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  • Olympus WS-310M 512 MB Digital Voice Recorder and Music Player
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Olympus WS-310M 512 MB Digital Voice Recorder and Music Player

by Olympus

Available from these sellers.
  • Compact, high-quality digital voice recorder with 512 MB internal flash memory
  • Records up to 138 hours of WMA audio; built-in music player stores up to 130 WMA or MP3 files
  • USB Direct design plugs directly into PC or Mac's 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
2 used from $85.00 1 refurbished from $219.99

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 3 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000BJ0R4E
  • Item model number: 141852
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,337 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: April 2, 2004

Product Description

Product Description

WS-310M DIG REC PLAYER 138HRS RECORD USB

Amazon.com

Slim, attractive, and highly functional, the Olympus WS-310M digital voice recorder packs 512 MB of internal flash memory into its lightweight housing, letting you record up to 138 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-310M can store up to 130 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-310M 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-310M 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-310M to a PC or Mac, 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-310M digital voice recorder, stereo earphone, one AAA battery, USB cable, user's manual.

Customer Reviews

The battery cover falls off fairly easy.
A. Gift Card You
It's easy to use and it's super-easy to download the audio files onto your computer from the memory stick.
Nada Vergili, Italy Guide & Language Teacher
It's easy to use, and the sound quality is good.
K. Yamamoto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kelly on September 6, 2006
Even though there are some GREAT features on this device, one of the main drawbacks is the microphone. It is located on the right and left sides of the recorder but there are holes for the microphone on the FRONT AND BACK. The recorder is far too thin to stand on end unless it's a perfectly level surface that doesn't move at all. Unless you want to sit there holding the recorder in your hand straight up (which is what I've been doing and don't mind), do NOT get this recorder. Laying it down on your desk or notebook puts the microphone holes in direct contact with your notebook or desk surface. Any sound you make on the desk will be picked up. Also, since it is laying down, half of the microphone is essentially covered, you will have a harder time recording the lecture. Another thing very much worth mentioning is the record time. The product description states that it can record up to 68 hours on LP. On this speed, you will not pick up anything unless you are speaking into the recorder with it mere inches from your face. I leave the recorder on its highest quality setting (HQ Stereo) at all times but I only get just under 9 hours of recording time.

With all that said, if you do hold the recorder up on end, it does record well and it is very easy to move files off the recorder and onto your computer. Despite its microphone difficulties I have decided to keep the recorder and I do use it to record all of my classes. I'm very pleased with it.

I cannot comment on its music playing abilities since I have not used it as a player.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 22, 2006
The Olympus WS-310M is an incredible machine, especially so since it handles its two functions of digital voice recorder and MP3 music player quite well. I still marvel at the fact that so much power and capability are condensed into such a tiny package. The list of its features go on and on, as do the instructions in its 87 page Instruction Manual. (That's just the English part of the Manual.) Yet, for all its features and operations, it has 3 major flaws which should be pointed out to any potential buyer of this product:

1. In this era of 60 Gigabyte I-Pods, a mere 512 Megabytes just doesn't cut it. The Manual blithely states that when you get a Memory Full message, just erase some "unnecessary files". Nothing to it. I wouldn't have minded paying a few additional bucks for some additional gigabytes of memory, which would have come in mighty handy. If the people at Olympus can cram in all those features into that little space, they should take a cue from Apple and pound in a few more gigabytes into their machine.

2. The feature that isn't mentioned in their advertising blurbs is that you only get six hours of playing time on one AAA battery. Not wanting to run to the drugstore every time I hear the machine slowing down, I spent an additional $50 on a Sony Battery Charger, and 4 Sony Rechargeable batteries. But hey, if the I-Pod can provide a built-in rechargeable battery, and if other devices provide an AC adapter, Olympus should at least take a peek at the competition and take pity on their customers.

3. In Voice mode, only the HQ (High Quality) mode sounds halfway decent. The Standard Play (SP) and Long Play (LP) recordings both sound like there is a dishwasher and mixmaster running in the background within a small vault, and it is very distracting.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By une on August 8, 2006
I bought this and returned it the same day. Static hiss is the problem. When recording in a silent room, the created file has a large amount of quite loud static/hiss. The voices were recorded quite well, but I found the amount of background hiss simply unacceptable. Very dissapointing as the recorder worked well otherwise. Note that I also used an Olympus ME51S microphone, the hiss was present whether it was used or not.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Justin Bischel on August 31, 2006
Verified Purchase
I have two of these devices, one for each teenager. They record well, although holding it while recording introduces extra noise. They function like any other USB thumbdrive and MP3 player as well, no problems there.

The big problem is that they use up batteries quick. One WS-310 uses a AAA battery every 6 hours, and I'm putting new Duracells in - rechargeables would run for less than half of that.

Really nice, but make sure you have lots of AAA cells, and carry extras with you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Epperly on February 20, 2007
I like this recorder. It is compact, has clear sound, and lots of nice accessories -- except for the darn battery cover, which keeps falling off. Clearly they have issues with this because the Olympus web site specifically sells battery covers for this model at $7.00 a piece. Except they are always out of stock. I called Olympus, got put on hold three times with different departments, only to be told they are out of stock. (Duh!!!! That's why I called; because the web site wouldn't let me order one!!!) They said they would send me one "when the part comes in." Still waiting and waiting and waiting. Really, folks -- how hard can it be to design a battery cover that stays on? Jeez! By the way, it *looks* as if the cover for the 300M would fit the 310M, except the cover would be silver instead of black. I don't care about the color, so I asked the parts department if the 300M cover fits the 310M. "No, that's a different model number" I was told. "I KNOW IT'S A DIFFERENT MODEL NUMBER," I replied. "Will it fit my recorder?" She said, "Duh...I dunno." Honestly, what a waste of time.
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