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Olympus DS330 Digital Voice Recorder

by Olympus
3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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  • Transfer audio files to PC or Mac via USB
  • 16 MB total memory
  • 2 Speeds of Recording: 155 Minutes or 330 Minutes
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Product Description

Product Description

The black Olympus Digital Voice Recorder DS-330 ($150 street) has a highly readable LCD, thanks to a bright backlight that turns on when you press any of the controls. Short playback mode records for two hours 35 minutes. Long Playback mode records for an ample 5:30 and voice quality is still acceptable. You can connect the DS-330 to your computer either directly, via the included USB cable, or by inserting the recorder into the supplied USB dock. Either way, you can easily play files, move them to or from the unit, and convert them from their native DSS (Digital Speech Standard) format to WAV format using the bundled DSS Player software. And to help with manual transcription, the program also offers user-definable function keys for stopping, playing, rewinding, and so on. One notable feature of both the recorder and the software is noise cancellation. In our tests, it made words easier to hear above background noise, which helps make the DS-330 a good choice for recording in less than ideal conditions.

From the Manufacturer

The Olympus DS330 Digital Voice Recorder combines impressive digital voice processing with a compact and ergonomic design. It comes with a USB docking station for fast and straightforward transfer of files to a computer running Widows or Macintosh operating systems. Equipped with 16 MB built-in flash memory, the DS330 lets users enjoy recording times up to 330 minutes. Files can be organized in five separate folders, each capable of holding up to 199 files. The integrated backlit LCD display ensures that note taking is possible even under the low-light conditions.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.8 x 4 inches
Item Weight 6.4 ounces
Shipping Weight 6.4 ounces
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Item model number 141670
Customer Reviews
3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #69,581 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
#481 in Electronics > Portable Audio & Video > Digital Voice Recorders
Date first available at Amazon.com October 16, 2002

Technical Specification


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephen Holland on June 25, 2003
I am a physician with a subspecialty practice in GI. In this type of practice I dictate my notes so my referring physicians get back timely, legible notes. The Olympus DS-330 has been working very well in this application. The recorder has a solid feel. The buttons are easy to push. The display is very easy to read, even with my presbyopia. The ability to enter each note as a separate file is great for patient transcriptions. There are also 5 folders built in so that you could dictate a different day of the week in a different folder. The ability to insert into the middle of a dictation is also available, something you could never do with a tape. (This is not just talk over the middle of the tape. It is just like you spliced in extra dictation in the middle without losing anything already dictated.)
At first I kept the dictations on the handheld until I was sure they were transcribed. The software has an option to delete file after upload. I have been so comfortable with the reliability of the transfers that I changed the setting to delete after upload. I sent files to three different transcriptionists and all were able to read the dss files exported by the device without problem. This is very nice because the files are quite compact. A typical 5 minute dictation yields a file size of about 500 kb. With over 2.5 hours of record time in standard quality mode you could dictate 30 patients before having to upload. Batteries seem to last about 2 weeks. There is a visual battery guide and the display says low battery once it goes low.
The DS-330 has a snap in cradle and a USB cable. You pop in the device, the display says REMOTE and it uploads as soon as the application is started.
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I did a lot of research before finally plunking down the cash to buy this recorder, and I'm glad I did my due diligence. The Olympus DS-330 is a very solid digital voice recorder, packing a lot of functionality into a small package (as an aside, Sony does make them smaller, but IMHO, too small gets to be unusable).
First the features: Files are recorded in DSS (Digital Speech Standard), but the PC/Mac software allows you to convert files into WAV format. The unit has a Conference/Dictation sensitivity setting for different recording situations. The unit is customizable, so you can change folder names and assign comments to files. You can add indexes to demark key points in files, and you can even set up an alarm to play a certain file at a certain time (which is good for reminding yourself to do something). You can even lock files one at a time to prevent deletion of important information. It has voice activated recording controlled by the volume knob. The LCD display can be scrolled among how long the file is, the full date the file was created, the time the file was created, and an assigned comment. If worse comes to worse, you can format the recorder and start from scratch via the PC/Mac software. It comes with an external microphone jack and external earphone jack. The unit can also be connected to a PC via the cradle or a PC I/F connector on the bottom of the unit. Comes with a leatherette case.
Second, the good things about this recorder: Batteries are included. The buttons are large enough for those with big fingers, and are easily accessible for one-handed recording. The erase button is also easily accessible, even though it is less prominent to avoid accidental deletion (it confirms that you want to delete something as well).
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I am a newspaper reporter for a living and I have been looking for a good/great digital voice recorder. This is the best I've found so far.
Like other reviewers, I found that my Dell with Windows XP also had trouble installing the driver. (However, once I figured out what was wrong, the situation was easily corrected by directing the driver search function directly to the software CD that came with the recorder).
That said, this recorder and the PC software with this recorder is otherwise FANTASTIC. The sound quality is good. The indexing functions are awesome because you can actually visualize the indexes on sound files on your PC with little red marks. For me, this means I can find the quotable sections of interviews very quickly. A quick read of the directions also helped me find invaluable features, such as noise control.
I figure it will be another six months before Olympus comes out with really strong voice recognition software to transcribe all my notes for me. That will be invaluable, and for that, they could charge me a lot more than ... this sweet little recorder cost. I'm already planning to buy another one of these as a backup ...
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I just bought this so take my review with some salt, but still this seems like a pretty cool toy.
It's very small, very lightweight, and has a lot of features.
Voice activation, 2.5 hours at good quality, usb interface with your computer.
The voice activation feature works quite well (just turn your recorder on and leave it in a room to find out what happens when you're gone: very James Bond).
I'm particularly impressed with how well it interfaces with my computer (a Macintosh). The files pop up on my screen and are easy to transfer over (and translate to MP3s, if you have the software).
The downsides are the price and the sound quality. The sound is reasonable but not fantastic. There is a SP (standard) setting but no HQ (high quality) setting. The SP records at 12khz, unlike some higher quality recorders which do 22khz. Still, for most voice purposes 12khz is fine.
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