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Also known as a voice recording pen, the audio pen recorder is a recording device that is the same shape and size of a standard writing pen. Many models are actually designed to function as a writing instrument, as well as provide instant recording functions when and as needed. Over the years, audio recording pens have greatly increased in the amount of recording time available, as well as improved greatly in the quality of sound capture and replay.
A basic audio pen recorder is activated by simply pressing a recessed key on the body of the pen itself. Once activated, the recording feature will continue to function until the key is pressed a second time, or when the recording capacity of the pen is exhausted. Many models are equipped with the ability to replay the recording immediately, although some are only capable of voice capture and playback after the recording is downloaded to some type of playback device.
In appearance, an audio pen recorder looks very much like an executive-style pen. The tailoring of the body is sometimes slightly larger than basic ball point pens, but still within the same scale as many high-end fountain pens. A casual observer would not notice anything out of the ordinary about the pen, making it ideal for use in situations where discretion is important.
A good quality audio pen recorder can come in handy in a number of situations. Salespeople may find that using the pen to record conversations with clients makes it easier to follow up on any queries made by the customer. Journalists often find that a voice recording pen is helpful when interviewing subjects for a newspaper or magazine article. The lightweight design of the device means there is no awkward recording equipment to keep up with, since the pen can easily be slipped into a lapel pocket or a computer bag.
There are a number of makes and models of the audio pen recorder on the market today. Cheaper models normally have less recording time available, and are likely to provide recordings of lower quality. High-end recording pens tend to have substantially more recording time, better audio quality, and the ability to download the recording into several different formats. There are now designs that can also function as a player, making it possible to upload music files to the pen and enjoy music without the need to carry along another handheld device or mp3 player.
As with any type of recording device, it is important to observe local laws regarding privacy. In many countries around the world, it is necessary to obtain permission from the subject before initiating a recording session. Failure to observe these laws can lead to legal action, up to and including imprisonment.