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  • Olympus WS-320M 1 GB Digital Voice Recorder and Music Player
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Olympus WS-320M 1 GB Digital Voice Recorder and Music Player

by Olympus

Available from these sellers.
  • Compact, high-quality digital voice recorder with 1 GB internal flash memory
  • Records up to 277 hours of WMA audio; built-in music player stores up to 266 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 $89.00

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 6.2 x 1.8 inches ; 12.8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000BJ3BRO
  • Item model number: 141857
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,513 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: April 2, 2004

Product Description

Product Description

Stay organized and on the move with this high-class storage device and powerful music player. The easy USB input lets you plug the WS-320M right into the computer for fast results. And up to 266 songs can be stored and played in stereo sound with track and artist name clearly displayed on the LCD. Never be hindered from recording audio, notes, lectures and more with up to 277 hours of available recording time. Nothing is faster than plugging it right into the USB port on a computer to download or upload files with USB Direct design. USB Direct design means you can connect it right to the USB port on your computer. Use the Voice Activation mode and record sound via the built-in microphone without ever lifting a finger Locate important sound bites quickly and easily by inserting index marks where desired Adjust the microphone sensitivity to set the recorder Supports music files in MP3 and WMA WOW audio technology provides rich bass and 3-dimensional stereo sound during music playback Use the Equalizer Setting for the best possible sound Recording Media - Built-in 1GB flash memory Recording Time - HQ Mode approximately 70 hour 50 minutes, SP Mode approximately 139 hours 30 minutes, LP Mode approximately 277 hours 20 minutes Sampling Frequency Stereo - HQ 44.1kHz, SP 22.0kHz, LP 8.0kHz Overall Frequency Response Stereo - HQ 100-15000Hz, HQ 100-12000Hz, SP 100-5000Hz, LP 100-3000Hz Voice Activation Available, Switchable On & Off Practical Maximum Output - 70 mW Speaker - Built-in 18 mm round dynamic speaker Power Supply - 1 AAA battery Battery Life - Approximately 15 hours System Requirements - Microsoft Windows ME, 2000 Professional, XP Professional, Home Edition, USB Port One free port, Audio Output Earphone or Speakers Dimensions - Length 3.73 x Width 1.50 x Depth 0.43 (excluding protrusions) Weight - 1.62 ounces (46 gram) including battery

Amazon.com

Slim, attractive, and highly functional, the Olympus WS-320M digital voice recorder packs 1 GB of internal flash memory into its lightweight housing, letting you record up to 277 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-320M can store up to 266 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-320M 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-320M 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-320M 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-320M digital voice recorder, stereo earphone, one AAA battery, USB cable, user's manual.

Customer Reviews

Sound quality is very good and works well in class room.
DEEPAK D. SHAH
It doesn't have downloading, but you can copy MP3 and WMA files to and from your PC as easily as using explorer.
Amazon Customer
The only complaint I have about this unit is that the case is made of a very fragile seeming plastic.
J. Blackthorne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

211 of 211 people found the following review helpful By Robert Jung on December 2, 2005
My DVR (digital voice recorder) experience has included the Sony ICD-MS515, the Olympus DS-2200 and DS-2. My main use for DVRs is PC archival of lectures and sermons.

The new WS-320M appealed to me because of its 1GB of flash memory, small size, WMA codec, and built-in USB connector. My older DS-2 is disadvantaged with only 64mb of memory and a proprietary USB connector.

This DVR is much smaller than other DVRs. It is almost half the volume and weight of the DS-2200 (similar to the DM-20). The WS-320M is constructed mostly of plastic, but it is well made and assembled with screws. There is a mechanical hold switch. The USB port cover / battery holder slides off smoothly after pressing the release button. No significant force is required to slide off the port cover or to reassemble it. There is a groove you need to line up first to reassemble the port cover. The small AAA battery cover is not attached to the DVR and can get lost. There is a hand strap hole, but no hand strap is included. The buttons, switches, and d-pad are well-made and provide a small amount of tactile feedback. The smaller size of the DVR makes it very portable but it can cause problems operating the switches for those with larger hands. Anyone used to small music players should have no problem operating the WS-320M. However, someone who regularly uses a voice recorder for dictation should probably stick to the larger professional DVRs like the Olympus DS-2200 and Sony ICD-BM1.

I started testing the WS-320M without reading the manual. It was easy to use. Button and menu operation is very logical. The LCD screen is smaller and less bright than the DS-2200 / DS-2, presumably to save battery life.
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350 of 368 people found the following review helpful By Person on December 1, 2005
[I came back and edited this review after reading the next guy's more favorable take on the player. I gave it another chance and... I still don't like it much, but it's worth a third star after getting over the shock of its not being the same quality of the DM20]

For context, understand that I also own an Olympus DM-20 that I am using for comparison: whereas the DM-20 is the perfect voice recorder, aside from memory and transfer speed limitations, the WS-320 looks like a toy by comparison.

#1, claims USB 2.0 speeds, whereas my unit is transferring music at about 20Mb per minute (yes, per MINUTE). Same speed as the USB 1.1 DM20, roughly (I've been racing them).
#2, The manual claims that you can now put MP3s and your own WMAs in the Voice folders in order to use fast/slow play, etc. on language-learning programs and for music-learning. It won't recognize MP3s in the voice folders, but you can put WMAs encoded with the standard 9.1 or lower codec in there that were recorded with bitrates of 256kbps or less, mono or stereo, at 22khz or others (I've only tried 22khz and 44.1). I haven't tried vbr, but it will not recognize the "wma voice" codec or acelp.net. Also, You cannot place index marks infiles other than those recorded on an Olympus recorder--you can transfer from one recorder to another and place index marks, but not add them to files recorded onyour PC.
#3, there is a lot of hiss in the background when you record, even in STHQ mode. I don't think this is a defect issue, I think it's a CODEC issue or maybe hiss from the device electronics getting in as EMI--I don't know, but the noise knocks it right out for any sort of serious recording.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By J. Blackthorne on June 14, 2006
Adlevision's negative review of this product almost convinced me to skip purchasing the WS-320M and spend over twice as much on an Edirol R-09. Though, I took a chance by purchasing the Olympus unit any way. Since receiving it, I have put my WS-320M through its paces and have concluded that this is actually a fantastic little unit. Though, I should preface that my unit is running Firmware version 1.18. My suspicion is that some of the reviewers might have earlier units with an older firmware. Here is a breakdown:

Sound Quality:

I bought the WS-320 to use as a recorder of music lessons. With its high quality capability of 64 kbps, 44 kHz, stereo, the sound quality far surpasses nearly every other digital recorder out there today. In comparison, it has way better sound quality than a micro-cassette recorder. Best of all, this unit can record up to 35 hours even at top sound quality. As a practical test, I placing this unit 6 feet away from me during a vocal lesson. The resulting recording clearly picked up the full range of sounds from soft talking to loud singing and piano. The dynamic stereo mics have both a 360 degree and narrowly focused modes.

Ergonomics:

The unit itself is very small, about the size of a small cell phone. Still, I feel the controls are actually quite reasonable considering the compact nature of this device. The primary buttons, record, stop, and play, are all raised and placed on the side of the unit so that you can tacitly feel your way around. Considering the tactile controls combined with the confirmation sound beeps, you can easily operate this unit without looking at it. My feeling is that users who bashed the size and ergonomics need to get with the 21st century. 8 Track-sized tape decks are dead.
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