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My-Vox vs. Total Recall - Who should you speak to?

Thu Feb 8, 2001 - 9:19 AM EST - By Tom Balkos

Software - The User's Experience

screen00.gif (2505 bytes)The My-Vox's Visor application was well laid-out. I like the 'standard' controls display at the top of the screen with the list of recordings below. The software was simple, functional, and written well enough so that there was no delay between tapping a control and the resulting action taking place.

The Alarm feature had to be my favorite 'tweak' to the software. The user has the ability to take a recording and set an alarm. This let me set-up a daily recording that went off about 10 minutes after my bedside alarm which screamed (in my voice of course) 'WAKE UP! IT'S TIME FOR WORK!' This feature made me enjoy using the My-Vox module and proved to be very useful.

If I had a gripe with the My-Vox application, it was the lack of a 'Rewind' control. I found it awkward to have to listen to recordings from the beginning and only being able to fast-forward through the message to find the desired segment (occasionally going too far, only to start over again!).

screen00a.gif (2427 bytes)The Total Recall application took a different approach to layout and functionality. The main screen displayed the list of recordings, along with four buttons at the bottom for display settings recording/playback.

I found these buttons (which incidentally are standard sized PalmOS buttons you find in most applications) to be placed on the screen in an 'after-thought' arrangement. The 'New' button, which begins recording when the module is in the visor, was small and precariously placed in the bottom left-hand corner. This caused problems when trying to start a quick record with my finger. I either accidentally tapped the 'Play', 'Details...' or silkscreen 'House' button bringing me to the launcher screen.

Preliminary feelings have me leaning toward the My-Vox, if they could just incorporate a 'Rewind' control.

The Total Recall does redeem itself with its playback and editing features. The Playback screen is beautifully laid-out in an easy to read separate screen.

screen04.gif (2767 bytes)Adding to the great layout is complete control of the recording. The Total Recall provides the user with controls that permit fast-forward and rewind. Add to that, editing controls that allow adding bookmarks, inserting a recording within a recording, appending a recording to the end of the current recording, and overwriting, or deleting, segments of a recording. You've got a handheld recording studio! And there's more! Volume controls allow you to adjust the volume of message playback.

Targus has gone above and beyond the expected with the editing features provided in the Total Recall Visor software. Now if they could only improve the response time on these controls. I consistently found myself tapping on controls more than once, only to have them start then stop, because of delayed response. This became frustrating when trying to edit recordings and should be top on the list for improvements in the future.

After all the dust has settled, I'd have to give the point to Targus and their software for the Total Recall. The editing features are great at organizing your recordings and if they could improve response time and increase the size of the 'New' button, this application will be unbeatable.

Recording and Sound Quality >>


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