Braille Monitor                          February 2019

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The Eltrinex V12Pro Talking Digital Recorder

by Curtis Chong

From the Editor: Curtis Chong is a balanced man, but even he has eccentricities. One of them is an extraordinary appreciation for the pocket digital recorder. To put it mildly, he is a collector. Don’t bother asking his favorite: he can tell you why he has one of each, citing strengths that make them unique. I think this particular recorder stands quite high in his estimation, so here is what he says:

I have been using hand-held digital recorders of one form or another for more than two decades. For the most part, I use these convenient little devices to dictate short notes to myself when I want to capture information such as a phone number, an email address, or the proper spelling of a person's name. Whenever I leave the house, I carry a digital recorder in my pocket. It is so convenient that it is hard to justify not carrying one with me wherever I go.

Recently, I had occasion to buy the Eltrinex V12Pro Talking Digital Recorder. While the price of $169.95 seemed a bit steep, the voice guidance capability of the V12Pro strongly appealed to me. Before the Eltrinex V12Pro, two things always troubled me about the commercial digital recorders on the market.

First, most of the digital recorders I bought did not speak to me at all. If I wanted to change a setting that was buried deep within a menu (for example, the quality of recording or the microphone sensitivity), I had to memorize a sequence of commands. More often than not, if I did not use the sequence very often, I found myself scrambling to remember what to do, usually at the least opportune time. I was happy when Olympus released its series of talking digital recorders. Most of the menu items would talk, and it was nice, when I turned the recorder on, to hear the level of the battery charge: high, medium, or low. But I was disappointed that I could not set the date and time without sighted help. Nor could I move or copy a recording from one folder to another.

Secondly, for most of the digital recorders I used, once a person finished a recording, the audio file could be played or deleted but never changed. Only certain Sony digital recorders (which did not speak at all) had the ability to add to an existing recording after it was finished.

Now consider the Eltrinex V12Pro. All menu items and settings are verbalized with its voice guidance system. You can, without sighted help, set the date and time and specify whether the time is expressed with a twelve-hour or a twenty-four-hour clock. In addition, for each recording that is created, you can add information to the beginning of the recording (referred to as a label) or to the end of the recording (appending to the original recording). For each recording that you create, you can hear the file number in the folder where the recording is saved, how much time the recording takes, and how many more hours of recording time you have left. You can protect or unprotect each recording using speech output alone—no visual assistance required. The same is true if you want to know the charge in the battery. Even better, you can independently move or copy individual recordings from one folder to another.

There are a couple of less positive items that bear mentioning. The Eltrinex V12Pro takes about eight seconds to power up before you can actually start recording. Other recorders usually power up in less than five seconds. When a recording is stopped or deleted, the V12Pro takes about eight seconds to return to its normal operating mode.

The Eltrinex V12Pro is manufactured in Europe, and its documentation (available online) was clearly written by a person for whom English is a second language. While I myself had little trouble with the manual, I can understand how some people might find this to be a problem.

As of this writing, the Eltrinex V12Pro Talking Digital Recorder is priced at $169.95, and it is sold in the United States by LS&S Products. Refer to http://www.lssproducts.com/product/Eltrinex-Talking-Digital-Voice-Recorder/voice-recorders-and-personal-organizers to learn more about the Eltrinex and to buy one for yourself. The company’s main website is https://www.lssproducts.com, and their phone number is 800-468-4789. To read the online version of the user's manual, point your browser to http://help.talking-recorder.com/en-text-manual.php.

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