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  • Olympus WS-300M 256 MB Digital Voice Recorder and Music Player
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Olympus WS-300M 256 MB Digital Voice Recorder and Music Player

by Olympus
| 16 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • Compact, high-quality digital voice recorder with 256 MB internal flash memory
  • Records up to 68 hours of WMA audio; built-in music player stores up to 66 WMA or MP3 files
  • USB Direct design plugs directly into PC USB port; 4 recording modes (HQ, LP, SP, and HQ Stereo)
  • 5 separate file folders with 199 files each; voice activation mode enables hands-free recording
  • Runs for roughly 15 hours on 1 AAA battery; 1.5 x 3.73 x 0.43 inches (W x H x D); 1-year warranty
1 new from $350.00 2 used from $200.00


Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 1.5 x 0.4 inches ; 2.1 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000BJ1UAE
  • Item model number: 141847
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,105 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 2, 2001

Product Description

Amazon.com

Slim, attractive, and highly functional, the Olympus WS-300M digital voice recorder packs 256 MB of internal flash memory into its lightweight housing, letting you record up to 68 hours of high-quality audio in WMA format. It's ideal for recording notes or long lectures, interviewing sources for an upcoming story, or capturing spur-of-the-moment song ideas before they disappear into the air. As an added bonus, the WS-300M can store up to 66 WMA or MP3 songs for high-quality stereo playback, letting you listen to your favorite tunes between (or during) classes or while waiting in line at the DMV. All this in a tiny body that measures 1.5 inches wide by 3.73 inches tall--roughly the size of a pack of gum.

The WS-300M features five separate file folders capable of holding 199 files each, so you can organize nearly 1,000 files by subject, theme, or other categories. Users also have the choice of four recording modes: HQ, which minimizes background noise and is great for recording people with low speaking voices; LP and SP modes that offer extended recording times; and the unique Stereo HQ mode, which makes two-channel recordings. And thanks to the voice activation option, users don't need to press a single button to start recording. The WS-300M will instead record as soon as the built-in microphone picks up sound.

Perhaps the most convenient feature, however, is the built-in USB connector. To attach the WS-300M to a PC, all you need to do is remove one end of the recorder's body, which reveals a male USB plug. This USB Direct design eliminates the need for a USB cable (the male plug connects directly to your computer), making the device even more portable. Once connected, you can download music files, images, or documents, in effect turning the recorder into a small hard drive, or you can transfer voice recordings to your computer for storage or multimedia use.

The unit also offers built-in WOW sound enhancement to produce rich, three-dimensional audio with a nice bass component. Additional audio improvements include a user-selectable equalizer that lets you tailor the sound to your taste or environment, along with Olympus's innovative noise-canceling technology, which makes the audio even clearer by removing unwanted hiss and background noise. You can even adjust the built-in stereo microphone's recording level to meet your needs.

Every bit as important are the playback functions, which include fast (50 percent) and slow (25 percent) playback, random play, and repeat play. And should you need to identify and quickly retrieve important sound bites, all you need to do is insert an index mark and refer to it later. Additional features include a locking function, which keeps important data from being erased; an easy-to-read, backlit, full-dot LCD; and a pair of stereo headphones.

What's in the Box
WS-300M digital voice recorder, stereo earphone, one AAA battery, USB cable, user's manual.

Product Description

Take it here, there and anywhere. The compact brushed silver WS-300M is equipped with 256MB of internal memory for up to 68 hours of recording time and stores up to 120 music tracks. Users can enjoy a great sense of freedom, not being bound by cables, docking station or special software, simply plug directly into any PC and you are ready to upload and download your files as you choose.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

The sound quality is very good when recording voices.
Phineas
No problems using primarily for voice recordings (lectures, conferences, discussions....) Records in WMA format; files can be easily transferred via USB port.
T. Agoston
After looking for it for a couple of months, I'm afraid I have to buy another one.
reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

354 of 357 people found the following review helpful By Susie O on December 13, 2005
As a marketer doing a lot of research interviews, customer feedback, PR work, and the like, my share of recording interviews has made me all to familiar with botched recording, bad microphones, tinny sound, etc. After years of trying different audio recorders, I was left wondering if there was such a thing as good audio quality without shelling out some big bucks.

Finally, fed up after burning the midnight oil on trying to decipher one too many bad recordings, I decided to give it another go, and did a little homework. I relied heavily on the reviews in David Battino's blogs (he writes for O'Reilly and you can find him with a simple web search) and bought the Olympus DS-2...wow, what a change. The only drawback for my purposes was that the 64 MB memory was on the low side for storing long interviews.

