Aug 28 2008 volume & accuracy

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I’m one of the many spotter-volunteers at I enter a lot of gas prices and I do it very accurately — mostly thanks to a digital voice recorder.

I got hooked on the “Olympus” brand of digital voice recorders during my years as an Air Force Enlisted Historian. Right now I use a trusty old VN-960PC model. It fits neatly in the palm of my hand: not too small, not too big. Just the right size for one-thumb control. I usually keep it in the center console cup holder. Hit record, speak the name of the gas station, then speak the prices. The device tells me exactly when I made each recording.

I also organized the data entry fields for my account so I can quickly enter prices when the audio plays back. Organizing your account will take a bit of time and a bit of skill — but it’s a godsend if you’re as committed to it as I am. (I do it because I feel society deserves a website like