June 1994



If you like to make voice memos to yourself but are tired of fumbling with a tape recorder, then the good news is that personal recorders are going digital. The advantage is random access to your voice memos and ease of use.

While there have been a few digital recorders already on the market, they tend to offer very limited recording times. The best we've seen thus far is called Flashback and is manufactured by Norris Communications Corp. of Poway, California. This recorder, listing for $199, is very light at 3 ounces and is thin enough to fit easily into a shirt pocket.

Despite its small size, Flashback is feature-packed and all of them are easily accessed with either of two control buttons. Features of note include the ability to insert addenda into an already recorded memo and the ability to listen to recordings at a very fast or very slow speed without loss of intelligibility. Sound quality in any mode is very good.

Recordings are actually made onto tiny sound clips that you insert into Flashback. Each sound clip has a 30-minute capacity, and additional sound clips are available for less than $70. The slot the sound clips are inserted into is also PCMCIA compatible. This means your memos can be downloaded onto a personal computer, personal digital assistant or other PCMCIA device outfitted with this performance-enhancing feature.


Flashback offers pocket-size digital recording.


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Revised: September 29, 2005