Enter the WS-300m series, with 256 MB memory - for almost the same price! What's not to love? The built in microphone is amazing (as good or better than the already impressive DS-2), managing files went from easy to easier, it's even smaller, even lighter, and this one uses one AAA battery to spare you from having yet one more electronic to charge.

Separate the battery compartment from the main section and *voila* A built-in USB connector plugs your WS-300m directly into your computer, with no extra cables to worry about. I carry mine with me all the time and have started using it for things like diary and memos, memorization, and jotting down ideas for new material.

I only wish this was around years ago.
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262 of 267 people found the following review helpful By Manny Hernandez HALL OF FAME on June 7, 2006
Out of the box this pocketsize digital voice recorder by Olympus lets you record over 8 hours of material, however you can tweak things to get more juice out of it. Still, if you want to record interviews (for instance) for later semi-professional use (or even re-use, as in the case of an audio podcast) this little one MORE than does the trick. And when you are ready, just plug it into a USB port in your computer and pull the audio files from it much like you would from any other portable storage device.

So far, I've only encountered one "issue" with it (and it's not something you cannot circumvent easily by throwing the files at a file conversion utility). It generates WMA files for every audio track it creates. Since I could care less about these Microsoft audio formats (I prefer my audio tracks to be in MP3 or AAC formats), I ended up tossing the files into iTunes, which did a nice job of converting them back into MP3s. Other than this minor inconvenience, getting this d.v. recorder/player has been nothing but joy!

Update (02/26/2007): I have gotten asked this question a couple of times, so I am posting in here how you go about converting the WMA files to MP3s using iTunes.

1) You drag the files and drop them (literally inside iTunes).
2) You get a screen saying "One or more of the songs you are adding to iTunes... are in the WMA format. iTunes will automatically conver them to the MP3 format so that they can be added to your iTunes library."
3) Past that point, they become available through your library as MP3 files.
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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Phineas on February 22, 2006
I'm quite happy with this little recorder - and I do mean little. It's amazing how so much functionality can be included in a device this size. The sound quality is very good when recording voices. The recorder's design makes setting functions easy and intuitive. I especially like the integrated USB plug that can be used to upload the sound files to a computer. You simply separate the battery housing from remainder of the case to expose the USB plug.

Even though the recorder is not really intended for it, I also tried recording music - but found the results less than satisfying. It is possible to use a higher quality external microphone, but I have not done that yet.

So far, my impression is that it uses extremely little battery power. I have been amazed how long it goes on a charged battery.

The recorder does not come with a carrying case, or even a lanyard to allow hanging it around your neck, so you'll have to be creative to use it and store it securely.
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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Vissi d'arte on October 4, 2006
- SMALL size
- mp3 playback
- Roomy memory
- Good quality
- Easy to use
- Compatible with MAC
- No additional wire but built in USB port
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By David L. Oliver on May 7, 2006
Verified Purchase
First of all, this is a fine music player. The "WOW" and bass enhancements add to inherently good sound quality. There's even a 5-band equalizer. If that's your main use for the unit, though, it might be better to spend a little more money on the WS-320M with four times as much memory. Loading music into the unit couldn't be simpler. Just plug it into a USB port and copy your MP3 and WMA files to its Music folder. The tiny display shows all the song titles, so you can select what you want to hear--or choose to play everything or just the contents of one folder. It will hold any type of file, not just those it understands, so you can use it to transfer data from one PC to another.

For recording, there are several choices of quality. At the lowest quality setting, it will hold 68 hours, so the memory capacity is quite sufficient. Also you can select whether to record at full sensitivity or to cut it back and talk close to the mic for noise reduction. At maximum sensitivity I have gotten excellent recordings of bird calls, even with birds more than 100 feet away. The recording are stored in WMA format. They can be reviewed on the unit itself or copied to a PC for editing and enhancement.

It does not come with a carrying case. I found a leather glasses case with padding inside, a velcro flap, and a sturdy pocket clip. This has proved to be an ideal case. If you wear glasses, you probably have one of these lying around. The WS-300M is so small that the case will hold the earphones, too, and a couple of extra batteries, probably even a small external microphone.

Olympus seems to have incorporated just about every possible feature into a very small case, an amazing feat of engineering. I really can't think of anything not to like about this device.
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