Olympus WS-853 Review

Olympus WS-853 Review

3 years after I bought the Olympus WS-853, I write a review! I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to pen this review. Not for the lack of desire – just been bogged down with other “stuff”. But, due to public demand, I’m going to be writing a lot more in-depth product reviews. And if you’re a researcher and appreciate them, please leave a comment below! If my memory serves me right, I first bought this recorder because it had a USB direct connection to my PC, easy copying of files to PC and mac (no need for software), and its ability to recharge batteries. However, these are standard features in most digital voice recorders worth buying in 2018. Summary: Olympus WS-853 Review The Good: comes with 8GB internal memory (impressive!), rechargeable NiMH batteries and a kickstand (reduces “table noise”). Captures very little background noise. The Bad: max MP3 128 kbps recording mode… Continue reading…

Sony ICD-ux560 Review

If you are regular reader of our (excellent?) blog, you’ll have noticed that I recommend the Sony ICD-ux560 as the best recorder for recording interviews, lectures, and small focus group discussions. While I highlight the key features of the Sony ICD-ux560 and give reasons as to why I recommend it, I’ve never done an in-depth review of the Sony ICD-ux560 digital recorder. So, here we go. With the ICD-ux560, Sony made a few bold (risky) changes from their previous digital recorders. I remember my first impression of this recorder: it’s very thin and lightweight. Photos of this recorder do not reflect how light it feels on your hand and its low profile. How did Sony achieve this? Summary: Sony ICD-ux560 Review Pros: very lightweight; powers up instantly; amazing sound; records in LPCM format; 3.5mm mic input with plug-in power; clear, sharp, and crisp LCD screen. Cons: built in battery; only 4GB built in memory; screen… Continue reading…

Choosing the Best Recorder for Interviews (Updated 2018)

Best Recorder for Interviews

There’s a myriad of ways to record your research interviews. You could use your phone, laptop, or even a camcorder. However, I strongly recommend using a digital voice recorder. Handheld digital voice recorders are compact, affordable and enable you to easily manage the audio recordings, which makes the process of getting your dissertation interview transcripts easy and cost effective. Summary: Best Recorder for Interviews Sony ICD-UX560: lightweight and low profile; powers up instantly; amazing sound; records in LPCM format; 3.5mm mic input with plug-in power; clear, sharp, and crisp LCD screen. Perfect for recording interviews. Stop shopping around and go and buy this beauty on Amazon! Sony ICD-PX470: if you are looking for excellent interview recorder on a budget. Very similar to the Sony ICD-ux560, but larger and bulkier. Uses 2 AA alkaline batteries (no USB recharging), no backlight. If you can’t afford the Sony-ux560, this recorder will save you some money. Zoom H1n: Very good recorded sound.… Continue reading…

Best Recorder for Lectures (Updated 2018)

Best Recorder for Lectures

When I was in college, I recorded a lot of the lectures and found the recordings to be incredibly, incredibly useful. Why? They were a useful learning tool; I used recorded lectures to strategically revisit sections I wanted to reinforce, and when preparing for assessments. I was always amazed, when I listened back to the lectures, how much stuff I didn’t write down! During my freshmen year, my friends took the piss a bit, but a few of them borrowed the recordings after they’d missed a class and soon everybody realized how useful it was to have a recording of the lecture.  By the second year, everyone expected (including the professors), that I’d record the lectures and the few times I forgot to carry or switch on my lecture recorder, they were mad at me! Go figure! Summary: Best Recorder for Lectures Sony ICD-UX560: lightweight and low profile; powers up instantly; amazing sound from distance;… Continue reading…

Best Audio Recorder for Focus Groups

Recording focus group discussion is not easy. Focus groups are notoriously hard to control and manage. But crucially, you’ll have to record sound from different sources and directions. That’s not easy. Luckily for you, there’s recording equipment that make recording focus group discussion easier. And that’s my intention, to share with you the best focus group recording devices. In a previous post, I shared a general outline of how to record a focus group discussion. I listed the 3 things you need to think about while planning your focus groups. I also shared specific recording devices for recording different types of focus group discussions. But I realized that I didn’t provide researchers with options and recommendations. Summary: Here’s the best audio recorder for focus groups. Sony ICD-ux560 audio recorder – a couple of these recorders are great for small sized focus groups. But can also be used to power two ME33 boundary microphones and record… Continue reading…

