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Shorthand Recording Devices
Human Factor versus Mechanics The shorthand writer knows when he is failing to get something down. If the recording device fails (whether due to dead batteries, mechanical problems, jammed tape, no tape/out of tape, speaker not loud enough), the dictator may not be aware of the problem until long after the dictation has ended.
Emergency Transcription The shorthand writer can easily transcribe the fifth letter first, then the second one, etc. It frequently took me longer to find the fifth letter than it would have to take all the dictation AND transcribe it.
What did you say? The shorthand writer can stop the dictation if something isn't heard. I had one dictator who ate cookies when he dictated to the machine.  No, I could not understand him half the time.
Did that make sense? The shorthand writer can supply synonyms or say when something doesn't make sense. The machine simply records.  If something doesn't make sense, it will be found during transcription--frequently when the dictator isn't readily available.
Editing It was not uncommon for the dictator, upon read back, to make changes, sometimes extensive. Changes can be dictated but must then be found in the transcript and adjusted.  This process is extremely time consuming.
Personal Use Shorthand writers can use their skill when taking phone messages, when attending meetings, etc.  Such notes do not always require transcription. Unless there's a tape recorder at the meeting, minutes must be done in longhand which may or may not work well.  Phone messages and similar personal-use situations are out of the question.
Is that part of the notes? If the phone rings or another interruption occurs, the shorthand writer can ask whether to wait. I've had many a tape where I had to wade through a phone conversation--sometimes rather personal!-- for the dictation to continue because the machine wasn't turned off.  I've had to listen to long pauses where papers were shuffled or thinking occurred.  I also had the opposite where the dictator turned the machine on and off after each phrase--and the machine failed to get the first word(s) each time it was flicked on.
Oops (no equivalent) Tapes can be accidentally erased or recorded over before they are transcribed. 
Out of the Office The shorthand writer can't take dictation while away from the office. The brilliant idea or perfect wording for the correspondence can be captured at 4 a.m., in the car on the trip home, and other times when a shorthand writer isn't readily available.
Time Factor The shorthand writer must be present to take the dictation and can't be doing other things at the same time. While the dictator talks into the machine, the shorthand writer can be doing other tasks.
Speed Some dictation may be too fast for the shorthand writer, requiring a request to slow down (which may break the train of thought of the dictator). The machine keeps up, no matter how fast.  Some transcription units permit the slowing down of the tape so it can be better heard for transcription purposes.
Lost Skill If not used, shorthand speed deteriorates. Just remember to put in fresh batteries and the machine is ready to roll.
Out Sick If the shorthand writer is out sick, chances are no one else can transcribe the notes from yesterday's emergency. Someone else can take the tape and easily transcribe if required.
What's that word? Every shorthand writer has written an outline or two (or more) which can't be read. There are always words which can't be clearly heard on the tape.

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Gregg Shorthand Pitman Shorthand Speedwriting Shorthand