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How do You Record Your Interviews?

Investigators almost always try to record the interviews they conduct.  The main reason is for the purpose of accuracy when they have to report their findings.  There are instances when you interview a potential witness, and they change their story in court.  It is awfully nice to have a recorded interview where they state something different, especially if you need to discredit the witness or what they "now" say damages a case.

Every time I conduct an interview, I try to get it recorded.  I have tried out several high-end recorders, only to find out the are "too good."  Too many times when I have used the high end products, they are too sensitive and pick up way too much background noise.  When I say recorders - I am speaking of digital recorders.  I do not use tape any longer - it is just logistically too impractical.  The 4th recorder I decided to try out was basically out of need.  I had sent back another expensive model, and I needed one as a stop-gap measure.   I bought a $59 model from Wal~Mart.

The recorder I got was a Sony ICD-PX312 digital recorder.  It has a removable micro-SD card (which was one of the few requirements I have).  It can record in several formats, and has several quality settings.  I stated off using everything in the middle range.  It it easy to set up and easy to use.  I can turn the recorder on and lock the power button so it continually records conversations.  I put the recorder in my pocket and conduct the interview.  It doesn't matter if it is a shirt or pants pocket - it records the conversation really well.

I would have to give this recorder a 5 out of 5 rating if I had a system.  It is easy to use, easy to set up and always gives me a great recording.  This equipment is standard issue for everyone working for me.

If you use something that works really well, I would like to hear from you.

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