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on May 22, 2014
I have owned several Olympus digital recorders over the years and this one is the best by far. First off it connects directed to your PC which is a must if you want listen to your recordings on the computer. Not all have this feature... so be sure it says "PC" somewhere in the description. But most importantly ... this recorder can look up previous recordings by the date instead of having to scan and search through numerous recordings before you find the one you are looking for.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This portable voice recorder by Olympus is a quality device with ease of use on its side. Despite a lack of solid directions for the on screen Menu, this recorder gets the job done and gives you lots of recording time and the ability to upload your recordings to a Windows PC or Mac.

4GB of internal storage can be increased by the addition of up to a 32GB microSD card. Your recording time will vary based upon the recording settings selected (WMA or MP3), but a student could easily have enough space to record a day's worth of lectures with lots of room to spare!

Well built, fairly priced and easy to use out of the box, it's a good buy! I especially liked that it has a built-in stand, external microphone port and earphone jack. A product that would be useful for students, reporters, writers, or anyone who wants to record easily on the fly and upload to their computer.

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NOTE: The USB port on the side of the recorder is a USB Mini (not micro). You can use this cable Cable Matters 3 Pack, Premium Gold Plated Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Type A to Mini-B Cable 3 Feet in Black or similar with it.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I purchased the Olympus VN 6200PC years ago, so I decided to compare it with the newer Olympus VN-722PC.

At the time of purchase, I paid $43 for the VN 6200PC (I have no idea why its now listed for $144.99). The VN-722PC is currently $53.47. So it costs a little more than the original charge for the VN 6200PC. What do I get for the added price?

The VN-722PC is slightly bigger with a LED screen that is almost double the size of my old recorder. This makes it easier to read all of the settings.

Both have lightweight plastic cases but seem sturdy enough to weather the roughhousing usage of the average person.

In addition to the Menu button, the VN-722PC has a round scroll wheel that makes navigating between the settings easy. My old recorder has similar buttons but instead of round, it has a square scroll wheel.

The VN-722PC has a speaker that is about double the size of the other and it is placed on the face of the unit rather than the back like with the VN 6200PC. Plus the sound coming out of the larger speaker is nice and crisp.

The newer VN-722PC has a MicroSD slot. This would be very helpful in situations where you must do a lot of recording - such as at a convention. This way you can bring along extra cards and not worry if your recorder will have enough memory to record everything.

Format
My old recorder captures recordings in the Windows Media® Audio (WMA) file format. This isn’t good for me since I am a Mac person. I always had to convert the recordings before listening to them on my Mac. Whereas the newer VN-722PC saved my recording as an MP3 file - no converting needed. Yeah!!!

Manual
I found the included manual adequate to get you started, but I went to the Olympus (American) website and downloaded the more thorough digital manual.

Final thoughts
The two things that really tipped the scale in favor of the newer VN-722PC were the MicroSD slot and the saving as MP3.
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on September 9, 2014
Review Olympus VN-722PC

This full featured Olympus Voice Recorder arrived in excellent condition packaged with two Alkaline batteries. It's easy to hold and feels solid. I'm looking forward to using it - and telling you more, later. This is the second Olympus Voice Recorder I've purchased after a number of years being satisfied with an earlier model. In the meantime, first impressions:

The included physical manual is incomplete but refers to a robust version loaded on the 4GB built-in memory. The latter has versions in English, Spanish, or French through separate, respective files to a PC or MAC with a furnished, very short USB cable.

The recorder's internal memory is organized with 5 predefined recording folders shown simply A, B, ... Recordings are named by the recording date and sequence number. The manual touts the ability to search for files through a calendar interface. It works by selecting a particular date which then lists the files so recorded: selecting one shifts to its folder and playback begins immediately - the folder's name is listed at that time. You cannot use the calendar list to delete files: first select the file, stop playback, and push "erase".

The USB interface provides a nice way to transfer mp3 (the default - one setting) or wma (three choices, but I recommend only the highest setting) sound files to your computer. Recordings can be made through the built-in mike, optional microphones (including stereo), or through an attached device (not tested). Several pre-defined setups "recording scenes" are pre-defined(dictation, meeting, conference, duplication, duplication/timer, auto divide, telephone, DNS), but how they differ in audio quality is left to your faith in Olympus' engineers. Page 21 of the larger manual tells you how use three of these modes.

The Voice Recorder offers many options. As such, take the time out to get familiar with how to use them through the manual. Unless you've used Olympus products before, it may not seem natural at first, but I think you'll find it reasonably easy to learn.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A small voice recorder is very handy; I keep one in my truck to jot notes and remember tasks while driving. Sony and Olympus make these; in the case of Olympus, the problem is that they make a bewildering variety - no less than 16 models of digital voice recorders, 3 models labeled "music recorders," and two professional dictation recorders, 21 in all. And you could tear your hair out trying to understand the differences from the descriptions, some of the prices are exactly the same so that doesn't help, and you will need to know what WMA, MP3 and PCM mean as recording modes, even if you could care less. All have good sound but only a few of them have capabilities which are really distinctive; for example the DM-901 can be set down towards the front of a lecture hall and operated remotely from a smart phone via an app. Some of the upper models, intended for law enforcement, encrypt the files and require a password to listen.

