dictation recorders

Transfer to Computer

Connecting to a computer

The WS-300M series recorder contains a USB plug built into the device, eliminating the need for a separate USB cord. To open the device, press the release button on the back and slide the bottom half off.

Release button on the back

Olmpus WS-300M open

(Note: The section of the device that comes off contains the battery. The Olympus recorder will not operate without its second half. This also means that when you pull the bottom half off, you are essentially disconnecting the battery. Be careful to never separate the bottom half during recording, playback, or when the device says "System Check" as it could corrupt your files.)

Next, plug the device into an available USB port on your computer. This Olympus recorder is both Mac and PC compatible. The device will show up as a USB storage drive, similar to many portable USB key chain drives. Inside the drive are a series of folders:

Olympus WS-300 folders

Here is a short description of the folders and files contained in the device:

  • Files with the extension .DAT are system files used by the device and should not be deleted. They may not appear on all computers (like some PCs) because they may be hidden. If they show up, ignore them. There might be several .DAT files in the various folders.
  • The MUSIC folder is for using the Olympus device as a portable music player. Please see the Olympus online manual (PDF) for more information regarding using this device as a music, or MP3 player.
  • All of the folders that begin with DSS_ relate to the folders you recorded your audio files into. For example, if you recorded an interview in folder "C" your audio files are stored in "DSS_FLDC" (note the last character corresponds to the device folders).
  • The actual audio files will have the .WMA file extension. WMA stands for Windows Media Audio file.

Transferring Files

Simply drag the audio .WMA files to the location you wish to save them to, such as to a folder on your desktop or a folder on a portable firewire drive. 

Converting Audio Files

The Olympus WS-300M series recorders record audio files as Windows Media Audio (WMA). This is a proprietary format designed by Microsoft for use with its Windows Media Player program included in all copies of Microsoft Windows.

To use WMA files on a Mac, you must have conversion software such as Flip4Mac (Note: All computers at the UC Berkeley Journalism school are pre-installed with this conversion software). There are other conversion software programs that can accomplish this task. We chose Flip4Mac due to its integration with QuickTime Player.

  • To open a WMA file, simply double click it and it will open with Apple's QuickTime Player. This will only allow you to play the file.

To convert the file to a universal format that will allow you use it for editing purposes, open the file in QuickTime, then select FILE --> EXPORT under the file menu at the top of the screen.

Select a folder to store the converted audio files, such as a folder on your desktop or a folder on a portable firewire drive. 

Quicktime audio export

Under the "EXPORT" option, you should use either "Sound to AIFF" or "Sound to WAVE" depending on your final audio editing program. (Apple Soundtrack Pro and DigiDesgin ProTools will accept either format.)

Click the "Options" button for additional options:

Quicktime export options

For most purposes, a sample rate of 44,100 kHz is acceptable. Although, if you are recording audio to serve as a soundtrack to a video piece, you may opt for 48,000 kHz, as this is the format used in Final Cut Pro.