Product Support

DS-5000

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What are the main features of this model?

The DS-5000 is a digital voice recorder that records in the Digital Speech Standard Pro (DS2) audio format. It uses microSD/SDHC flash media for internal memory and also accepts optional SD/SDHC media via an external card slot. Because its memory media are removeable, the recorder need never be left with a transcriptionist. In addition, should the recorder ever need service, the media can be removed before shipping to provide additional security. The recorder ships with a 512MB microSD card but accepts cards up to 8GB. Using larger-capacity media dramatically increases potential recording time.

The DS-5000 offers the ability to edit files in the recorder. File-editing functions include appending files, overwriting a section within a file and inserting new recordings into an existing file. Since the DS-5000 is also a mass storage device, it can be used as a USB flash drive to transfer files from one computer to another.

The DS-5000 features a Device Lock security option new to Olympus digital voice recorders. Device Lock prevents unauthorized access to the device via password protection

The bundled DSS Player Pro R5 for Windows® and DSS Player 7 for Mac™ software is used to download dictation files to a computer, where they can be archived and where further file editing can be performed. Files can be encrypted in DSS Player Pro R5, and they can also be converted to other audio formats.

DSS Player Pro R5 is compatible with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8, 9 and 10 Preferred. No voice-to-text support is available in DSS Player 7 for Mac.

The DS-5000 is an Olympus Professional Dictation Device. 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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How does DSS Player Pro R5 differ from DSS Player 7?

For the most part, DSS Player Pro R5 and DSS Player 7 are similar. DSS Player Pro R5 offer some enhancements designed to facilitate the transfer and archiving of files on a computer network. The primary enhancements found in DSS Player Pro R5 but not in DSS Player 7 are:

  • Automatic distribution of recordings by e-mail or FTP to transcriptionists or other users
  • Automatic retrieval of transcribed text documents, via e-mail or FTP, linking the document to the recording
  • File encryption
  • More options for file audio format conversion
  • More options for demographic data inputs into the voice recorder

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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 e-mail. The DSS compression format also extends the recording capacity of the microSD/SDHC or SD/SDHC removable storage media due to the smaller files it creates.

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Are the files recorded on the memory card secure?

The files are secure to a degree. The DSS Pro audio codec is exclusive to the DSS Player Pro, DSS Player Standard, DSS Player for Mac (Version 7) and DSS Player Lite applications. Therefore, the files recorded in the DSS Player Pro (.ds2) format cannot be opened and played without one of these applications. Earlier versions of DSS Player software are unable to read the files.

When the recorder is configured to record in the Classic DSS (.dss) format, a layer of security is compromised because these files can be played on older versions of DSS Player software. However, neither DSS Player Pro or Classic DSS files can be played natively by any other application or operating system. If the recorder's memory cards were removed from the recorder and inserted into a card reader or a card slot on a computer, the files on the cards could not be played without an appropriate DSS Player application.

As a further security measure, the recorder's internal memory is stored on a removable microSD card. This means the files can be removed before the device is given to another party (for example, if the device were to require service). The microSD/SDHC slot is discreetly hidden. Should an unauthorized person gain access to the device while the internal memory card is inside, the card may not be detected. Those unfamilar with the device may only notice the prominent external SD/SDHC slot and assume the recorder holds no files

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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 32 index marks can be added to a single file when recording in DSS Pro (.ds2) format. When the recorder is configured to record in Classic DSS (.dss) format, 16 index marks may be added to a single file.

Index marks can also be inserted into a downloaded file in DSS Player Pro R5.

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What is the purpose of the USB Class option in the recorder menu?

The USB Class option allows the DS-5000 to perform as two different devices:

  • Composite - The recorder will function as a USB microphone or speaker. This allows the recorder to be used to record dicataion directly into the DSS Player Pro R5 software when the recorder is connected to the computer with the USB cable. Standing the recorder in the CR-10 cradle allows hands-free dictation. When the recorder is connected to a computer, the LCD screen will indicate the device is in the Composite mode.
  • Storage - The recorder will function as a portable digital voice recorder and will save dictation files to the microSD/SDHC or SD/SDHC memory card. When the recorder is connected to a computer for file download, the LCD screen will indicate that the device is in the Storage mode.

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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-5000, a file will remain open until the NEW button is pressed. Not pressing the NEW button allows a file to remain open over several sessions.

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What is VCVA?

Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) is a function that configures the recorder to record automatically only when sound is detected at a pre-set level and to stop recording 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 and application to "listen" to the playback of an audio dictation file and convert the spoken words to a text document. DSS Player Pro R5 for Windows® is compatible with Dragon NaturallySpeaking® 8, 9 and 10 Preferred.

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 a digital voice recorder. A transcriptionist can make corrections to the text, and these corrections can be incorporated by the voice-to-text software to "learn" how the dictator speaks. If users correct their own text files, they can also learn to enunciate words so the software can better understand their speech and increase the accuracy of the text-file conversion.

Hands-free recording using the bundled CR-10 USB cradle reduces handling noises that may confuse voice-recognition software. When using the CR-10, the microphone sensitivity of the DS-5000 should be set to CONFERENCE.

The recorder can also be controlled during dictation using an optional footswitch (RS-27, RS-28) plugged into the CR-10 cradle. Using DSS Player Pro R5 software, the functions of the footswitch can be customized to the user's preference.

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 operating systems support the DS-5000?

The DS-5000 is supported on Windows platforms via the bundled DSS Player P R5 software. The software is compatible with the following Windows operating systems:

Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4
Windows XP Professional 32-bit and 64-bit edition Service Pack 2
Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2
Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit and 64-bit editions
Windows Vista Enterprise 32-bit and 64-bit editions
Windows Vista Business 32-bit and 64-bit editions
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit and 64-bit editions
Windows Vista Basic 32-bit and 64-bit editions
Windows Server 2003 32-bit and 64-bit editions

The DS-5000 is supported on Macintosh platforms via the bundled DSS Player 7 for Mac software. The software is compatible with PC- and Intel-based platforms running Mac OS 10.3.9 ("Panther") through 10.5.x ("Leopard").

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How much recording time is available in the DS-5000?

The length of the potential recording time available in the DS-5000 is governed by the recording quality mode and the capacity of the SD memory card media used. A QP (Quality Play) quality mode recording uses more memory than an SP (Standard Play) quality mode recording because the QP mode makes a more-detailed digital record and uses more memory.

The table below shows the approximate maximum recording times possible in the DS-5000 using different size cards.

Memory Cards and Approximate Recording Times

Memory Size QP Mode SP Mode
512 MB 38 Hours 45 Minutes 79 Hours 30 Minutes
1 GB 77 Hours 44 Minutes 159 Hours 05 Minutes*
2 GB 157 Hours 55 Minutes* 323 Hours 35 Minutes*
4 GB 310 Hours 10 Minutes* 635 Hours 25 Minutes*
8 GB 631 Hours 15 Minutes* 1,293 Hours 15 Minutes*

*Total recording time of several files. The maximum recording time per file is 99 hours, 59 minutes because of the file header file-naming rule. Recording times shown in excess of 99 hours and 59 minutes are the accumulated recording time totals from multiple files.

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How long do the batteries last in the DS-5000?

New technologies incorporated into the DS-5000 have significantly enhanced the battery performance compared to previous models.

Alkaline batteries will power the recorder in the Recording Mode for approximately 32 hours and in the Playback Mode for approximately 13 hours.

NiMH batteries will power the recorder in the Recording Mode for approximately 28 hours and in the Playback Mode for approximately 10 hours.

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Other Olympus digital voice recorders have a wider frequency response than the DS-5000. Why is the frequency response in the DS-5000 narrower?

The DS-5000 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-5000 makes files that contain only as much audio detail as is necessary to re-create the original signal. By restricitng the frequency response, the DS-5000 is able to create smaller files, which has the benefit of maximizing memory capacity (recording time).

The DS-5000 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-5000 and also record in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format? Why does the DS-5000 have only two quality modes?

The DS-5000 is designed as an Olympus Professional Dictation Device, whose primary function is to record dictation files for transcription. The two quality modes available on the DS-5000 - QP (Quality Play) and SP (Standard 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.

DS2 (Digital Speech Standard Pro) files can be converted in DSS Player Pro R5 for Windows® software to WAVE, WMA, Classic DSS or mp3 audio format files with the properties necessary to be compatible with voice-to-text applications commonly used by transcriptionists.

The additional quality modes available in some other Olympus digital voice recorders provide enhanced audio detail, compared with the DS2 files created by the DS-5000. However, this extra detail is not necessary to faithfully reconstruct a dictation file used for transcription, and using it would increase the file's size, which would in turn restrict recording capacity. Therefore, these quality modes were not included in the DS-5000.

