Product Support

DS-4000

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What are the specifications for this model?

Olympus DS-4000 Digital Voice Recorder

Olympus DS-4000 Digital Voice Recorder
Product Number 141665
Shipping date: August 2004
Box Contents
DS-4000 Digital Voice Recorder
32 MB xD-Picture Card™ removable flash memory media
Rechargeable NiMH Battery Pack (BR-403)
USB 2.0 Cable (KP-11)
Carrying Case
Multi-function Cradle / Docking Station (CR-3)
AC Adapter (A-510)
CD-ROM: DSS Player Pro for Windows
DSS Player for Macintosh
Quick Reference Guide
Instruction Manual
Warranty Card

Specifications
Model DS-4000
Recording Format DSS (Digital Speech Standard)
Recording Media xD-Picture Card media (16 - 1GB)
Recording Time Using bundled 32 MB xD-Picture Card media:
SP Mode: approx. 5 hours 10 minutes
LP Mode: approx. 11 hours 5 minutes
Card Format xD-Picture Card
Input Level -70 dBv
PC Interface USB
LCD 29 x 31 mm
LED 2 colors (red and green)
Folder Messages 5 to 7 folders, 199 messages per folder
Sampling Frequency SP Mode: 12.0 kHz
LP Mode: 8.0 kHz
Overall Frequency Response SP Mode: 300-5,000 Hz
LP Mode: 300-3,000 Hz
LP Mode Yes
Voice Activation Yes
Demographic Data Input Yes
Practical Maximum Output 180 mW
Write Protection Yes
Speaker Built-in 28 mm round dynamic speaker
Microphone Jack 3.5 mm mini-jack, impedance 2 kohms
Earphone Jack 3.5 mm mini-jack, impedance 8 ohms
Power Supply 2 AAA Alkaline or 2 AAA NiMH BR-401 batteries, or one NiMH Rechargeable Battery Pack (BR-402 or BR-403)
External Power Supply AC Adapter A-510
Battery Life Alkaline
Recording: Approx.. 16 hours
Playback: Approx. 9 hours
NiMH:
Recording: Approx. 12 hours
Playback: Approx. 8 hours
Size 4.3" x 2.0" x .67" (110.2 x 50 x 16.9 mm), excluding protrusions
Weight 3.6 oz (101 g), including batteries
OS Supported

PC:
Windows® 98 / Windows 98SE / Windows ME / Windows 2000 Professional / Windows XP Professional / Windows XP Home Edition / Windows Vista™

Macintosh™:
Mac OSX 10.1 through 10.4

USB Port One free port
Audio Output Earphone output or speakers

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What are the main features of this model?

The DS-4000 is a digital voice recorder that records in the Digital Speech Standard (DSS) audio format. It uses xD-Picture Card™ Flash memory media as removable storage, so the user never has to leave the recorder with a transcriptionist--just leave the memory card. By using larger capacity xD-Picture Card media, the user has the option to dramatically increase the potential recording time of the DS-4000. The DS-4000 offers the ability to edit files in the recorder. File editing allows appending files, overwriting a section within a file, or inserting new recordings into an existing dictation file. Since the DS-4000 is also a mass storage device, it can also be used as a USB "jump" drive to transfer files from one computer to another.

The bundled DSS Player Pro for Windows® and DSS Player for Macintosh™ software enables the downloading of dictation files to a computer, where they can be archived and where further file editing can be performed. The optional DSS Player Pro PLUS upgrade (for Windows only) enables file joining and splitting, plus an interface with such voice-to-text applications as Dragon NaturallySpeaking® and IBM ViaVoice®. File joining and splitting functions are native to DSS Player for Macintosh; no upgrade is required.

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Other Olympus digital voice recorders have a wider frequency response than the DS-4000. Why is the frequency response in the DS-4000 lower?

The DS-4000 is designed as an Olympus Professional Dictation Device, whose primary function is to record dictation files for transcription. Dictation recordings do not require a wide frequency response because the audio signals they are intended to reconstruct (tones produced by the human voice) fall within a relatively narrow band of frequencies.

Accordingly, the DS-4000 makes files that contain only as much audio detail as is necessary to re-create the original signal. By restricting the frequency response, the DS-4000 is able to create smaller files, which has the benefit of maximizing memory capacity (recording time).

