A digital voice recorder is a small hand-held device that is used to record voice memos to a memory chip, and play the memos back. It can also be used to record lectures, conferences or conversations. Standard DVR's are not intended for recording music, as the sampling rate is lower than what is normally used for quality musical reproduction.
DVR's come in various capacities regarding the maximum recording time, dependent on the amount of internal memory. Another factor that effects maximum recording time is the quality setting of the recording. DVR's offer a higher quality setting for a clearer recording, and a lower quality setting. The lower setting uses a lower sampling rate, and therefore less memory. This translates to leaving more room for other recordings. Consequently the lowest quality setting will allow the maximum number of recording hours, while the highest quality setting will allow the fewest recordable hours.
Most DVR's advertise the maximum hours the device can record. The device will get less than half that amount at the highest quality setting.
DVR's are extremely handy for a variety of uses. The memory is solid state, meaning there are no moving parts. Unlike cassette recorders, there is no need to rewind a DVR. Upon finishing recording, you need only press play to hear the recording immediately. Pause, search, and tracking through files are all standard features.
Files are saved in a numbering scheme with a time-and-date stamp, and most DVR's have between 2-5 folders where messages can be stored. DVR's may also include functions that allow moving messages between folders, splitting messages, and deleting messages.
Some DVR's have USB capability to download voice files to a computer, and of those, some models come with software that automatically converts the voice file to text for easy transcribing.
At the high end of the DVR line there are models that can use external flash cards to supplement internal memory. This feature is referred to as expandable memory.
DVR's are normally powered by 1-2 AAA alkaline or rechargeable batteries.