Olympus WS300M Digital Voice Recorder

It is funny how you can be at the cutting edge of technology in one aspect and back in the Dark Ages in others. Not that long ago I needed to start making voice recordings again. I got out my ancient Radio Shack cassette recorder. I am guessing it is 30 years old, and it last worked fine a couple of years ago. But it did not work.

So, off to the Internet to find a replacement. These days that means something with silicon memory. I looked at Buy.com, Amazon.com and a few other places. I read the comments by people who had already bought the products. I am budget-conscious, so even though this was a deductible business tool purchase, I sought something that would do the job well without extra costs that would not be productive for me. I ordered the Olympus WS300M.

I have not tried other voice recorders, but I have given the Olympus WS-300M a fair workout over the last 4 months. For me it is great. I have only had to replace the AAA battery once this whole time (although that might be partly because I don't use it to play back the recordings). The sessions I record typically run one to two hours. The fidelity of the recording is excellent. When I am done recording I pop off one end of the plastic case to expose the computer USB connection. I plug in the connnection. My computer sees the recorder as a drive. I move the recording over to my computer, which leaves the recorder blank and ready for another go. All this takes less than ten seconds. To listen to the recordings I just click on them and Windows MediaPlayer comes up. So I am building an archive of this important audio information with virtually no effort. I found the controls easy to use.

According the the sales pitch, the WS-300M has 256 MB of memory. It can play WMA and MP3 files; mine records to WMA, but it probably is possible to change the setting to MP3. It comes with headphones, which I don't use, but I sampled them and they seemed fine. Weight is under 2 ounces. Claims 68 hours of recording can be made, but can hold only 66 typical songs for playback.

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