The DS-4000 is not recommended for recording music or interviews intended for broadcast where a broad frequency response would be desirable.

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Other Olympus digital voice recorders have more quality modes than the DS-4000 and also record in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. Why does the DS-4000 have only two quality modes?

The DS-4000 is designed as an Olympus Professional Dictation Device, whose primary function is to record dictation files for transcription. The two DSS quality modes - SP (Standard Play) and LP (Long Play) - are optimized for transcription. They feature a narrow frequency response and high compression; these attributes result in small files, which in turn provide the additional benefit of extended recording time.

Recordings made in the SP quality mode can be converted in DSS Player Pro for Windows to a WAVE audio format file with the properties necessary to be compatible with voice-to-text applications commonly used by transcriptionists. Recordings made in the LP quality mode may not be used by these applications; however, the trade-off is that they allow much longer recording times than are possible in the SP quality mode.

The additional quality modes available in some other digital voice recorders provide enhanced audio detail, compared with the DSS files created by the DS-4000. However, this extra detail is not necessary to faithfully reconstruct a dictation file used for transcription, and it will increase the file's size, which in turn will restrict recording capacity. Therefore, these quality modes were not included in the DS-4000.

The DS-4000 is not recommended for recording music or interviews intended for broadcast where a broad frequency response would be desirable.

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What options on the DS-4000 can be set by an Olympus Professional Dictation Products Dealer?

Some additional options can be set by an Olympus Professional Dictation Products dealer to modify and enhance the performance of the DS-4000. The additional and cutomizable options are as follows:

  • Change the "beep" sound
  • Modify assigned function of the [NEW] button
  • Modify assigned functionality of the [REC] button
  • Modify the Splash screen
  • Add and remove user defined fields
  • Switch the display languages
  • Change the number of folders (up to 7)
  • Modify assigned functionality of the [A] and [B] buttons
  • Modify assigned functionality of the foot switch
  • Set interval for Power Save Mode activation

In addition, the dealer can modify and customize DSS Player Pro dictation software using a Software Development Kit (SDK). For details on the functions and operation of dealer optional items, consult your Olympus Professional Dictation Products dealer.

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What is VCVA?

Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) is a function that sets up the recorder to record automatically only when sound is detected at a pre-set level, and stop when the sound drops below the threshold level. The purpose of the function is to eliminate "dead air" during recordings, thereby conserving memory and shortening file times.

VCVA is enabled via the recorder menu.

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What is Voice Recognition?

Voice Recognition is technology that enables an application to "listen" to the playback of an audio dictation file and convert its contents to a text document. DSS Player Pro for Windows is compatible with IBM ViaVoice® Pro USB Edition 10, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking® versions 8 and 9.

The Voice Recognition software must be trained to understand individual speakers. The applications can create accounts for individual speakers who have read prepared text under controlled conditions into the digital voice recorder to be used. Corrections to the text by the transcriptionist can be incorporated by the voice-to-text software to "learn" how the dictator speaks. If the users correct their own text files, they can also learn to enunciate words so the software can better understand the speech and increase the accuracy of the text file.

Hands-free recording using the bundled CR-3 cradle reduces handling noises that may confuse voice-recognition software. The microphone sensitivity should be set to CONF. (Conference). The recorder can also be controlled during dictation using an optional foot switch (RS-25, RS-26) plugged into the CR-3 cradle.

Voice Recognition performs poorly in meeting or lecture situations because of the presence of untrained voices and varying acoustics that will confuse the software.

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What are Index Marks?

Index Marks are digital tags that can be inserted while recording or during playback. They are used to skip forward or backward in recordings to pre-selected points. Up to 16 Index Marks can be added to a single file.

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What is the DSS audio format?

Digital Speech Standard (DSS) is a proprietary audio compression format jointly developed by Olympus, Philips, and Grundig. DSS compresses files approximately 12 times, so it is an ideal format for transferring files by email. The DSS compression format also extends the recording capacity of the xD-Picture Card™ removable storage media due to the smaller file it creates.

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How does DSS Player Pro differ from DSS Player version 6?

