There are several common file formats for storing audio recordings. It may seem obvious that a device designed to record music would work well with voice recording. That may be true, but not necessarily. Some voice recording devices are designed to block out ambient noise which may make for poor music recording quality especially in a live concert.
The reference to the MP3 file type is important; the rest of the specifications are also important and refer to the audio quality. VBR Sampling stands for variable bit rate.
This is a little bit complicated and has to do with the MP3 file format. The quality of the sound recorded is achieved by sampling portions of the audio frequencies rather than the entire range of frequencies. The higher the “bit rate” or amount of information recorded, the higher the quality of the recording. But there are parts of the recording that do not need a high bit rate, for example, when there is no sound. The bit rate for these parts of the recording are adjusted so that the overall recording takes less storage space i.e. memory. Because the parts of the recording that have sound are recorded at a higher bit rate, the overall sound quality of the recording is not affected but the size of the file is decreased.
MP3 refers to a form of lossy data compression. This means that not all of the sound is recorded. Parts of the sound outside those necessary for most listeners is discarded, hence only a “sample” of the sound is made. The rest of the information containing the sounds is compressed. MP3 files are, as a result, relatively small, but have a quality that is acceptable for most circumstances.
The most basic recorder has a record button, a pause function and an off button. Most of us need a little bit more to make using a digital recorder successful in capturing audio. One consideration, as I mentioned above, is the amount of internal memory and whether or not the device can use external flash memory cards, the same kinds used in cameras.
As with most electronic devices, the features of the more-expensive models migrate into the less-expensive models so that over time, the less-expensive models acquire the features of the more-expensive models. At the same time, the more-expensive models add new features. Most of the voice recorders sold today come with some kind of built-in noise filtering software. This is useful in reducing background noise in large rooms and where there are a lot of echos.