By 1929 it looks like most of the sound recording systems were most popularly used for entertainment purposes and music recording. Edison was the leader in recording sound. In 1912 he got recording time up to 4 minutes while also reducing noise for a better acoustic sound. From what I can understand, the recording devices were bulky and required a lot of hands-on operation. If you recall the scene from the courtroom in the movie version of Chicago, Mary Sunshine does speak into a recording device. I believe this would work in that instance because the press has a large set up to cover Roxie’s trial proceedings. There would have certainly been a crew with her to set up and maintain the equipment. Reporting on the streets was a very “each man for himself” kind of affair. Reporters would show up, usually to the police station, with a notepad and a pen or pencil to write notes. Even two reporters from the same newspaper were competitive and rarely spoke to each other at press conferences and such for the sake of delivering their own story. Genevieve Forbes was known for keeping to herself and getting the job done.
Schoenherr, Steve. “Recording Technology History.” Audio Engineering Society. Audio Engineering Society, 6 July 2005. Web. 30 Jan. 2016. <http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/recording.technology.history/notes.html>.
Perry, Douglas. The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago. New York: Viking, 2010. Print.