For the most part, DSS Player Pro and DSS Player v.6 are similar. DSS Player Pro offers some enhancements designed to facilitate the transfer and archiving of files on a computer network. The primary enhancements found in DSS Player Pro that are not found in DSS Player v.6 are:

  • Automatic distribution of recordings by email or FTP to transcriptionists and other users
  • Automatic retrieval of transcribed text documents, via email or FTP, linking the document to the recording

Olympus Professional Dictation Products dealers may also be able to customize the DSS Player Pro software using a Software Development Kit (SDK).

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What enhancements does the PLUS upgrade to DSS Player Pro offer?

Purchasing the DSS Player Pro PLUS upgrade adds the following features to the version of DSS Player bundled with the DS-4000:

  • Splitting files--Individual audio files can be split into smaller units. This is especially useful if a file is longer than the capacity of an audio CD used for archiving.
  • Joining files--Individual audio files can be joined together into a longer single file. This is useful when there are many short recordings on a similar topic that would be more convenient to archive or share as a single audio file. Files that are to be joined must be recorded in the same quality mode (SP or LP).
  • Voice Recognition--Creates compatibility with voice-to-text applications IBM ViaVoice® 10 or Dragon NaturallySpeaking® 8 and 9.

      DSS Player for Mac does not require the PLUS upgrade since the Split and Join Files functions are built-in. There is no Voice Recognition function because there are no DSS-compatible voice-to-text applications available for Mac.

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What operating systems support the DS-4000?

The DS-4000 is supported by Windows 98®, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, and Windows Vista™.  The DS-4000 is not compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista™.  Windows 98SE or later is required for voice-recognition support and to use the DS-4000 as a USB microphone/speaker.  DSS Player Pro version 4.9.4 or later is required for compatibility with Windows Vista.  Download the latest software update here.

The DS-4000 is supported on Macintosh™ computers by Mac™ OS X version 10.1 and later.  The DSS Player for Mac software does not support voice-recognition software.  DSS Player for Mac must be updated to version 6.2.0 or later for compatibility with Intel-based Mac servers and clients.  Download the latest version of DSS Player for Mac here.

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How much recording time is available in the DS-4000?

The length of the potential recording time available in the DS-4000 is governed by the recording quality mode and the capacity of the xD-Picture Card&#153 media used. An SP (Standard Play) quality mode recording uses more memory than an LP (Long Play) quality mode recording because the SP makes a more-detailed digital record and uses more memory. The table below shows the approximate maximum recording times possible in the DS-4000 using different size cards.

Memory Cards and Approximate Recording Times*

Memory Size SP Mode LP Mode
16 MB 2 Hours 35 Minutes 5 Hours 30 Minutes
32 MB 5 Hours 10 Minutes 11 Hours 5 Minutes
64 MB 10 Hours 25 Minutes 22 Hours 20 Minutes
128 MB 20 Hours 55 Minutes 44 Hours 45 Minutes
256 MB 42 Hours 00 Minutes 89 Hours 40 Minutes
512 MB 84 Hours 5 Minutes 179 Hours 30 Minutes**

* Available recording time for one continuous file. Available recording time may be shorter if many short recordings are made.

**Total recording time for two files. The maximum recording time per file is 99 hours.

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Which types of memory cards does the DS-4000 support?

The DS-4000 is compatible, out of the box, with Standard and Type M xD-Picture Card media in capacities from 16 MB up to 512 MB. Newer firmware is available to add support for Type M and Type H cards up to 1 GB.

This model does not support Type M+ xD-Picture Card media or the 2 GB Type M card.

Firmware updates are available from and must be performed by an Olympus Professional Audio Products dealer. To find a dealer in your area, contact Olympus Digital Technical Support for a referral.

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What file-editing options are available in the DS-4000?

The DS-4000 applies a number of functions found in Olympus Professional Dictation Devices. One of these functions is the ability to edit previously recorded files in the recorder. The value of this feature is to enable a dictator to edit an audio file to a finished form for submission to a transcriptionist without the need for correction notes. The options are:

  • Appending - Adding new dictation to the end of the file.
  • Overwrite Recording - Sections of dictation in a previously recorded file can be overwritten from any point within the file. The overwritten sections will be erased.
  • Insert Recording - Inserting additional dictation into a previously recorded file.

