dictation recorders


Many times professional digital audio recorders such as the Marantz PMD 660 are either not available or are too expensive. This tutorial will show one cheaper alternative when other options are not available. Many reporters can easily purchase small dictation recorders at a fairly convenient price. This tutorial will focus on the Olympus WS-300M* series digital audio recorder; one of the few that is cross-platform compatible with both Microsoft PCs and Mac OS operating systems.

Olmpus WS-300M

The Olympus WS-300M includes several key features:

  • Uses 64 megabytes to 2 gigabytes of flash memory (depending on exact model)
  • Stereo and mono audio recording
  • USB plug built into the device itself for direct file transfer
  • Microphone input mini plug
  • Two recording level settings

Some drawbacks of the WS-300M recorder:

  • Quality is not comparable to professional audio recorders
  • Built-in microphone is omni-directional and cannot be used to isolate audio
  • An audible "hiss" sound will likely appear on most recordings
  • No variable audio level control (only two settings, high and low)

* Note, this tutorial may also apply to the following Olympus models: WS-300M, WS-310M, WS-311M, WS-320M, WS-321M, WS-331M.

Official instructions for the WS-300M, WS-310M, WS320M models can be downloaded from the Olympus site here. (PDF)

Filed under: Audio