Today I saw someone hastily pocketing their M-Audio Microtrack II while listening on headphones; instantly recognisable from its strange scientific looking stereo mic configuration. If only sound recording devices were more socially acceptable like the digital camera one could carry it around in public without raising suspicion. It feels like there’s a stigma around sound recording equipment – they are alien devices, unknown by most and akin to spy like technology. Taking a photo of a someone in public is more acceptable than recording their voice because as a society infused with CCTV and remote surveillance we have become used to a visual invasion of privacy. Audible privacy is something we feel we own the right to; sometimes stepping out of that right in a public conversation on a mobile phone for example. I think there is a fear that our social exploits would be used in a negative way such as if the words on this blog were turned around for a different use. If a conversation happens in public – who owns the sound if it were recorded? If everyone was being recorded in public right now would we be more careful about what was being said?
Sound recording in public