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Olympus DS-2300 Digital Voice Recorder

Olympus DS-2300 Digital Voice Recorder
Product Number 141281
Shipping date: May 2005
Box Contents
DS-2300 Digital Voice Recorder
16 MB xD-Picture Card™ removable flash memory media
Two AAA Alkaline Batteries
USB 2.0 Cable (KP-11)
DSS Player Software CD
Instruction Manual
Warranty Card

Model DS-2300
Recording Format DSS (Digital Speech Standard)
Recording Media xD-Picture Card media
Recording Time Using bundled 16 MB xD-Picture Card media:
SP Mode: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes
LP Mode: approx. 5 hours 30 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 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 220 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 batteries
External Power Supply n/a
Battery Life Alkaline
Recording: Approx.. 20 hours
Playback: Approx. 12 hours
Recording: Approx. 15 hours
Playback: Approx. 10 hours
Size 4.3" x 2.0" x .7" (110.2 x 50 x 17.2 mm), excluding protrusions
Weight 3.6 oz (101 g), including batteries
OS Supported PC:
Windows® 98/98SE/ME/2000 Professional/
XP Professional/Home Edition
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-2300 is a digital voice recorder that records in the Digital Speech Standard (DSS) audio format. It is designed to emulate many of the features of a professional dictation device at a lower cost. 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-2300. The DS-2300 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-2300 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 software enables the downloading of dictation files to a computer, where they can be archived and where further file editing can be performed. The PLUS upgrade enables file joining and splitting, plus an interface with such voice-to-text applications as Dragon NaturallySpeaking® and IBM ViaVoice®.

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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 audio files approximately twelve times, so it is an ideal format for transferring files by email. The DSS compression format also extends the length of recording time on the DM-20s' Flash memory due to the smaller file sizes.

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Other Olympus digital voice recorders have a wider frequency response than the DS-2300. Why is the frequency response in the DS-2300 narrower?

The DS-2300 is designed to emulate the features of Olympus Professional Dictation Devices, 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 a human voice) fall within a relatively narrow band of frequencies.

Accordingly, the DS-2300 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-2300 is able to create smaller files, which has the benefit of maximizing memory capacity (recording time).

The DS-2300 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-2300 and also record in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. Why does the DS-2300 have only two quality modes?

The DS-2300 is designed to emulate the features of Olympus Dictation Devices, whose primary function is to record dictation files for transcription. The two quality modes available in the DS-2300--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 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 Olympus digital voice recorders provide enhanced audio detail, compared with the DSS files created by the DS-2300. However, this detail is not necessary to faithfully reconstruct a dictation file used for transcription, and will increase the file's size, which will in turn restrict recording capacity. Therefore, these quality modes were not included in the DS-2300.

The DS-2300 is not recommended for recording musicor interviews intended for broadcast where a broad frequency response would be desirable.

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How much recording time is available in the DS-2300?

The length of the potential recording time available in the DS-2300 is governed by the recording quality mode and the capacity of the xD-Picture Card 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-2300 using different size cards.

Memory Cards and Approximate Recording Times*

Memory Size SP Mode LP Mode
16 MB 2 Hours 30 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-2300 support?

The DS-2300 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.

Click here to download the latest firmware update for the DS-2300.

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Which operating systems support the DS-2300?

The DS-2300 is supported by Windows® ME, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Professional, and Windows XP Home Edition. The DS-2300 is not compatible with Windows XP x64 Edition.

The DS-2300 is supported on Macintosh™ computers by Mac™ OS 10.1 and later. It is not compatible with Intel-based Mac OS X servers and clients.

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What enhancements does the PLUS upgrade to DSS Player v.6 offer?

Purchasing the DSS Player v.6 PLUS upgrade adds the following features to the version of DSS Player bundled with the DS-2300:

  • 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. Dragon naturallySpeaking 9 compatibility requires the DSS Player v6 update version 6.3.2, available here.

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 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 v6 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.

    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 is the function of the [NEW] button?

    The [NEW] button closes an audio file so that a new file can be recorded. In the DS-2300, a file will remain open until the [NEW] button is pressed. Not pressing the [NEW] button allows a file to remain open and added to over several sessions without closing the file.

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    I want to email a DSS file to someone who doesn't have DSS Player on their computer. Since this is a proprietary file format, how can they 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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    What file-editing options are available in the DS-2300?

    The DS-2300 emulates a number of functions found in Olympus Professional Dictation Devices. One of these 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 of correction notes. The options are:

    • Appending--Adding new dictation to the end of a 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--Insert additional dictation in a previously recorded file.

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    How is the recording volume controlled?

    The DS-2300 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-2300. Pressing [+] increases the playback volume. Pressing [-] reduces the playback volume.

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    After about 10 minutes, the DS-2300 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 reactivate it.

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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 and 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 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 in the recorder menu.

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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 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-2300. The card will have to be formatted in the recorder to restore functionality.

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    How long do the batteries last in the DS-2300?

    Two AAA alkaline batteries will power the recorder in the Recording Mode for aproximately 20 hours and in the Playback Mode for approximately 12 hours.

    Two BR401 AAA NiMH batteries will run the recorder in the Recording Mode for approximately 15 hours and in the Playback Mode for approximately 10 hours.

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    Is there an AC adapter for the DS-2300?

    The Digital Camera AC Adapter D-7AC (item # 200850) can be used with the USB Cradle CR3 (item # 147480) to power the DS-2300 with 120 VAC current.

    Both the adapter and the cradle are available from the Olympus Store. To order the AC adapter, click here.

    To order the USB cradle click here.

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