Product Support

WS-320M

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What are the specifications for the WS-320M?

WS-320M Digital Voice Recorder

Olympus WS-320M Digital Voice Recorder
Product Number 141857
Shipping Date: September 2005

Box Contents
WS-320M Digital Voice Recorder
Stereo Earphones
One AAA Alkaline Battery
USB Cable
Instruction Manual
Warranty Card


Specifications
Model WS-320M
Recording Format WMA (Windows Media Audio)
Recording Media Built-in 1 GB Flash memory
Recording Time Stereo HQ Mode: approx.35 hours 25 minutes
HQ Mode: approx. 70 hours 50 minutes
SP Mode: approx. 139 hours 30 minutes
LP Mode: approx. 277 hours 20 minutes
Card Format n/a
Input Level -70 dBv
PC Interface USB direct, 2.0 Full Speed
LCD 23 x 14 mm
LED 2 colors (red and green)
Folder Messages 5 folders, 199 messages per folder
Sampling Frequency (ST) HQ Mode: 44.1 kHz
HQ Mode: 44.1 kHz
SP Mode: 22.0 kHz
LP Mode: 8.0 kHz
Overall Frequency Response (ST) HQ Mode: 100-15,000 Hz
HQ Mode: 100-12,000 Hz
SP Mode: 100-5,000 Hz
LP Mode: 100-3,000 Hz
LP Mode Yes
Voice Activation Available, Switchable On/Off
Demographic Data Input n/a
Practical Maximum Output 70 mW
Write Protection n/a
Speaker Built-in 18 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 1 AAA Alkaline or 1 NiMH battery
External Power Supply USB
Battery Life Alkaline Approx. 15 hours
Size 94 x 38 x 10 mm (excluding protrusions)
Weight 46 grams (including battery)
OS Supported Windows® ME/Windows 2000 Professional/Windows XP Professional/Windows XP Home Edition/Windows Vista™
USB Port One free port
Audio Output Earphone output or speakers

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What are the main features of the WS-320M?

The WS-320M is a combination digital voice recorder/music player/mass storage device. With 1 GB of built-in flash memory, it is capable of 277 hours of recording time or up to 266 songs downloaded and played in the MUSIC Mode. It can also function as a mass storage device ("jump" drive) to transfer files from one computer to another. Its USB connector is built-in and is exposed by removing the battery holder. Therefore, it can connect to most computers without a USB cable. Since it records in WMA (Windows Media Audio) format, it is supported by Windows Media Player. This means that the WS-320M can be used on Windows computers without the necessity of installing proprietary software to download and manage files. The earphone jack permits playback through earphones. The microphone jack accomodates accessory microphones in place of the built-in stereo microphones.

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Can the WS-320M be used on a Macintosh computer?

The WS-320M can be used on a Macintosh computer that has Windows Media Player for Mac installed. Windows Media Player for Mac can be downloaded for free at Microsoft's web site. The WS-320M is not compatible with iTunes. If the WS-320M's files are opened using iTunes, the files will become corrupted and rendered unplayable.

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How are CD music tracks imported into the WS-320M using a Macintosh computer?

To create music files that can be imported into a WS-320M, the CD tracks must be ripped into the iTunes music library as mp3 files and dragged and dropped into the WS-320M.

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. In the MENU bar, click on iTunes.
  3. In the drop down box, click on Preferences.
  4. In the dialog box that appears, click on the Advanced tab and then on the Importing button. The setting box shown below appears.


  5. In the Import Using: field, select MP3 Encoder. The Setting: field can be used to create custom mp3 properties to improve sound quality or extend music capacity. Once the desired settings are selected, click OK.
  6. With the iTunes window open, put a music CD in the CD-ROM drawer. Click on the check boxes beside the tracks that are to be added to the library.


  7. Start ripping the music tracks by clicking on the Import CD button.


  8. Connect the WS-320M to the computer's USB port. The recorder will appear on the desktop as an [Untitled] drive. Drag and drop the music tracks into the untitled drive. The mp3 files will be transferred to the music folder in the WS-320M.


