Jeremy Minns <>
Fri, 26 Sep 2003 13:38:27 -0300
My trip to Amazonia was dogged by Murphy. Two of my four recorders (the
newly repaired DAT and one old cassette recorder) failed BEFORE the trip
started and then we had to cut it short when my friend Arthur Grosset
tripped while carrying two beers and dislocated his shoulder. The doctor in=
Leticia, just over the border in Colombia, succeeded in dislocating it
again while examining him so Arthur decided to call it a day and return to=
Scotland and I decided to leave the rest of the trip to a later date.
My Portadisc performed well on its first trip into the boondocks. There
were a few problems which might interest prospective purchasers of this
recorder. These were:
1. The power consumpt is horrendous and in a place with precarious
generating facilities becomes a major problem. The Palmer=ED lodge had only=
small Honda generator, normally used once a day to run a liquidizer, but it=
had to run six hours a day to keep my Portadisc in batteries. I realise my=
style of usage is idiosyncratic (and probably causes disapproval among some=
members of the list). A good example is when I recorded what was possibly a=
rare Attila (Citron-bellied A. citriniventris) in the 40 m high canopy. I
have no recording of this species and know of none. If I had had my
cassette recorder with me I would have played back to the bird until I
finally saw and identified it. This might have taken an hour and was just
not on with the Portadisc with batteries severely rationed.
2. An irritating feature is that when one hits Play, the recorder
starts at Track 001. If you want to hear the last track (or - sorry! - use=
it for playback) you have to press Play, Pause and then the AMS |<< button=
several times (an indeterminate number) to wrap round to the final track.
To hit the right buttons I have to put on my specs. These were usually
steamed up and my shirt too wet to dry them. A hassle.
3. Say one has a pre-recorded MD with 200 tracks and one needs to
listen to Track 100 to confirm an ID. In stop mode, you press AMS >>| till=
you get to Track 100. If you then press Play, fine but if you press Pause
you go back to Track 001 and have to start all over again.
4. When entering details of the recordings into my data base at home I=
need to know the recorded time for each track. For some reason pressing the=
Display button three times doesn't always work. I've just done this and the=
date and time shown are today's, not that of the recording. If one moves
forward a track and then back it usually comes right.
It's strange that the software seems rather unpredictable.
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