Ben Parzybok


My new gadget

VN-5000 Olympus digital voice recorder. I wanted the simplest, cheapest good device I could find. It cost around $30 – is mono only and doesn’t import audio to your computer. This one is to be used as dictation only, and so far I love it.

Part of working on a book is remembering to listen to your brain – for when your brain is telling you the story. I woke up at 6am a few nights ago and after about ten minutes I realized my brain was composing. I wasn’t thinking about the book anymore, the book was being written, right then. This gadget is for that – but also for commuting, etc.  I’m not sure yet how the process difference (writing vs. talking) will change things. Guess I’ll find out. But so far it’s made for a nice productivity gain.

Author: Benjamin Parzybok

My name is Ben Parzybok and I'm a novelist and programmer living in Portland, OR. @sparkwatson



  1. we’ve been contemplating getting one of those for the last year or two. me for writing. Lucie for playing back piano rehearsals

  2. I’ve quite enjoyed it so far – if you don’t need to transfer the files to your computer, they’re quite cheap. This one has a line-in and a line-out, so it could take a mic, or you could port it over to the stereo/computer that way. But it doesn’t have a usb port for file access.

  3. Hey, thanks for the recommendation. I use the old tiny-tape style but been thinking about going digital. Can’t seem to write that way though. My left hand seems to be somehow intrinsically involved in the compositional process, as if the brain itself were actually lodged in the palm, and not in my skull at all. (I use the recorder for interviews) Had a great laugh over that traffic accident video, by the way. Take care!

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