In this tutorial, DigiKnow looks at USB Voice recorders and how to use them. Please have a look through the guide. There is a downloadable guide towards the end.

Getting started

Plug the USB Voice recorder in to a computer to charge it. When the pilot lamp turns blue, it’s fully charged and ready to use. The device can record upwards of 10 hours audio.

Using the device
USB Recorder example
USB Recorder example

To start recording, push the button to the right. A steady pilot lamp will glow red for around 10 seconds. When this fades and flashes twice, you are then recording audio.

To stop recording, simply push the button to the left. The red light will come on briefly to indicate end of recording.

USB to computer transfer

Plug the USB device into a computer. Select and drag (or copy) the WAV file(s) into the relevant folder(s) on your computer.

Naming conventions

To change the name of the recording, right-click the file once and click rename.

Think about titles.

Lecture01 isn’t very informative. Whilst _01_Lecture_180320_subjectname is long, it indicates the topic and date of delivery.

Let’s break it down:

  • _01_ lecture number (if you have part A and part B, name them _01a_ and _01b_ (by using _01_ at the start, this keeps your files in number order rather than alphabetical)
  • Lecture  indicates it’s a lecture, it could be tutorial or instruction or L / T to shorten it more
  • _180320_ this is the date of lecture based on ddmmyy format
  • _subjectname name the talk, i.e., topic of today’s talk. If you deliver teaching on multiple modules, ensure audio files are properly stored in the relevant folders.
Using the audio file

When the audio file is viewed in the folder, this is a WAV file format. Not all devices can play WAV, this may need converted to MP3 (the universal audio format).

Where can I use the audio file?

If you are uploading the audio to Canvas (QUBs VLE), WAV format is OK.

Canvas supports WAV and students can listen to it within Canvas. Students can download the file as well but may need to download additional apps/software to play the WAV.

NB: If uploading this to other platforms, please convert the WAV file to MP3.

Converting files to MP3

MP3 is the universal format for audio which allows audio it to be useable across ALL devices.

Miro Video Converter is a free open source download. To download, go to:

Mirovideoconverter.com

Click Download MiroVideoConverter for PC/MAC or Linux and install it on the machine.

Using Miro Video Converter

Open Miro Video Converter.

Drag audio file in to window (or Choose Files and browse…).

Click on Format (1), Audio (2) and MP3 (3):

Miro Video Converter
Miro Video Converter

Click Convert to MP3.

When the conversion is done, a check mark appears to the right of the file and options below the title of the file:

Miro
Miro

Click Show File. A folder will appear with the audio and an extension .mp3.mp3

Click on Show File:

Example of converted MP3
Example of converted MP3

Copy the file back to where the original WAV file is located. Right-click and click rename. Remove the second ‘.MP3’.

Right-click and rename
Right-click and rename

Back in the Miro Video Converter folder, delete the content.

In Miro, click Clear and Start Over.

Miro - Clear and start over
Miro – Clear and start over

Close Miro by clicking the X on the top right of the software.

Resources

We hope you have found this tutorial on USB Voice recordings helpful. Please share this blog with other academics for distance teaching.

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