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Record audio from my day

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Last Modified: 2014-12-15
I need something that I can put in my pocket, but will do as good a job as possible of recording the events of the day.

Functions needed:
1  Click it to mark a particular time.
2  Doc to charging station at the end of each day.
3  Upload data daily with zero hassle.

Assistance in finding the perfect device is greatly appreciated.
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Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:
There are great number of "voice recorder" apps out there. Have you evaluated any of these?

Can you give some examples of things you want to record? (E.g., billable hours?)
dhsindyRetired considering supplemental income.

Commented:
The PDA (personal data assistant) market when South in 2010 more or less with the advent of smartphones.  I am retired and don't use anything at the moment.  There are still some out there which you can review by googling "personal data assistant" but you will just have to review the features they have.  I would suggest getting a quality smartphone and applications that will fill your needs.

Sorry that is all I got.
Ted PennerData Structures Engineer

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Commented:
I'm not looking for a phone app, but rather a hardware device specifically for this purpose.
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Commented:
I am not sure one exists anymore. The app market has pretty much killed this kind of thing. A free or $0.99 app does all this, and has kind of killed the appliance market.

Hopefully someone else has a better suggestion.
Ted PennerData Structures Engineer

Author

Commented:
The hardware in a phone is not good enough to pick up a recording the way hardware recording devices can.  I need something specifically geared for surveillance so that it will pick up distant audio from inside my front pocket.  The best recorders can filter out noises from very close and pick up stuff from further away pretty well but I just don't know what the current resources are for such equipment.
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Ted PennerData Structures Engineer

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Commented:
Billdl,

Thank you for being the first to offer tangible suggestions.  I think the keychain recorder if it can be located might meet the requirements.  Below is a recap.

Block with lead - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrpPVam7pFkfd - excellent if easy and somewhat more discrete weren't a requirement, not great for a front pocket because there is too much of a chance of it being realized by someone at some point.

Pen -
http://www.spytecinc.com/executive-digital-voice-and-audio-spy-recorder-pen-with-voice-activated-recording-mode.html - interesting, don't like the pretentious look of the gold pen, prefer something more inconspicuous.

Keychain - A keychain recorder might be just the ticket if we could find a good one with wifi auto-upload capability, and one-click index markings.  Hmm, looking...
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Remember that the "block" optionally comes with a 3 foot microphone cord.  It seems to have a standard 2.5 or 3.5mm jack connector, so it is probable that you could get a more covert microphone from another supplier.  If you wear an ID badge, that would be the perfect cover for a microphone.  I still have a tiny old dynamic mic that is small enough to hide behind an ID badge, and when you consider how small but effective microphones there are now, I'm sure you would find one that can be hidden even more easily.  By making a very small hole in the lining of your front pocket you could have the recorder in an inside jacket pocket and the cable with mic coming up through it.  Alternatively, pass the cable down the inside of your sleeve and under your watch strap or through a cufflink buttonhole.  It is highly unlikely that the small foam windshield would be noticed there.

That particular UK manufacturer was only a suggestion.  I'm sure that there are plenty other similar devices with equally good spec available in America.

I don't know about WiFi upload capability.  Given the fact that the devices are being made as small as possible and that memory in them is maximised, adding WiFi capability would probably defeat the purpose, given how easy it is to simply connect "removable storage" to any Windows PC by USB and copy the files off it.

I have used little transmitters that broadcast on selectable in-between radio frequencies (usually FM) and you can receive the transmission on any radio where the recording can be made.  You obviously need to be within range and ensure that nothing else is transmitting or receiving on the same frequency.  You wouldn't need a broadcasting licence because of the limited range from a small battery powered transmitter but, while talking about legalities, it would be wise to check out the laws in your state pertaining to covert recording of other people.

The "index marking" function kind of goes against the general idea of covert surveillance.  The whole idea of a hidden device is that it runs with zero human interference and without revealing its presence.  I honestly don't think such functionality would be available in this type of device, but it has been many years since I last had to use anything like this and technology has advanced at an incredible rate.  It is possible that some voice activated devices may add a synthesised voice date and time stamp each time they are activated.

I hope you can find something suitable.
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frugalmule:

I have needed such a device is the past. I used a Panasonic pocket recorder that when in my coat pocket, inside, it recorded from as far away as 5-6 feet in good quality. Old technology often works better then the latest. If you might like the model number let me know. I'm sure you can find one like it on Ebay.
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Thank you frugalmule.
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