When the North Bay, Ontario courthouse had an analog recorder malfunction
during its last sentencing hearing, the Ministry of the Attorney General finally decided
that it was time to think about getting digital equipment  to replace the
old cassette based system.  Call it a digital recording revolution in the making.

According to The Nugget, a hearing for a pedophile
was suspended for two hours after the cassette recorder that the courtroom used
failed to work. The facility actually had two backup devices, but surprisingly,
those failed to operate as well.

A few people, including the defense
attorney, voiced concerns about the accuracy of the transcripts from the
outdated cassette recorders. The lawyer also added that the delays are hindering
the courtroom’s productivity and could be an issue with clients as well, the
news outlet added.

Brendan Crawley, ministry spokesperson, explained that
the Ministry of the Attorney General is actually in the process of replacing all
of the outdated devices around the province with brand new digital voice
recorders
and that the North Bay courthouse is expected to have its equipment
replaced in the fall.

This is just one example of the problem with aging analog equipment still in use today.  Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, or resistance to change, many organizations cling to this outdated technology.

“We usually get calls only when  there is a catastrophic failure such as happened in North Bay” states Paul Ross, of American Dictation Corp.  “It is when the analog equipment fails, and they realize there are few repair parts available, that they start to search for alternatives”.  A digital recording revolution is underway.

The good news is that today’s digital recording technology is both affordable and easy to implement and use.  In many cases, the equipment costs less that it’s analog counterparts did over a decade ago.  When you consider the relatively low cost, and the advances in technology, the decision to switch to digital is an easy one to make.