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Olympus Digital Voice Recorder DM-420
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- 533 Hours of Recording
- 2gb memory and Micro SD Compatible
- MP3 & WMA Recording
- Built-in Stereo Microphone
- 51 Hour Batt.Life
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Top Customer Reviews
At first I was disappointed because, out of the box, you cannot make recordings while it's plugged in to the power supply. The default configuration assumes that when the USB connector is plugged in to the power supply, you are really doing file transfer rather than recording. In this respect, my old Olympus DS-40 is better, because the external power supply connects to a mini power jack that is separate from the USB port. Another non-intuitive difficulty I encountered in using the power supply is that it will NOT recharge the internal batteries unless you hold the "STOP" button down while plugging in the power supply.
It takes some digging through the PDF manual hidden in one of the recorders file folders to discover the "USB Connect" configuration settings, where I was able to change the configuration to ask on startup whether I was charging the device in PC mode or in recorder mode. The quick start printed manual does not contain that information. Frankly, I prefer the intuitive simplicity of the separate power connector on the old DS-40. Also, the DM-420 manual says you cannot leave regular alkaline batteries in place while running the recorder on the power supply, and yet the power supply does not work if the batteries are removed. My old DS-40 can run on the power supply with batteries removed, and it doesn't care if the batteries are regular or rechargeable because it's not trying to recharge them.Read more ›
The software that comes with it seems to be first-rate, enabling all kinds of conversions, joins of separate files, volume-matching etc. It is very helpful in making adjustments for what is recorded.
One other point--I know websites are supposed to sell things, but I went to the Olympus site multiple times to see which of their digital recorders would do the job I needed done. The site is so loaded with praise for every product that it's very hard to make a reasonable decision about which of their devices to buy. Is the $400 professional dictating one really the one I should have gotten? Why did this one win Hammacher-Schlemmer's 'best' rating as opposed to the others? Would the $99 one have been as good?
I now own it and still have no idea if I got the right one.
I had already an Olympus DM-520 (an outstanding product) and decided to buy this DM-420, which is essentially the same, but with half the recording capacity. If you have to record important interviews, lectures and so on, you should better use 2 recorders at once, to guarantee a backup, just in case: the double recording is far cheaper than the possible loss of data.
The reason for the choice of a DM-420 instead of another DM-520 was the color: the DM-520 is black and the DM-420 is silver, so it is quite easy to identify the recorders. And, as a matter of fact, I think that, for most users, 500 hours or 1000 hours will mean the same. Just remembering: 500 hours mean some 21 continuous days of recording time and the batteries will not last for 1 day.
As told before, the DM-420 and the DM-520 are very similar. They use the same technology, the same microphone (wich is the most critical component of a digital recorder) and the same software. They are, by far, the best portable non-professional digital recorders I've ever seen, for several reasons:
1. The microphone is very, very accurate. Other cheaper recorders (including other Olympus models) distort the sound and, in some cases, it is not easy to listen and undestand what was recorded;
2. The rechargeable batteries last for a long time (I'd say some 20 hours of continuous recording);
3. The software is nice. For sure, it could be better, but it is at least ok and represent a huge improvement compared to previous Olympus software releases;
4. They are so light and small, and come with a stylish protective case;
5. The operation is very easy and quite intuitive. The manual is reasonable;
6. The voice activation feature (i.e.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this for an employee in our company and he uses it on a regular basis. It's very reliable and useful and provides excellent sound clarity on recordings. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Tina
Rated it five stars because, in my opinion, it is a great voice recorder. I do not use all the functions available. Read morePublished 23 months ago by John H Fowke Jr
Super clear just wished the speaker was a little louder. But other than that its an awesome recorder would buy again if neededPublished 24 months ago by charles mullens
I purchased this to use for my class lectures and cannot believe I paid the money I did, for what turned out to be a waste after a year. Read morePublished on May 21, 2014 by Very Satisfied!
This is by far my favorite instrument. I use it everyday all day, and the files are easy to transfer to my computer for uploading to a website or sharing over the internet. Read morePublished on March 19, 2014 by Community Works! (Consignment)
I am pleased with the Olympus DM 420. The sound quality is great, and the device is easy for blind people to use. I also really appreciate its portability. Read morePublished on March 11, 2014 by Mel Finefrock
I like all my Olympus recorders. I like the software that comes with the recorder so I can edit my files.Published on December 8, 2013 by JuneF
Great recording quality easy to use. I purchased this DM 420 to replace the one I lost. This is the only recorder I will usePublished on November 26, 2013 by Ezra Fried
This unit will record in many quality modes. I use the best setting and when I listen back, they are very clear. Read morePublished on May 3, 2013 by BikerBehr