Newest Review: ... push buttons for stop, play and record and there is a slide switch for pause. The Sanyo TRC525M Dictation Machine is powered by two AA b... more
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Sanyo TRC525M Dictation Machine
Member Name: wendybull
Sanyo TRC525M Dictation Machine
Advantages: Easy to operate with one hand
Disadvantages: Design covering tape window
Browsing through the Argos catalogue I saw the Sanyo TRC-525M and as it was a reasonable price I decided to go for it, as I also knew the client I was audio typing for would be using the cassettes that fitted into this machine.
Once out of the small but sturdy cardboard box packaging, I was presented with the dictaphone, which resembled a neat little black brick. Its measurements are roughly 12cm x 7cm and about 2.5cm thick. This is an ideal shape and thickness to fit into the palm of your hand and be able to operate the controls with just your thumb. Obviously I have to keep picking it up and putting it down in between typing the last sentence I hear, but with the controls all in one place, in a cluster at the end of the machine, it is very practical.
There is a clear plastic flap on the face of the dictaphone, which you can just lift up by a small tab on the edge to insert the cassette, and I do sometimes find this a tiny bit fiddly. Both lifting the flap and inserting the cassette, as you have to bear in mind everything is a miniature version of the music playing variety we all listened to in the 80ís. One thing that I find annoying on this part though is that there is a small design of lines on the face of the flap, right in the middle. So if, like me, you want to see how far along the tape you are, you canít, as the design is right over the central part where you can see the tape underneath.
As mentioned earlier the controls are clustered together at the end of the machine, and they are very basic. Stop, play, record in large push button format, and a sliding switch for forward/rewind and pause. The pause button being on a sliding switch is very positive actually, because when you are audio typing you want the recording to stop immediately you hit pause, so when you start playing again you havenít missed any words. I find this perfect for this type of work, and very rarely have to rewind to hear a word I may have missed. However if I do ever have to rewind, it is frustrating that you cannot rewind when the machine is paused. It would be useful to have this feature as immediately you un-pause the recording you could miss even more by not rewinding to the right spot.
On the end of the dictaphone you can find the volume control, a circular device that you roll along from 1 to 10, with 10 being the loudest. I find I do usually have it on number 10, as I am inevitably trying to work over Cbeebies, or some kids programme on in the background, but even so it is not amazingly loud, in fact I would go as far as to suggest that number 9 or 10 is the perfect volume and it doesnít vibrate or turn the recording into scratchy noise when on this level. As well as the volume you will find jacks for earphones and microphone, neither of which I have used as I find the loud speakers much more conducive to effective typing.
The dictaphone can obviously be used to record onto as well and Argos enclosed a free cassette with mine. I have tried it a few times to record notes and points for reviews I want to write and the voice activated recording system really is good fun to use. Basically it means once you press record on the front of the panel and begin talking the machine will record your voice but as soon as you stop talking for between 2 and 6 seconds it will pause recording, then restart as soon as you start to talk again. This is great for when you are thinking about what to say. You wonít have to keep pressing stop and record all the time and you wonít end up with big blank spaces on playback.
It takes the small MC-30 or MC-60 tapes, which are readily available from Argos and other stationary shops usually. You can get up to an hour on the MC-60 tapes, although there is a facility to lengthen recording time with a switch on the bottom of the unit dictating the speed used to record. I have only used this once, during a meeting and it retained the quality of the recording even on the higher speed setting.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with the purchase of this Dictaphone and have used it regularly every week for about six months now. It has been economical on batteries too, only needing a change of the 2 AA batteries once since beginning use. It has been clear and easy to use and for just £17.99 in Argos itís almost worth getting one just to muck around on!
Summary: Good for small businesses for audio typing.
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