  9. Disconnect the WS-320M from the computer by dragging the [Untitled] drive icon to the trash.

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Since the recorder does not come with support software, how do I download and manage my recordings?

The WS-320M is designed to work with the Windows operating system. The support software and drivers are native to the Windows operating system, so no additional software is needed. When the recorder is connected to the compouter's USB port, the computer detects it and it appears in My Computer as a Removable Disk drive.

Double-clicking on the drive displays the contents of the device's memory.

Clicking on any of the folders displays the files within the folders. Shown below are the contents of Folder A.

Files can be copied and pasted onto the desktop or in a folder. Alternatively, the [File] > [Save As] function in the Menu can be used to export files.

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What music formats does the WS-320M accept?

The WS-320M will accept Windows Media Audio (WMA) and mp3 format audio files.

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Can I rename my files when they are displayed in My Computer?

Files in the WS-320M should not be renamed in My Computer because the recorder's file management software may not be able to find a renamed file. If a file is to be renamed, it should be done prior to being added to the Windows Media Player Library or in Windows Media Player prior to syncing the music to the WS-320M.

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How are music files imported into the WS-320M using a Windows computer?

Note: The following instructions pertain to Windows Media Player version 11, which is available as a free upgrade from Microsoft. This version will also be included standard with the Windows Vista operating system.

  1. Save music tracks from CDs or Internet downloads to the Library in Windows Media Player.
  2. Connect the WS-320M to the computer's USB port.
  3. Click [Sync] on the Windows Media Player toolbar. The [Sync List] window opens to the right of the Library.
  4. Select the tracks from the Library that are to be synchronised and drag them into the Sync List.

  1. Click on the Start Sync button.

Windows Media Player will transfer the music tracks into the WS-320M. When the sync is completed, a display will show how much free memory remains in the recorder.

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

The recorder should be formatted using only by using the internal FORMAT function found in the recorder's Menu. Formatting using the computer may corrupt system files needed to run the recorder, so computer formatting is not recommended. Individual files can be deleted using the computer with no negative effects.

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How can I safely disconnect the WS-320M from a Windows computer?

Any USB device should be disconnected from a Windows computer using the [Safely Remove Hardware] button located in the Taskbar in the lower right corner of the Desktop screen. The button's icon features a green arrow suspended over a device.

Any open files should be closed before starting the disconnect process. Simply removing the device from the USB port without using the recommended disconnect procedure can result in corrupted files or firmware.

Double-clicking on the [Safely Remove Hardware] icon opens a dialog box that shows all hardware devices with open USB connections to the computer.


Select the device to be disconnected by clicking once on its name, and then click on the [Stop] button. This will launch another dialog box to confirm the identity of the device that is to be stopped. Clicking the [OK] button closes the device's USB connection.



Once the connection has been closed, the Desktop screen will display a message balloon above the taskbar indicating that it is safe to disconnect the hardware.

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How can I safely disconnect the WS-320M from a Macintosh computer?

Any USB device should be disconnected from a Macintosh computer by dragging the [Untitled] drive icon that represents the device into the trash. Simply removing the device from the USB port without using the recommended disconnect procedure can result in corrupted files or firmware.

Any open files should be closed before starting the disconnect process.

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How is the Flash memory shared by the voice and music folders?

The WS-320M has 1 GB of Flash memory. A small amount of that memory is reserved for the "overhead"--firmware and system files needed to run the recorder. The remaining free memory is shared among the various folders--Folders A through E--and the MUSIC folder, plus any files that may be saved to the recorder as a mass storage device. If 900 MB of the 1 GB of Flash memory is used in the MUSIC folder, that would leave a little less than 100 MB for other purposes.

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How much recording time is available in the WS-320M?

The length of the potential recording time available in the WS-320M is governed by the quality mode that is selected. When a quality mode is selected, a number of audio file properties are put into place that determine the level of detail of the saved file data. A higher-quality data file saves more detailed information and creates a larger data file that uses more memory space. A lower-quality recording makes a less-detailed data file, so the memory goes a lot farther. The table below shows the maximum recording times possible (assuming there are no other files saved on the recorder).

