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DICTATE AT WILL, DOWNLOAD WHEN CONVENIENT

ARE YOU FED UP WITH HAVING to type into your computer that brilliant thought you mumbled into your handheld recorder while driving to work? Sony Corp.'s ICD-70 digital voice recorder aims to do away with the extra step by letting you download onto your computer the messages stored on the device. It even allows you to share these entries with other people--by sending them via E-mail.

The palm-size gizmo, which was scheduled to ship on Dec. 5, can record as much as 24 minutes of messages and has a backlit display that tells you how many minutes have been used up so far. Its flash memory also lets you store messages even when the battery runs out of power. The device is voice-activated, thus doing away with silent periods (a flashing light lets you know when it's recording). And the tiny recorder lets you label the most important messages by adding digital markers--one, two, or three stars--to help locate the most critical recordings fast.

Sony's ICD-70, which will retail for about $199, has an added advantage: It uses an integrated circuit chip instead of a cassette to give the recordings crystal-clear, distortion-free quality. But to download to your computer, you will need Sony's $50 WAV-link software and a cable to connect the device to a personal computer. The software and cable are slated for release in February.

EDITED BY HEATHER GREEN



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PHOTO: Sony ICD-70 Portable Recorder


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