Many many years ago I acquired a small digital voice recorder that soon became indispensable to me. It was a low-capacity Voice-it, and I think I had three over the years, each with more capacity than the last. For some reason VXI stopped making them, and now the VT-300 goes for a small fortune on eBay. What I loved about the Voice-it was how small it was; very easily fit in the pocket, and that it was instant-on - as soon as I had a thought worth remembering it was a quick press and automatically record. I could also listen w/o headphones or any other interface.
So when my last unit finally died I went looking for some sort of replacement and ended up with an iRiver IFP 790 which has an internal mic and accepts an external as well. It worked well, but was a little bulky for the pocket and not very intuitive, so I pretty quickly gave up on that.
I was intrigued enough when ThinkGeek listed a credit-card-sized digital voice recorder earlier this year to buy one, and it seems to fit squarely between my other two little brains. It's even a little smaller than the Voice-it, which is great, but it's still not quite instant on, and the controls are a little small and I'm never quite sure if it's recording or on standby. I have to hold it right up to my ear to hear through the speaker, and the headphone jack is a proprietary size, so I can't just use the phones I have with me for my iPod. It plugs in to the puter via USB to recharge and to transfer the WAV files, which are actually really clear; I'm pleased with that. All of the recordings show with the same recording date, which is also a little frustrating. So I'm carrying it and using it from time to time, but not as often as I did the Voice-it. I'm hoping that it becomes second nature to me again; it's really useful to me to quickly record those fleeting thoughts, especially during those creative periods when they start to flow. If anyone's curious about the unit, here's a scan of the one-page instruction sheet.
Here's how the units compare size-wise:
Right after I bought the little white one (which really is the size of about 3 credit cards stacked up) I read about this Olympus unit, but when I checked it out in a store it's still too bulky for the pocket.
I suppose if I had a cell phone that had a quick voice record feature that'd work for me, but does anyone else have any other recommendations?