A digital dictation recorder is a convenient and compact electronic device used for recording spoken voices. The digital dictation recorder is then able to play back the recordings at a later time. This type of device is frequently used by legal professionals, medical professionals, and students, but they may be used by anyone who wants a device to jog their memory.
A digital dictation recorder is typically fairly simple, and is designed to fit easily in a pocket or purse, with buttons to record, stop, pause, or play the recording, and a display screen to show the amount of time it has been recording. It will also feature a microphone to pick up the voice, as well as a small speaker or 3.5 mm headphone jack to listen to the recordings. The storage medium is the other important feature on a digital dictation recorder; this is what separates it from a more traditional analog recorder, which used a small cassette tape to record.
Some digital dictation recorders have a hard drive built in, while others have solid state memory, or a slot for a removable memory card. This is especially convenient for those who record a lot of dictation, because once one memory card becomes full, it can simply be swapped out for another. Either type of memory system can be effective, however. These recorders vary in price, from basic models to professional models with extra features and larger capacity.
A digital dictation recorder is frequently used by medical or legal professionals who do not have the time to sit down and write out their notes. Sometimes the user will then listen to his or her own notes and transcribe them, but more frequently, the recordings are passed along to a professional transcriptionist who listens to them and transcribes them into text. Medical and legal transcription is a popular field in which to work, because it requires a relatively small amount of education, and often allows the transcriptionist to work from home.
Students who have difficulty taking notes may also use a digital dictation recorder in class. For this type of use, it is important to get a recorder with a high quality microphone that is able to pick up voices from a distance, because it will not be held up to the speaker's mouth. In addition, there are also some very inexpensive digital dictation recorders available for people to simply make notes themselves. For example, one might use this type of recorder to create a grocery list, which can then simply be listened to at the grocery store.