hear me now??) The camera will capture regular photos as well as close upshots. Pictures have the option of 1280 x 960 per picture image, (recording a total of 1340 images) or 640 x 480 per pixel image (recording a total of 4090 images.)
What sets this recorder apart from the rest is the ability to take a picture and add recorded commentary to it, either simultaneously, or post recording and playback.
The user of a unit such as this is hampered only by your imagination. House hunting? Meetings? Shopping for a new car? Take pictures and add comments for later study. Car accident because some nozzle hit your car? Snap pictures of the scene and add your opinions. (I could have used this years ago when a moron backed up through a toll booth and hit my 10 day old brand spanking new car. I hadn't even received the payment book yet.)
Sony includes a CD with Voice and Visual software, which enables the user to download the sound files and pictures to a PC for further editing and processing. Which brings up my only gripe, and the reason I hesitate to give Sony 5 stars.
The recorder software can only be used on Windows 98 SE and above, not Apple/Mac. They missed a whole market share on this one. Owning an Apple Powerbook, I was able to attach the unit to my laptop and drill down to the folder and view and copy the JPEG's. But the recordings are in a proprietary format, so I can't download them or listen to them without the unit itself. Second gripe: Sony only created five folders on the unit, which has a capability of 10 folders total. Why only five? Pay the overtime and create the other five. Creating the extra folders on an Apple unit will not create them visibly on the recorder, even though you can see them on the laptop.
In order to create the other five folders, I had to visit a retail store, armed with a story about researching a Windows laptop for a friend, making sure he could use his recorder for medical transcription before making a purchase. All I needed was Jean Reno suspending me a foot off the floor, lest I touch the pressure sensitive pads or reaise the temperature of the room a single degree, setting off the store's alarms and alerting the NSA of my subterfuge.
I was able to install the software, attach the recorder with the USB cable, and create the other five folders, while fending off salespersons, repeating I was only browsing. One salesman actually looked over my shoulder at the install screen while I was waiting for a lengthy .DLL to load, and walked away. When finished, I had to endure a sales pitch about one of the laptops I pretended to be interested in. Ever have to listen to a salesperson blather on about computers, imparting various flapdoodle while you nod your head and try not to blurt out the 15 years of experience you have developing software for these things? Just shove the bamboo shoots under my fingernails and get it over with!
By all means, if you want a quality unit, this is a great purchase. This was the only unit I could find that has a rechargable battery and a good sized internal flash memory. And the built in camera/voice record function. Be reminded it can be used without ever touching the software, but requires a Windows 98SE system or above to install and use the included applications. One day, Sony will get the message and get off their proprietary ivory tower.
After spending the first day fiddling: taking pictures, small voice recordings, recording readings while taking pictures as bookmarks; I moved on to install DragonNaturallySpeaking and integrate the gadget with the software. Dragon installed simply and quickly; I picked up my all-in-wonder unit and it stared at me dully. No lights, no flicker of activity, not a thought between its little silicon ears. The reset button earned me 15 seconds of interaction then it went right back to its union coffee break. Second and third resets (while trying different variations of 'hold', 'camera mode', and pressing other buttons) earned me an additional 20-30 seconds each with my little 'bot. Then nothing. Changing outlets, using only USB, using both, hold, plain, camera, buttons, resets... nothing within my electronic CPR skill set could bring her back.
So back to Sony it goes; beautiful, expensive, and useless.