OpenSuse Compatible Digital Voice Recorder

I intend to install v. 12.1 on a new ThinkPad W520 and am hoping someone here has been able to use OpenSuse with a Digital Voice Recorder and if so, which one is compatible and which applications can be used?

The idea is to convert dictation to text. A USB connection would be practical (preferably USB 3 but that may be hard to find). In conclusion: I have the computer and am shopping for an OpenSuse compatible voice recorder. Any pointers will be appreciated.


I don’t know anything about digital voice recorders in particular. But if you want to use it to record to its internal memory, and then transfer it over, you probably want one that just loads as a drive when you plug it in, and then you could just use it linux like it is any other folder. I would actually pretty well expect this level of functionality in most devices (similar for camera’s, etc.), but I guess it couldn’t hurt to google a particular product to make sure that it doesn’t require fancy drivers to access the files on the internal memory. The term for a usb device not needing drivers is “class compliant”, and I think the ability to use the memory as a drive is called “mass storage”, but as to the latter I think I am just using what my phone refers to it as so I’m not sure what it would be for something else. If you can’t even access the files on the device with the generic drivers, I would really, really suggest you bail out and look for something else.

Not sure that any devices have this functionality, but if you want to be able to record directly to your computer with it, then from looking at audio hardware for music, and reading up on it, my main advice is to go with a usb device that is listed as “class compliant” for audio either in the product specs, or sometimes is only mentioned in reviews for the product. If you can’t find anything that says “class compliant”, then I know that the alsa project used to keep a list, and I guess it is still available at, only it’s organized by the name of driver, which strikes me as rather difficult to use. Maybe googling over the site would work though. (“product X”) I know it seems to be for sound cards, but that’s how you would be using the device in this context so I think that’s the right list.

Generally speaking, for what it’s worth I think I’ve noticed that class compliance is often present for lower and higher price items, with the middle tier’s products only being usable with proprietary drivers, which of course might not be available on linux. Higher price items sometimes have features that only work w/ proprietary drivers, but often have basic functionality without it. At least for music audio, Mac users often seem to prefer class compliant devices as well, so reviews focusing on Mac performance could be relevant.

Oh as for software, no idea. Hopefully there is an open source alternative, otherwise you can try running Windows software in wine, or a virtual box type set up would be an option for some people. Especially if you are just working on files, and not audio input, I would think there is a reasonable chance to get it going in wine, you can check the WineHQ software database before you buy though.

Good luck,

Thanks for your comments, Malcolm. I’ll check out the alternatives you mentioned and report back with the results of what I find. I’ve used Wine successfully with a couple of WinApps I’ve come to depend on, so that’s an avenue I shouldn’t ignore.

The specifications of the Olympus and Sony Voice Recorders I’ve looked at over the net all state Win and Mac OS’s as a prerequisite and I intend to call them and request that this be changed. In terms of it’s solid (and mature) presence in the IT industry and the number of users worldwide, the importance of Linux can’t (and shouldn’t) be denied.

I went through this earlier in relation to Ethernet Adapter cards and found that most manufacturers don’t supply Linux drivers. Encore and (especially) Intel do, however, so they get my preference.

Thanks again,