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What demographic options can be programmed in the DS-4000?

The DS-4000 can be configured so that various demographic data will become embedded in the dictation files, where DSS Player Pro can view it. The options are:

  • Priority Levels - The [CUSTOM] button allows the user to select Priority Levels of Normal or High. Normal is the default. The function of the [CUSTOM] button can be reassigned by Olympus Professional Dictation Products dealers.
  • Author ID - The recorder can be configured to incorporate an Author ID into the begining of the names of files it records. The ID is an easily recognizable tag, such as the user's initials. Thus, the source of the recordings may be easily determined at a glance simply by reviewing the file's name.
  • Work Type - The Work Type can be embedded in the file data. The DS-3300 allows for Types 1 through 10. When more than one Work Type ID exists on the recorder, the Work Type ID list will display on the recorder's LCD screen.
  • Option Items - The recorder can be programmed with additional user-defined fields called Option Items. Each Option Item ID can use up to 20 alphanumeric characters.

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Does the DS-4000 have a hands-free capability?

The DS-4000can be used as a hands-free recording device when connected to an Olympus foot switch (sold separately). The RS-25 Foot Switch can be purchased from The Olympus Store by clicking here. The RS-26 Foot Switch is available from Olympus Professional Dictation Products Dealers.

To setup the recorder for hands-free operation, connect the foot switch to the back of the cradle and place the recorder in the cradle.

Operations are controlled as follows:

Switch

Press

Press and Hold

Release

Left SW

-

REV

Play

Center SW

-

REC

Stop

Right SW

New

-

-

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Can the DS-4000 be recharged while resting in its cradle?

The NiMH battery packs (BR-402 or BR-403) bundled with the DS-4000 can be charged while the recorder is resting in its cradle.  Connect the cradle to a power outlet using the included AC adapter or the D-7AC replacement AC adapter (sold separately).

The DS-4000 also accepts Olympus AAA NiMH batteries (BR-401), which must be charged externally using this optional charger, and AAA alkaline batteries, which cannot be recharged.  Do not attempt to charge the Olympus BR-401 AAA NiMH batteries -- or any alkaline batteries -- in the bundled cradle.

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The DS-4000 has a USB CHARG. option. Does that mean the batteries can be charged while the recorder is connected to a computer?

Yes, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The computer must be on.
  • The DS-4000 must be resting in its cradle.
  • The "A" side of the bundled USB cable must be plugged into a USB port or hub on the computer.
  • The "B" side of the bundled USB cable must be plugged into the recorder's cradle.
  • The USB CHARG. item in the DS-4000's SUB MENU must be set to ON.

Depending on the output capacity of their USB port(s), some computers may not be able to charge the DS-4000.  If a USB hub on the front of your computer fails to charge the DS-4000, try connecting the recorder to the computer via a USB port on the back of the computer.  These ports tend to have greater output capacity than ones mounted on the front of a computer.  If this also fails, use the AC adapter to charge the DS-4000 in its cradle.

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What is the function of the NEW button?

The NEW button closes an audio file so a new file can be recorded.  In the DS-3300, a file will remain open until the NEW button is pressed.  Not pressing the NEW buttton allows a file to remain open over several sessions.

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What are the functions of the A and B buttons?

In an unmodified DS-4000, the A button is the FOLDER button, used to select folders, and the B button is the PRIORITY button, used to insert a high-priority tag in an audio file being recorded. An Olympus Professional Dictation Products dealer can customize each of the buttons to perform the function of one of the following menu items instead of its default function:

  • INDEX - Insert an Index Mark.
  • FOLDER - Switch the folder into which your recording will be saved.
  • DISPLAY - Toggle among seven formats of recording information, including date and time stamps, file length, remaining recording time, etc.
  • REC MODE - Select the recording quality (SP or LP)
  • MIC SENSE - Select the microphone sensitivity to CONF. or DICT.
  • VCVA - Enable (ON) or disable (OFF) VCVA operation
  • PRIORITY - Set the priority tag for the recording to HIGH or NORMAL.

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How is the recording volume controlled?

The DS-4000 always records at 100% volume level to prevent accidentally recording with the volume set too low.