Quality Mode Maximum Recording Time
Stereo HQ Mode 35 Hours 25 Minutes
HQ Mode 70 Hours 50 Minutes
SP Mode 139 Hours 30 Minutes
LP Mode 277 Hours 20 Minutes

The different quality modes save the digital record of the recording with different levels of faithfulness to the original sound. The Stereo HQ Mode is recommended for music, drama, or interviews that may be made for broadcast. Stereo HQ (High Quality) Mode makes a very detailed digital record of the sound and uses a very wide frequency range that uses up the available Flash memory very rapidly. Lower-quality modes, such as SP (Standard play) and LP (Long Play), make a less detailed digital record of the sound and use a narrower frequency range and use up the available Flash memory much more slowly. These modes would be used for audio note-taking or recording college lectures or seminars in which large content is more important than high audio quality.

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My recorder freezes and I get the following error message: "Cannot find the system file. Connect to PC to delete the necessary files." What is the problem?

The size of the source folder from which music files have been ripped has exceeded the available Flash memory in the recorder.When this occurs, the directory in the recorder runs out of sufficient space to complete the directory entries for the excess music tracks. Some tracks must be deleted to free up space in the memory.

Connect the recorder to the computer. In My Computer, right-click on the Removable Disk that represents the recorder and click on [Properties]. The display shows the amount of Used Space and Free Space in the recorder's memory. Note how much space needs to be freed up and exit Properties. Double-click on the Removable Disk and open a voice folder or MUSIC folder. Delete tracks until sufficient free space has been created.

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What does SRS WOW do in the MUSIC Mode?

SRS WOW is audio technology that uses the scientific principles of psychacoustics to create a psychological impression of the music players' sound space.

SRS 3D (Sound Retrieval System) enhances the surround sound effect. TruBass gives the impression of bass "punch" in earbuds without using a subwoofer. Both effects have HIGH, MIDDLE, LOW and OFF settings.

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What doe the EQ function do in the MUSIC Mode?

The EQ (Equalizer) function is a graphic equalizer used to further customize the recorder's sound space. EQ allows the user to select several audio environments that create variations in the emphasis of different frequency ranges. The options are Flat (default), Rock, Pop, Jazz, and User. The User option allows the user to select a frequency band using the [REW] and [FF] buttons. The band options in User are 60 Hz, 250 Hz, 1 kHz, 4 kHz, and 12 kHz.

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I recorded a file and the battery ran out. Now I can't play or find the file. Why?

When a recording session begins, a file is created to contain the incoming audio content. This file remains open throughout the session until the recording is manually stopped. If the recorder lasts longer than five minutes, the recorder will save the audio content at five-minute intervals.

If the battery runs out during a recording session, only the portion of the recording that has been saved will be available for retrieval. For example, if a recording session is interrupted by power loss at the 37th minute, the audio file of the recording will contain only the first 35 minutes worth of content. The remaining two minutes worth of content is not available because it was never saved to the file. In the case of recordings that are shorter than five minutes, the entire recording will be lost because the file is not able to close due to the lack of power. 

It is crucial to change the battery once the battery indicator shows only one hash mark of power remaining. Removing the battery while the recorder is in use may also corrupt a file.

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How long does the battery last?

One AAA alkaline battery will power a WS-320M for approximately 15 hours.

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What is VCVA?

Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) is a function that sets up the recorder to record only when sound is detected at a preset level. This extends recording time by not recording "dead air" or background noise that can use up memory.

The function is activated from the recorder's menu. When it is activated, "VCVA" appears on the LCD screen.The threshold loudness level is set during recording by pressing the [REW] button to lower the level or the [FF] button to raise the level. There are 15 VCVA levels.

When the ambient sound drops below the threshold level, the recorder will not detect it.One second after the recorder fails to detect any sound, it will stop recording and display "STANDBY" on the LCD screen.

