I received a lot of e-mails after my Starting a New Law Office article ran in the Texas Bar Journal in the summer of 2008 about my solution to the dictation issue, so I ran a detailed post here about the handheld digital voice recorder I used to replace the DictaPhone system that I'd spent the first fifteen years of my career using.
Over two years later I'm still very happy with my choice, but I have to report that my trusty RCA RP5022Bsadly gave up the ghost yesterday morning after processing 687 dictation files (it numbers them sequentially, so I know precisely how many files it processed). Since we are used to RCA's "Digital Voice Manager" software for managing and transcribing the files, Pam picked up a replacement at Walmart (still in the low $30's), this time a RCA VR5220-A. The software is essentially the same, and although I am still working to figure out which buttons correspond to the old ones, the functions I use seem to be the same.
The difference is that, first, the same $30 that bought me 64 megs of storage in 2008 yesterday buys 512 megs, which is approximately 200 hours of recording time, which is way more than Pam says I am allowed to have (she tried to find one with less memory, but no luck). Second, instead of needing a USB cable to plug into my computer, the new recorder has a pop-out USB connector so it plugs in the same as a thumb drive (and can act as an external hard drive for files if you need it to). I still need the USB cable for other things, and it's actually slightly annoying to try to find a free port, but it's a nice thought, I suppose. I does make it simpler to just toss the recorder to Pam so she can download the file rather than doing it myself, since she does not normally have a USB cable plugged in. Normally I do manually transfer the files, or e-mail them if I'm out of the office, but this does give me an additional option.