3 Best Books on Qualitative Data Analysis

3 Best Books on Qualitative Data Analysis

Here’s my blogging modus operandi. A client emails me and asks me to recommend a book, software,  recording equipment et al. I make a recommendation and make a note of it in my work diary. If another client asks me to make a similar recommendation – I know I need to blog about it! And that’s how we got here! Last week a client asked me to recommend a good book on qualitative data analysis. Let’s back up a little bit. Typically researchers get in touch with us looking to have their research interviews and/or focus group discussions transcribed. Now, some researches are also looking for help analyzing their qualitative data. That’s a service that, sadly, we don’t provide. We usually direct them to someone who can assist them in analyzing their data and suggest a few qualitative data analysis books that will set them on the right path. In this post, I’m going to… Continue reading…

How to Record Focus Group Discussions

How to Record a small focus group discussion

A few days ago, I got this email from a researcher. “Hi, I’m doing an eval of a math program, 1 focus group with max 8 grad teaching assistants, 1-2 focus groups with students in intro math classes. 60 min each (max 3 60 min sessions). What kind of recording equipment/software would I need? Thanks, [Maggie].” I’ve been meaning to write a detailed post on how to record focus group discussions, but seem to never get to it! And this is the 3rd researcher that has emailed me asking for advice on how to record focus group discussion in the past 3 months! And recording focus groups can be tricky. You’ll have a room with 4-15 participants and making sure you clearly record each one of their responses is challenging. A couple of disclaimers. This is not a post on how to conduct focus group discussions. So don’t expect the do’s and don’ts of conducting… Continue reading…

3 Tips for Recording Research Interviews

Recoridng Research Interviews

Recording research interviews is a great way to capture qualitative data in thesis or dissertation research and ensures descriptive validity. While taking notes and writing down your observations is important, it’s likely you’re going to miss out on some details. An audio recording of an interview also allows you to refer back to the interview and take a fresh look at the interview data, these are some of the advantages of recording interviews in qualitative research. While recording an interview can be as easy as placing your iPhone on the table and tapping record, researchers tend to underestimate the challenges of getting an interview recording with good audio quality. This, coupled with the fact that the descriptive validity of qualitative data is directly related to the quality of the recording, means that researcher need to pay closer attention to how they record their research interviews. Why is audio quality so important?  When transcribing interviews, the… Continue reading…

How to Auto Code Synched Transcripts in NVivo 11

Weloty’s NVivo Transcription Service offers 3 types of transcripts that you can import into NVivo. Synched NVivo transcripts are great for research projects where data analysis of the videos/audio may be as much as the verbal output which is transcribed. For those of you who plan to use NVivo to analyze their interviews and or focus groups, this video is a step by step guide on how Auto Code Synched Transcripts in NVivo 11. If you’d like us to transcribe your interviews and or focus group discussions using the NVivo synched format, which does eliminates an enormous amount of work for you, please get in touch.   Transcript In the previous tutorial, I showed you how to import a synchronized transcript into NVivo 11. In this video, I’m going to show you how to segment the transcript using the auto code feature in NVivo 11. Now, I wish to code everything that the interviewee said… Continue reading…

How to Auto Code Header Formatted Transcripts in NVivo 11

Weloty’s NVivo Transcription Service offers 3 types of transcripts that you can import into NVivo. Transcripts formatted with heading styles are our default and most popular NVivo transcription format. For those of you who plan to use NVivo to analyze their interviews and or focus groups, this video is a step by step guide on how to auto code header formatted transcripts in NVivo 11. If you’d like us to transcribe your interviews and or focus group discussions using the NVivo heading styles format, which eliminates an enormous amount of work for you, please get in touch.   Transcript In the previous video, I showed you how to import a header formatted transcript into NVivo 11. In this video, I’m going to show you how to segment the transcript using the auto code feature in NVivo 11. Now, I wish to code everything that the interviewee said into a node. Why? Well so that I… Continue reading…