Hardware Review: Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder

The hardware we used to record the audio for this program was an Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder. You may have seen, or you may use, a device like this to record meetings, classes or capture your thoughts when you don’t have a chance to write them down.

The WS-100 is a compact unit, measuring about one and a half inches by three and three-quarters inches by three-quarters inch, and weighs less than two ounces, including the unit’s single triple-A battery.

The unit has 64 megabytes of flash memory, and can record in three different modes — about four hours, twenty minutes in HQ mode, about eight hours, forty minutes in SP mode and about twenty-seven hours, twenty minutes in LP mode. The major difference between the modes is the quality of the audio recorded. In HQ mode, which is what we used to record MOREnetworking: Podcast, the WS-100 records at 44.0 kilohertz, which is about the same quality as an audio CD. SP mode records at 12.0 kilohertz, and LP mode records at 8.0 kilohertz.
Files are recorded in Windows Media Audio format. The WS-100 features five folders into which you can save your files, up to 199 per folder.

When you’re ready to copy the audio files from the WS-100 to your computer, the unit slides into two parts, allowing you to plug the unit into your computer’s USB port, just like a USB jump drive.

The suggested retail price for the WS-100 is about $100, but it can be found for under $75 on various electronics websites.

For this episode, we also used an external microphone, the sort of inexpensive microphone that often comes bundled with new PCs. The microphone we used featured a standard audio jack that plugged into the WS-100’s microphone port.

hendersonl | Monday, August 6, 2007 | |


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