Straightforward and workmanlike machine
If you need to transcribe tapes for any reason at all you will save yourself hours of time and frustration by using a tape recorder/player intended for transcription - rather than your tape player alone. Panasonic has been making this good machine for more than a few years. To my knowledge it's the best value around. The foot pedal is essential and easy to use, and allows you to stop, start, and back up your tape without taking your hands off your keyboard. The speaker is good, there is a tone adjustment, and in addition a headset (and this one is comfortable to wear) enables quiet transcribing - and improved intelligibility, because the sound of your keys going a mile a minute won't interfere with your hearing your taped material. Importantly, there is a control lever for tape speed - for "variable speech control," so that you can play your tape a bit slower, or faster (which you sometimes need, too). There is a mic and a remote jack, and fast forward and fast reverse. A tape counter - your odometer - is helpful. Different little lights glow when you're taping, recording, when the machine is on. This is a straightforward, simple, and gimmickless machine that is very nicely put together. It measures a neat and tidy 8 by 10 inches, and packs up simply and with no fanfare. Indispensible - if you need to transcribe tapes.