The following statements are made based on my professional opinion, experience, and best of my knowledge and belief, after spending countless hours with learning features and diagnosing problems on this recorder and its recent simillarly-featured predecessors:
1. This recorders' files constantly get corrupted and CHKDSK or other Disk Repair has to be run on it. I just spent over TWO HOURS running the last Repair on a big sound file.
2. Even though it records in .WAV format, the O/S doesnt treat the 32-bit formatted memory space in the same manner as a USB "thumb-drive," meaning:
A. You cant simply use a PC drag-and-drop of the files to and from the media without the INDEX file getting messed up AND risk causing the memory space to be corrupted, which results in future file-corruption. If you copy and delete a sound file and then copy it back, the recorder no longer sees it because the operation was controlled on the PC, not via the Recorder's O/S where the index file would otherwise be updated. You must use the RCA software at all times and places, which may not always be convenient.
B. If the RCA device driver isnt loaded, the PC [Win-XP (SP3)] might not recognize the Recorder. This could be problematic if transferring to School, Library, or Corporate "locked-down" PC's, preventing access to your files.
3. WEAK BATTERY WILL LEAD TO LOCKED-UP RECORDING AND FILE CORRUPTION: Whenever the batteries get close to dying in the middle of a recording, it will lock-up and make a ticking noise. All the buttons freeze-up and the only resolution is to immediately remove the batteries. When new ones are put in you may have to deal with a file-corruption problem and receive error messages copying one or more files to the PC. Causing you to have to run a Disk-Repair Utility to straighten it out. Some recordings may end up irrepairable.
4. ITS A NUISANCE TO RECORD...You must ALWAYS FIRST press the Play button before recording and it usually flashes <WAIT>...<WAIT>...<WAIT> for several inconvenient seconds before it is ready to record. So you CANNOT just press <RECORD> and immediately start recording. It requires at least one extra cumbersom step and delay before recording starts. RCA may claim it as a "safety feature" but you and I may find it more annoying. If youre a journalist or have to have quick-start recording, this is not for you.
I have owned several prior models to this with simillar problems. I have used them with some of the most stable PC's and in the most conservative manner, always following the manufacturers operating instructions when using this device with the same results. Previously I used a Panasonic USR380 (now unavailable), had no trouble and loved it! With RCA's models Ive spent way too much time fixing the recorders files. The only reason I bought them was unavailability of decent competing models in Wal Mart, and price. Im now looking for a Panasonic that is priced comparably. I would not recommend anyone buying any later-improved RCA models. I feel RCA has had plenty of chances to get it right.
(BTW, I dont know why, but this items Product Reviews area was EMPTY when initially displaying the items WalMart.com listing.)
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