Battery Life: 22 Hr when using MP3 128k setting (recommended). File size will be about 1 megabyte/minute. Playback time: Speaker 21 hr, Headphones 26 hr. Battery life is indicated by a small battery icon, all black means fully charged.
Storage Space for Recording (1 GB) at MP3 128k setting = 17 hours (If you need longer time, set recorder to MP3 48K mode = 47 hours) Remaining recording time is displayed in front. MP3 48K setting is mono, and acceptable for voice interviews.
Turn the recorder on by sliding the HOLD switch, on the back, away from the microphones.
Press the RED record button twice. This puts the recorder in Record/Standby mode. The RED light will flash.
This allows you to monitor the audio level before actually recording, using the Audio Level Meter, and/or Headphones.
When you are ready to record, press the RED button again. The RED light will stay on, and the recorded time display will advance.
To pause in the same recording, push the RED record button once. The red light will flash.
To end the recording, push the square STOP button.
If you want to record right away, without monitoring, just push the RED button once.
Each recording is numbered. There are four folders you can record to, suggested you only use Folder 1.
Turn the recorder off by sliding the HOLD switch, on the back, towards the mics. The recorder will turn off after a few seconds.
Generally the recorder will work better with the buttons DPC and NOISE CUT, on the back, set to OFF:.
Push the play button (Triangle/Square), the last recording will be played.
Each recording is numbered. To play an earlier, or later recording, use the REVERSE and FORWARD keys on each side of the PLAY button. Headphone volume control is from the VOL button. This does not affect your recording volume, only the playback.
EDITING THE FILES
Turn the recorder off (HOLD switch towards the microphones). Connect the recorder to the computer using the USB cable.
The recorder will show up on the computer as a USB device. Copy the files from the VOICE and included folders.
You can also delete the files from the recorder in this manner, but do not rename them.
When you are done, unmount the recorder, do NOT just pull it out. It will turn itself off after a few seconds.
To edit the files, you can use the free Audacity program (Mac and PC), download from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
On a Mac, you can use the free GarageBand, on Mac and PC the free on-line editor Aviary at http://aviary.com/tools/audio-editor
Aviary does not have to be downloaded to your computer, is still in beta, and requires a fast internet connection.
Initially, the recorder is set to "High Recording Level", and is very sensitive. For interviews, find a location with as little ambient noise as possible. The recorder sensitivity can be changed in the REC LEVEL menu.
The DIRECTNL switch controls what microphone is used. When set to ON (MONO) it uses the central microphone. This is ideal when you are pointing the recorder at one speaker, and has a pickup angle of about 90 degrees, though sounds from the sides and back are also recorder more faintly. On this setting, the recorder is much more sensitive to handling noises, place it on a surface if you can. When set to DIRECTNL OFF the recorder uses the two stereo mics on each side, and picks up a range of 360 degrees equally well. It is also less sensitive to handling noises.
If you are recording outside, use the windscreen to minimize wind interference.
Always check your recoding levels with the Audio Level Meters in the front display.
REPLACING THE BATTERIES
The battery cover is located at the bottom of the recorder. It slides off. The recorder takes two AAA batteries.
Observe the correct polarity (+ and -) when inserting them.
ACCESSING THE MENU
Hold the Menu button down for a few seconds. To get out of Menu mode, press the Menu button.
Link to Official Sony Manual at http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/model-documents.pl?mdl=ICDSX700&LOC=3
The above are the basics, there is a lot more information included in the manual.