The recorder has two levels of microphone sensitivity:

  • CONF. (Conference) is a high-sensitivity level used in conference or lecture situations.
  • DICT. (Dictation) is a low-sensitivity level used for close-up recording.

Microphone sensitivity is set via the [MIC SENSE] function in the recorder menu.

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How is the playback volume controlled?

The playback volume is controlled during playback using the [+] (plus) and [-] (minus) buttons on the Volume rocker switch on the back of the DS-4000. Pressing [+] increases the playback volume. Pressing [-] reduces the playback volume.

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I want to email a DSS file to somone who doesn't have DSS Player Pro software. Since the file format is proprietary, how can the recipient play the file?

Olympus provides a free download of DSS Player-Lite, a software application that will allow recipients of DSS format files to play the files. DSS Player-Lite does not enable editing of files; it is a read-only application.

The Windows version can be downloaded here.

The Mac version can be downloaded here.

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How are dictation files erased?

To erase a selected file, press the [ERASE] button. The LCD screen will display FILE ERASE? for approximately 8 seconds. While it is still flashing, press the [ERASE] button again. When the file is erased, the screen will display ERASE DONE. File numbers will be reassigned automatically. Locked files cannot be erased. Erased files cannot be restored.

To partially erase a selected file, start playing back the file to be partially erased. Press the [ERASE] button at the desired point to begin erasure. While playback continues, PARTIAL ERASE and the file length will alternate on the display. Press the [ERASE] button a second time to end erasure. The starting point (time) and the ending point (time) of the erasure will alternate on the LCD screen for 8 seconds. Press the [ERASE] button to apply the erasure. (If the [ERASE] button is not pressed during the 8 seconds, the partial erasure will be cancelled.) The display will change to PARTIAL ERASE and then to ERASE DONE.

To erase all of the files in a folder, select the folder, and press the [ERASE] button for 3 seconds or longer. The LCD display will flash ALL ERASE? for approximately 8 seconds. While it is flashing, press the [ERASE] button again. When the files are erased, the screen will display ERASE DONE. Locked files are reassigned file numbers in ascending order. Erased files cannot be restored.

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I want to clear my recorder of all loaded files. How do I format the recorder?

The recorder and memory card should be formatted only by using the internal FORMAT function found in the recorder's Menu. Using a computer to format a card will render the card unusable in the DS-4000. The card will have to be formatted in the recorder to restore functionality.

To format the card in the DS-4000, do the following:

  1. Press and hold the MENU button for one second or longer.
  2. Press the FF or REW button until SUB MENU is displayed on the LCD.
  3. Press MENU to enter the submenu.
  4. Press the FF or REW button until FORMAT flashes on the display.
  5. Press the MENU button to select FORMAT.
  6. Press the FF or REW button to highlight the START option.
  7. Press MENU to select FORMAT. The recorder will display a message stating that all data on the card will be cleared, and then it will prompt for confirmation to continue the FORMAT operation.
  8. Press the FF or REW button to highlight START a second time.
  9. Press the MENU button to confirm START selection and format the card.

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What is the benefit of using the ME-12 Noise Cancellation Microphone?

The ME-12 Noise Cancellation Microphone (sold separately) is used to get crisp recordings of your own voice by reducing the effects of ambient noise. The ME-12 is recommended to improve accuracy when using voice-recognition software.

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How long do the batteries last in the DS-4000?

Alkaline batteries will power the recorder in the Recording Mode for aproximately 16 hours and in the Playback Mode for approximately nine hours.

NiMH batteries will run the recorder in the Recording Mode for approximately 12 hours and in the Playback Mode for approximately eight hours.

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Must I charge the included battery before using it in the DS-4000?

Yes. The battery is shipped partially charged. Charge the battery often for the first few uses. Battery performance improves after several full charge/discharge cycles.

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Can NiMH batteries be charged in the DS-4000?

The NiMH battery packs bundled with the DS-4000 can be charged in the recorder when using the included cradle and AC adapter.  The optional replacement AC adapter D-7AC (sold separately) may also be used to charge the battery packs in the cradle.

If you opt to use the Olympus BR-401 AAA NiMH batteries to power the DS-4000, note that these batteries cannot be charged in the cradle. However, they can be charged externally in the BU-400 NiMH Battery Charger, which is available exclusively in the B-90SU NiMH Quick Charger and Battery Set. (The batteries included with the set are AA, not AAA.)

