Flash Memory Recorder

A collection of portable flash memory recorders
Digital solid state recorders create recordings that are “born digital”—the audio signal is recorded to digital file on flash memory. The memory can be internal (non-removable) or removable.

Usually a recorder with non-removable memory generates compressed audio—A proprietary audio format, MP3, or lower-quality WAV files. These recorders do not have the ability to record lengthy interviews. The best rule of thumb is to look for recorders that record in uncompressed WAV format.

Removable flash memory is available as either Compact Flash [see image] or SD (Secure Digital) [see image]. The memory formats are not interchangeable.

Compact Flash and SD (Secure Digital) flash memory cards, with a quarter for comparison

Uncompressed Audio CD-quality (16 bit, 44.1 kHz) has larger file sizes, so you need to have 2GB flash memory cards or more.


Lots of innovation in this market keeps producing recorders that are more compact, more stripped down. Competition is bringing prices down in this space. In the last two years, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for new offerings went from a $499 to $399 to $299 to $199.
No moving parts!


You need to be sure you have adequate flash memory for a single recording session.

Marantz PMD 660

The stand-by for sturdy construction of flash memory, two XLR microphone connectors, the ability to record in either stereo or mono.


An option to record in Mono, to get twice the interview for the memory card.


Noisy Pre-amp (Oade Bros offers an upgraded version)

Edirol R-09

M-Audio Microtrak 24/96

Compact Flash memory

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