updated 04:25 pm EST, Tue February 26, 2008
Sony UX voice recorders
Tailing off its media assault, Sony has announced a new UX series of voice recorders, described as "hybrids" for their ability to double as music players. The players can optionally record to higher-quality stereo MP3, and support Macs and PCs as well as ID3 artist and title tagging. The top-end version, the UX80, uses 2GB of flash storage; this amounts to 36 hours of 128kbps MP3, or as much as 581 hours of lower-quality content. The UX70 comes with just 1GB of memory, and can thus record 290 hours of low-quality sound, or 18 hours in MP3. The 80 and 70 should both be released in April, at prices of $150 and $100 respectively.
Sony has meanwhile announced new professionally-targeted recorders in existing lines. The SX68 and SX68DR9 are compatible with Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition, and can be used with Sony's Digital Voice Editor software to convert voice to text. Each has just 512MB of memory, however, and only the DR9 ships with NaturallySpeaking.
The P620 has the same amount of memory, and does not record directly to MP3. It compensates for this somewhat by allowing people to overwrite bad dictation during playback. The B600 though has neither this nor any computer functionality, and is meant solely for recording notes or classes.
The SX68 and 68DR9 will launch in April for $150 and $200. The P620 will ship that month for $60, and the B600 will be priced at $40.