Replacement battery packs, cradles and AC adapters are available from Olympus Professional Dictation Products dealers. In addition, the CR-3A cradle, the D-7AC adapter, the Quick Charger, and four-packs of BR-401 AAA NiMH batteries all may be ordered directly from The Olympus Store.  To order the CR-3A cradle (Item # 147480), click here.  To order the D-7AC adapter (Item # 200850), click here.  To order the B-90SU quick charger set (Item #200899), click here.  To order four-packs of BR-401 batteries (Item #147423), click here.

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Where can I get a replacement AC adapter for the DS-4000 digital voice recorder?

The DS-4000 ships with the A-510 AC adapter. An optional replacement AC Adapter (D-7AC) is also available.  Either adapter may be used with the bundled USB Cradle to power the DS-4000 with 120 volt AC current.

To order the replacement AC adapter from The Olympus Store, click here.

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Where can I get technical support for my DS-4000?

The DS-4000 is an Olympus Professional Dictation Device, and as such technical support for the recorder and its associated software is provided solely by authorized Olympus Professional Dictation Products dealers.

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Where can I find an authorized Olympus Professional Dictation Products Dealer?

For up-to-date information regarding dealers in the US and Canada, call 888-553-4448.

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My DS-4000 has power but does not record anymore. What could be wrong?

Any of the following causes may be at fault:

  • The card does not have enough memory remaining to create and record a new file.
  • The card is unformatted.
  • The maximum number of files has been reached.

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I hear "white noise," or static, during playback of my audio file. What could be wrong?

The DS-4000 may have detected and recorded ambient sound along with the intended audio signal.  For example, if the DS-4000 were placed on a flat, unpadded surface such as a glass or stainless steel table, it is possible that during recording the recorder would pick up the sound of its own vibration on that surface.

This behavior is more likely to occur when MIC SENSE is set to CONFERENCE because the microphone's sensitivity is greater when recording in this mode. Try setting MIC SENSE to DICTATION.

If it is necessary to use CONFERENCE mode and impractical or undesirable to hold the DS-4000 for the entire recording, place the recorder on a padded surface, such as a book.  The padding will absorb the recorder's vibration. 

You may wish to consider purchasing the optional ME-12 Noise Cancellation Microphone.  The ME-12 plugs directly into the DS-4000's microphone jack for uni-directional recording in high-noise environments, such as lectures and seminars.  It will cut down on much of the background noise and result in a more accurate transcription.  Click here to buy this item from The Olympus Store.

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I am unable to erase an audio file. What could be wrong?

The file may be locked.

Locking files is useful for protecting them from accidental editing or erasure.  It is not possible to append, overwrite or insert index marks or other recordings into locked files. Locked files are not erased unless the memory card is formatted.

To unlock a file so that it can be deleted, do the following:

  1. Select the file, and then press the MENU button.
  2. Press the FF or REW button to select SUB MENU.
  3. Press the MENU button to advance to the sub menu.
  4. Press the FF or REW button until LOCK in begins to flash.
  5. Press the MENU button again.
  6. Press the FF or REW button to select OFF.
  7. Press the MENU button to set the selection.
  8. Press and hold the MENU button for one second or longer to exit the menu.

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I am unable to insert index marks into my file. Why?

The maximum number of index marks (16) may have been reached, or the file may be locked.

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I cannot connect the DS-4000 to a computer when it is resting in the cradle. What could be wrong?

The USB port(s) and/or hub(s) on the computer may not supply enough power to charge the DS-4000's batteries and operate the recorder.  Try turning off the USB CHARG. option in the SUB MENU.  This may make it possible for the computer to connect to and power the DS-4000 because no power will be diverted to the task of charging the recorder's batteries.

Some computers running Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition may not initially be able to connect to the DS-4000 using the bundled USB cable.  The computer's USB settings need to be changed.  Refer to the DSS Player software's online Help for instructions.

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After about 10 minutes, the DS-4000 shuts off. What's wrong?

When the recorder is on but idle for 10 minutes, it will switch to Power Save mode automatically. Pressing any button on the recorder will activate the recorder.

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