Layne McDonald, Ph.D.
Dictation equipment is a method to record ideas rather than write them down. It is also used in business as it allows for quick and accurate information recording. In addition, it is used when writing isn’t practical such as in medical services. There is a variety of dictation equipment on the market, and it’s essential to choose the correct one for your needs.
There are two main situations for dictation. The first is when note-taking is to time-consuming or difficult, such as when one is traveling. In these situations, a recorder can easily record a necessary conversation.
The second situation is to shift the burden of typing from highly paid executives and professionals to lower-salaried employees. Executives and professionals such as doctors dictate. Transcribers then transcribe the work to document form.
There are two types of Dictaphone equipment available analog and digital. Analog is the older technology, and its pretty straightforward. You can choose from either desk units or pocket recorders, which have a built-in microphone. Micro-cassettes are the standard recording device.
One essential feature to have been indexing. This lets the user add a tone at the start and end of a dictated message, making it easier for the transcriber to find the beginning and end of a document.
Voice activation is another feature to consider. With voice activation, when you speak, the recording starts automatically. However, the first couple of words is usually distorted.
Digital dictation equipment is the new kid on the block, and it’s a great deal more complex than analog equipment. It offers many different capabilities depending on what is needed.
Transcription equipment is used to convert messages that have been dictated to written documents. You should purchase equipment that lets the transcriber modify both the speed and volume of the dictation and rewinding and forwarding.
The best machines have foot controls, so the transcriber doesn’t have to stop typing to backup or adjust the tape. Also, look for units where the buttons are placed so that the record button can’t accidentally be turned on, erasing a dictated message.
Dictation equipment can range from under $80 to over $100,000. Yes, that’s correct! Low-end units can be purchased online at many sites that offer office equipment, and, of course, you can also find them at local retail outlets.
Most users will be looking for a reasonably basic Dictaphone, but larger systems will need support and installation like those $100,000 systems. They will need to be purchased through specialized firms that can provide these services.
Dictation equipment is an integral part of many business environments, so give it the attention.