Subjective comparison of Recording Methods

DVD Recorders

– quickest transfer times to computer
– when using XP mode (256 kbps MPEG AC3 stereo recording), the best digital recording quality is achieved
– can record overnight using LP quality (192 kbps AC3)
– fully automated timer recordings
– full editing capability without using computer

– trans-coding compressed AC3 files to MP3 is unavoidable for easy internet distribution
– DVD recorders are expensive
– media damages easily (excluding DVD-RAM) so backups are mandatory
– time consuming to learn programmes for transferring such as Virtual Dub Mod

Cassette Deck

– only method that can user can control recording levels to avoid clipping
– when using Dolby C noise reduction & metal tapes (or Dolby S with a signal-to-noise ratio of 87 decibels)  the best analogue recording quality is achieved
– simple

– time consuming to transfer recordings (real time copying)
– cassette decks are expensive
– full length cassettes will only permit two hours recording
– best blank media (chrome & metal position tapes) are harder to find than DVD blanks

MP3/WMA Portable Recorders

– for recordings lasting over an hour, it may take a long time to decompress & load files (depending on computer processing speed)
– full battery charge may only permit three hours of recording (Zen V Plus)
– a charger is a necessity (must be purchased separately for Zen)
– Creative Zen models have well-publicized durability flaws

– inexpensive
– only portable method, tiny footprint
– never run out of media supplies as blanks are not required
– plenty of space for recording storage on models with at least one gigabyte of storage
– quickest method for ‘one-off’ recordings, e.g. 10 minutes
– simple
– very few audible digital artifacts are typically evident when recording at the highest quality available (e.g. 192 kbps MP3 & 160 kbps WMA)

Hifi VHS

– time consuming to transfer recordings (real time copying)
– companding system inherent in the FM azimuth recording technique may result in analogue compression artifacts
– potential tracking problems on poor quality machines (incompatibility between machines)
– VHS media are harder to find than DVD blanks
– fast access to the start of recorded sections may be difficult

– can record overnight using E240 videotapes on LP quality
– fully automated timer recordings
– Hifi VHS video recorders are inexpensive
– a large percentage of households may own one already

Talk to me. What is your favoured method for recording? Why do you prefer it?

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4 Responses to Subjective comparison of Recording Methods

  1. dbrmuz says:

    Touching on the first two mentioned (DVD & cassette-don’t have much interest in the rest.Although I have made plentiful use of my plain-vanilla variety JVC VHS for archiving DX audio),I disagree that cassette decks are expensive.There are many,many absolute bargains going on eBay.

    Many that I’d only wish on an MS Admin too admittedly,so it helps to have some basic knowledge on these things.Which rules out Gen-(wh)Y completely.

    My DVD recorded (the third I’ve owned now) cost me not one zac;no pence or rupees changed hands at all.Though of course I was lucky.Do you know just how much recording I’ve done thus far with it? None what-so-ever.

    Not bad after three full months.

    Chrome audio tape is readily available at very decent prices;but once again Gen-(oh God WH)Y(?) won’t know what to look for.

    And what’s this about tapes only going for two hours? I’ve got several 100 minute + cassettes-as do you.

    Oh crap,I’m coming across as a cantankerous old so-and-so tonight.I’ll shut up. ;p

  2. dbrmuz says:

    As for my favourite recording method? Depends on the purpose.To wit:

    VHS is most convenient for quick archiving of DX catches.The downside is manually transferring to CD to transfer to mp3 for uploading.No VCR card for me! 😦

    My audio CD recorder was an investment I still cherish,ten years after the fact.

    I’m a well-known audio cassette fan,with TDK being my particular drug of choice.What a pity the once-ubiquitous compact cassette has been consigned to an after-thought;not even looking at getting a sniff of the many revivals vinyl has had over the years.So for that reason,even though I own five different component decks,I rarely actually use any of them to record these days.

  3. dbrmuz says:

    Driving along today,using my Sony Ericsson W995 to snap some video footage of Canberra’s 104.7 FM absolutely booming in throughout the Lithgow to Katoomba region,I realised that THAT is how I capture the vast majority of my DX catches for archival/verification purposes.

    Easy enough to upload too. ;p

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