Robb Report
November 1994

Flashing Thoughts

Those who need to record their thoughts on the go can now do so digitally. There's a new breed of personal voice recorders--and they don't use tapes.

Instead, these new recorders use credit-card-size memory cards that are compatible with those that plug into hand-held and notebook computers. These PCMCIA cards, as they are called (see September 1994 issue, page 34), store data on flash chips that don't have moving parts, as do computer disks and audiotapes.

One of the first of these new-generation voice recorders is called Flashback. This handheld device allows for up to 30 to 60 minutes of voice recordings to be stored on the PCMCIA-compatible card, called a SoundClip in this case.

The recordings can be played back, or the card can be removed and its audio stored in a computer with a PCMCIA slot. Play and other functions are controlled through two buttons on the face of the unit.

One interesting feature available because of this flash technology is "random insert," which gives the user the ability to add a thought within a thought. Recordings can also be played back at high speed or slow speed without altering the pitch of the voice.

The price of Flashback is about $250. Additional 30-minute SoundClip cards are about $70 each. A 60-minute card will be made available sometime this fall.

For more information, telephone (619) 679-1504.

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