When sound is detected, the LCD screen shows the recording level graph.

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How is recording volume controlled?

The WS-320M always records at 100% volume level to prevent accidentally recording with the volume set too low.

The recorder has two microphone sensitivity levels:

  • Dictation is a low sensitvity level used for close-up recording.
  • Conference is a high sensitvity level used in conference or lecture situations.

Microphone sensitvity is set via the [MIC SENSE] function in the recorder Menu.

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How is playback volume controlled?

The playback volume is controlled during playback using the [+] (plus) and [-] (minus) buttons on the four-way rocker switch on the recorder face. [+] increases the playback volume. [-] reduces the playback volume.

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Can the playback speed be controlled?

Pressing the [PLAY] button once during playback decreases the playback speed by 25%. Pressing the [PLAY] button a second time increases the speed by 50%. Pressing [STOP] stops the playback and returns playback to normal speed.

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How is the recorder turned off?

The [HOLD] switch is the recorders' ON/OFF switch.

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What are Index Marks?

Index Marks are 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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How are dictation files erased?

To erase a selected file, first press the [ERASE] button. Next, press the [+] (plus) or [-] (minus) button to select "ERASE," and then press the [ERASE] or [OK] button.

To erase all files in a folder, first select the folder and press the [ERASE] button for three seconds or longer. Next, press the [+] (plus) or [-] (minus) button to select "ALL ERASE." Finally, press the [ERASE] or [OK] button.

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Will using an accessory microphone with an extended frequency range improve the quality of my recordings?

Using an accessory microphone with an extended frequency range may not improve the quality of the recordings in a WS-320M. The recorder has an overall frequency response of 100 Hz to 15,000 Hz, but the different quality modes modify the detail of the saved file data by saving some frequencies and discarding others. This is how the recorder varies the potential recording time and uses the built-in Flash memory more efficiently.

The table below shows the overall frequency response in the different quality modes:

Quality Mode Overall Frequency Response
Stereo HQ Mode 300-15,000 Hz
HQ Mode 300-12,000 Hz
SP Mode 100-5,000 Hz
LP Mode 100-3,000 Hz

The different quality modes save the digital record of the recordings with different levels of faithfulness to the original sound. The Stereo HQ mode is recommended for music, drama, or interviews that may be made for broadcast. Stereo HQ (High Quality) Mode makes a very detailed record of the sound and uses a wide frequency range that uses up the available Flash memory very rapidly. Lower quality modes, such as SP (Standard Play) and LP (Long Play), make a less detailed digital record of the sound and use a narrower frequency range and use up the available Flash memory much more slowly. These modes would be used for audio note taking or recording college lectures or seminars in which large content is more important than high audio quality.

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How can I transfer a recording from another device into the WS-320M?

Analog sound files can be imported and exported to other audio devices using a male/male patch cord with 3.5 mm plugs on each end. Olympus makes a patch cord--the KA-333 Compaticord (item # 145122).

To import a file into the WS-320M, put one end of the KA-333 into the microphone jack of the WS-320M and the other end into the earphone jack of the other device. Press [RECORD] in the WS-320M and then [PLAY] in the other device.

To export a file from the WS-320M, put one end of the KA-333 into the earphone jack of the WS-320M and the other end into the microphone or input jack of the receiving device. Press [RECORD] in the receiving device and then [PLAY] in the WS-320M.

The jacks in the WS-320M have a maximum input voltage of 10 VDC. Higher voltages may damage the recorder.

Note:The KA-333 Compaticord is available for purchase from Olympus' online store at www.olympusamerica.com.

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What are the Windows system requirements for the WS-320M?

The WS-320M is supported by Windows ME/2000 Professional/XP Professional and XP Home Edition. Earlier versions do not have the USB drivers needed to connect the WS-320M. The WS-320M is also not compatible with Windows XP 64 bit.

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Is there an AC adapter for the WS-320M?

An AC adapter is not available for the WS-320M. When the recorder is connected to a computer, the computer's USB port powers the device.

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