But which is safe to use in a moving vehicle? This VN-722 is a general purpose model; it has good sound when set to the highest quality mode (192kb MP3) and will record for many hours with the built in 4GB memory; you can also add a card memory if you plan to be on a desert island for several years. But for operation while driving, possibly at night, which is my use, the 722 as well as most other Olympus' suffer from tiny buttons, tiny words and symbols on the LCD, a weak or nonexistent backlight and opaque labels. The Record button is tiny with a faint red dot. The Stop button is black, on a black background, with a small dark grey dot on it ... almost impossible to operate this in a dark car at night. The models I like best are the DP-311 or 211 which have the very simplest interface with the biggest buttons (they say they sell this for the "elderly!"). Also, all the Olympus recorders have to be "woken up from sleep" - you press the record button, and a seemingly endless time goes by before the screen shows it is ready to record. This is annoying, especially if you need to turn the lights on and watch the screen. It's amazing how a product line can be around as long as Olympus voice recorders and still suffer from such poor, thoughtless design.

The printed operation manuals are written in microscopic type with strange, made-up symbols - nearly incomprehensible. Olympus makes cool electronics but they seem to have little understanding of their customers or how to market outside of Asia. They should offer perhaps five models at most, not 21, these should be much simpler to operate, and they should test their instruction sheets to see if people in the country of sale can actually understand them. And a voice recorder should not require a magnifying glass and a flashlight to operate, or cause you to crash your car.

There is a culture gap here, which is why Apple comes across as so well designed and easy to use by comparison. Speaking of Apple, you may not need a stand-alone voice recorder at all. My iPhone 5 has a voice recording feature which is very simple and, unless your needs are specialized, replaces most of what I use this Olympus for. Also the phone has a lighted screen and I can use it at night while driving. Also you can email voice recordings to your computer if you need to save them. Just as with cameras, wristwatches, GPS etc., the smart phone is replacing all other portable electronics. If you do decide to get a stand-alone recorder, I prefer the lowest priced models from Sony or Olympus - they have good enough sound and fewest complications.
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on April 6, 2015
It does what it says it does. Very simple to use, no hassle.

I'm not an expert recorder, I just got this one because I wanted to record the lessons from a seminar I attended. The microphones are fairly sensitive, so it picks up a lot of the background noise. Maybe a specialized microphone will make this better.

Transferring the files to the PC is easy to do with the included USB adapter. And the sound is much higher playing through the PC speakers than the recorder itself.

Battery life is the best feature here. When it says it lasts a 100hrs, I can totally see that. I recorded 30+ hours of lessons and the battery icons still appears as full or close to full.
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on December 26, 2014
The recorder is very compact, easy to use and has plenty of space for long recordings. My only criticism would be the volume at playback. To hear it you almost need to place the speaker against your ear.
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on July 26, 2015
This is a superior voice recorder compared to the other few I've owned, and I think the LCD screen is acceptable for "readability" although a backlight feature would be a plus. I'm pleased that you can monitor a recording live as-it-occurs with headphones in the headphone jack. That feature was a "must have" for me. The instructions that come with the Olympus VN-722PC are extremely vague. I'm glad that a PDF file of more thorough/detailed instructions exists and can be downloaded right here on this Amazon page (it is hard to find... look for the "Technical Specifications" heading midway down and on the left side). Anyhow, this recorder is jam packed with useful features and options. It does take some intuitiveness to understand all the bells & whistles, yet it takes very little "smarts" to simply (and rapidly) start recording and later, playing back.
My one star deduction (from a possible 5) was for the smoothness of the plastic housing. I found the unit could easily slip/slide out of my hand, plus the casing was awfully sensitive to handling noise during recording (if you're fidgeting with the unit trying to hold it near someone speaking in a news gathering scenario).
My solution is pictured in this review. I've adhered a strip of rubber splicing tape that I custom cut to fit the bottom half of the Olympus. It's cut so that it doesn't interfere with the battery access panel. I find the rubber tape provides an excellent grip, and your fingers/palm won't slide around on the case/housing. Btw, the rubber tape can be found here on Amazon. Just copy and paste the following in the search field: Morris 60220 Black Rubber Splicing Tape, 600V, 30 mil, 22' Length, 3/4" Width

I'm so impressed with that tape I think I'll use it on other things that need a better grip (no, not that thing ;-)
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on December 8, 2014
Works great for law enforcement purposes. Excellent audio quality, I use it to record in MP3 format which works great. Unlike other Olympus models you don't have to install any software to download the audio tracks. You just connect it like a thumb drive and copy the files, way better than other models!!
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on December 13, 2015
Handy, light and dependable. I like this recorder it has enough memory for a semester (two semesters actually). It's not that cheap and not that expensive, the price is right! The quality is great plus it comes with a USB cord so easy transferring to your computer is possible. Perfect for a Bio student (any student).
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