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Olympus WS-311M Digital Voice Recorder and WMA Music Player

by Oympus
4.1 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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  • Professional-grade digital voice recorder
  • Record up to 138 hours of digital audio or store up to 120 MP3 and WMA music files
  • 512 MB of internal flash memory
  • Can be used as a USB mass storage device
  • Convenient USB 2.0 direct design for fast data transfer
1 new from $385.00 3 used from $59.99 1 refurbished from $249.00

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Technical Details

  • Built-in Microphone

Product Description

Product Description

Record up to 138 hours or store up to 120 songs on 512 MB of internal flash memory. Built-in stereo microphones and a Stereo Extra-High Quality (STXQ) mode let you record and play in superior-sounding audio. Five other recording modes include STHQ, STSP, HQ, SP or LP. The no-hassles Windows Media Audio (WMA) format works seamlessly with any PC. You can conserve memory with the Variable Control Voice Actuator that records only when sound is sensed. Continuously record for 21 hours with one AAA battery. Doubles as a USB storage device! Store any type of file and stay organized with five folders that each hold 200 files. Always know where important passages are with an index mark feature. Our ¿USB Direct¿ design lets you plug the recorder right into your computer for easy, high-speed transfers using USB 2.0. And listen to MP3 and WMA files while WOW XT Technology provides rich bass and three-dimensional sound during playback. Customize the sound using a built-in equalizer. Accelerate or slow down audio with eight different playback speed variations to help you listen efficiently.

From the Manufacturer

The Olympus WS-311M Digital Voice Recorder and WMA Music Player lets you record up to 138 hours of recorded audio or store up to 120 songs on its 512 MB of internal flash memory. Key features include built-in stereo microphones and a stereo extra-high-quality (STXQ) mode that lets you record and play in superior-sounding audio. Five other recording modes are supported--including STHQ, STSP, HQ, SP and LP modes. The no-hassles Windows Media Audio (WMA) format works seamlessly with any PC. This unit lets you continuously record for 21 hours with one AAA battery, and you can conserve memory and battery power with the variable control voice actuator that records only when sound is sensed. A voice filter eliminates high and low frequencies during playback to enhance human voices. You can also use the WS-311M as a mass USB storage device to hold any type of digital file. The WS-311M keeps files organized by letting users record to five different folders that each hold up to 200 files. When it's time to transfer files to a PC, the WS-311M's USB direct design lets you plug the recorder right into your computer for easy, full-speed transfers using USB 2.0 connectivity. Other features include rich bass and three-dimensional sound during playback, a built-in equalizer, and the ability to accelerate or slow down audio with eight different playback speeds. This digital recorder is compatible with Windows ME, 2000 Professional, XP Professional, XP Home Edition, and Vista operating systems.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.3 x 9 inches ; 1.6 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000VDNC9M
  • Item model number: WS-311M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,698 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 2, 2001

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
As an elementary music teacher, I often have a need to make recordings. After researching my options, on a limited budget, I chose this digital voice recorder to record my grand piano playing vocal parts. At first I was very disappointed, until told to listen through the ear buds, not the speakers on the tiny device! What sounded awful at first, ended up being the best piano recording I have ever heard from a portable device, which used to be a cassette recorder! The cd's turned out great.
Today I recorded a saxophone soloist as I accompanied his piece we are preparing for a state honors concert in a few days. I just sat this small recorder on my windowsill and I am absolutely amazed at the sound quality! It sounds as good as when the band director brought all of his equipment and large microphones to my studio!
Often middle school or high school musicians are required to make a recording for seating or auditions. I would highly recommend this WS-311M to do the job!
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Verified Purchase
I needed a small, discreet voice recorder. I was replacing my older micro-cassette tape recorder which is much more cumbersome. With the WS-311 I can keep it in a shirt pocket and it is un-noticed. I can use it while driving, in meetings, and for general use.

One of the uses for this is to record meetings in a "CYA" sort of mode. I do real estate, and sometimes transactions and closings can go badly. They then devolve to a "he said/she said" kind of thing. With this, at least I have a recording of what went on, dated and time stamped, for my own protection. It may not be admissible for a criminal trial, but to protect myself, it is invaluable.

It is light and simple to use. Downloading WMA files to the computer only requires a USB port and no software to be installed. Those files can then be used, e-mailed, copied, whatever you need.

My only quibble, and it is mostly my fault, is that when you try to play back a file at the highest volume, the recorder goes into a "system reset" mode. This is actually covered in the very comprehensive owner's manual, but I must have missed it the first time through. The solution is simple: If you are stuck in reset mode, unplug the battery section from the rest of the recorder and then reconnect it. Then when you play a recording, just don't use the highest volume setting and all works correctly.

I have mine set to record up to around 70 hours, but it can go higher than that if you want.

The only accessory I am considering now is a small lapel type microphone, otherwise the recorder is absolutely perfect as-is.

I haven't used it as a flash drive or music player, I have separate equipment for that, so I can't comment on the music end of the device.

Ease of use, ease of recording, ease in playback, ease of downloading. A good deal, and about $30-40 less than in a brick and mortar store.

I recommend this without reservation.
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Verified Purchase
I bought this product for the sole purpose of recording seminars. Poor Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) function ruins this otherwise excellent digital recorder.

VCVA records only when the device senses sound. Hence it helps trim out downtime and is an important time-saving function when listening to recorded material.

What I've found is that the VCVA is not sensitive enough to work properly unless the lecturer speaks directly to the recorder within about 3 feet. So even when I am sitting in the front row, this device still misses out reocrding most part of a lecture when I set it at the VCVA mode.

Addendum 6/29/08: My assessment of VCVA performance was based on the more sensitive of the two mic settings, the "Conf" mode.
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Wow, this item cost me a lot, but it is certainly MORE than worth it.

It is a very small (so small that I don't know what would happen if you drop it... hehe) and sleek voice recorder. There are several models of this WS series, and this was the most suitable for me because it has a lot of memory and it is actually quite cheap (funny thing, the previous model to this one -WS-300 I think- is more expensive, so you'd be paying more for less memory).

Concerning memory, this little and amazing thing has 138h 30m when it's in its lowest recording mode (LP). In the next mode (SP) it has 69h 40m, then in HG 35h 25m, in ST SP the same as the latter, in ST HG 17h 40m, and finally in ST XQ 8h and 45min. In my opinion there is a wide difference between the LP (worst) and ST XQ (better) modes. In the latter the quality of the audio is really amazing, you can definitely hear how good it is (lots of depth). In the former the quality is amazingly good, so if you record 138h 30m you will have 138h 30m of VERY good quality. The difference with the 1st mode is still a lot, but both modes are nothing short of amazing. The mode that I recommend using is the HQ or the ST SP, which gives you 25h 25m of very good quality recording but stlll with enough space for recording a lot.

I really liked that this model is basically a Voice-Recorder USB key, hence it is compatible with MAC! That i s the main reason why I chose this model, because since I have a Mac I obviously needed a (digital) recorder compatible with my computer, and it works perfectly. I just connect it to the port in my keyboard and voila, it appears!

I still haven't managed how to open the aufio files with iTunes or to convert them to MP3, but hopefully I'll somehow manage.

Overall, I cannot stop recommending this to my friends, it is assuredly a useful and amazing digital voice recorder, and you most certainly won't regret buying it!

Cheers!
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