The DS-5000 is not recommended for recording music or interviews intended for broadcast where a broad frequency response would be desirable.

Using the bundled software, the DS-5000 can be programmed to record in the Classic DSS audio format instead of the DSS Pro audio format. In addition, the software can be used to convert the files into other audio formats. The conversions offered in DSS Player Pro R5 for Windows are Classic DSS (.dss), DSS Pro (.ds2), WAVE (.wav) and Windows Media Audio (.wma). The conversions offered in DSS Player 7 for Mac are Classic DSS, DSS Pro and AIFF (.aif). In each format, it is possible to vary properties such as sampling frequency, bit rate, bit depth, and monaural and stereo channels.

By manipulating the property options, DSS Player Pro R5 for Windows can create WAVE and WMA format files that are compatible with voice-to-text applications commonly used by transcriptionists, including Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8, 9, and 10 Preferred.

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How is the recording volume controlled?

The recording volume of the DS-5000 cannot be adjusted; it always records at a 100% volume level to prevent accidentally recording with the volume set too low.

The recorder has two levels of microphone sensitivity:

  • CONFERENCE is a high-sensitivity level used in conference or lecture situations.
  • 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 using the [+] (plus) and [-] (minus) buttons on the four-way arrow keypad on the face of the recorder. Pressing [+] increases the playback volume. Pressing [-] reduces the playback volume.

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How is the DS-5000 connected to the computer?

The DS-5000 can be connected directly to a computer by attaching one end of the bundled USB cable to the recorder and the other end to the computer or, optionally, it can be placed into the bundled CR-10 USB cradle while the cradle is connected to a computer using the USB cable. While connected, files can be transferred to the computer.

Files can also be downloaded directly from the recorder's memory card using a third-party USB memory card reader. In this method, the user gives the removable memory card to the transcriptionist and installs another memory card to continue recording. The benefit is that the user does not have to leave the recorder with the transcriptionist.

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Can the DS-5000 be setup with customized functions?

The DS-5000 can be customized using the Device Settings options in the DSS Player Pro R5 software bundled with the recorder. Many recorder settings can be pre-defined and button functions can be modified. The configuration can then be uploaded to a connected recorder. Large organizations with numerous recorders will find this functionality an efficient way to program many devices to perform similarly.

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What file-editing options are available in the DS-5000?

The DS-5000 has the ability to edit previously recorded files in the recorder. This enables a dictator to edit an audio file to a finished form before submitting it to a transcriptionist, thereby eliminating the need for correction notes. The editing options are:

  • Appending - Add 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 into a previously recorded file.
  • Verbal Comment - Comments such as instructions for a transcriptionist can be inserted into a dictation file during recording. The insertions are marked as verbal comments in the file header. It is possible to search for verbal comments in the same way Index Marks are located -- by pressing the Rewind or Fast-Forward button. When the file is downloaded and played in DSS Player Pro R5, the Verbal Comments are indicated by light blue sections in the Play Bar of the Playback Controller. Up to 32 Verbal Comments can be set in a file. Verbal Comments cannot be inserted if the recorder is set up in the Classic DSS audio format.

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What demographic options can be programmed into the DS-5000?

The DS-5000 can be configured so that various demographic data will become embedded in the dictation files., where DSS Player Pro can view them. The options are:

  • Priority Level - Press the F2 button to select a Priority Level of Normal or High. Normal is the default.
  • Author ID - Incorporate a user-defined Author ID into the names of recorded files. The ID is often an easily recognizable tag, such as a user's initials. The source of a recording may be easily determined simply by reviewing the file's name. Up to 10 Author IDs can be registered with up to 16 characters in each Author ID.
  • Worktype - Worktypes offer flexibility in how recordings are classified. For example, they may represent departments or categories. Up to 10 Worktypes can be defined. When more than one Worktype ID exists, the Worktype ID list will be displayed on the LCD screen. Each Worktype can be associated with up to 10 option items.
  • Option Items - Option Items are user-defined fields that can be associated with Worktypes to provide further detail. For example, a Worktype of "FAX" may have Option Items such as "TO" and "TITLE." An Option Item consists of input data and its label. Once a label has been registered, its value can be embedded. Each Option Item ID can use up to 20 alphanumeric characters.

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What security options are available in the DS-5000?

The DS-5000 has a Device Lock function to protect recorded files. The function uses a four-digit numerical password to secure the recorder. When password security is enabled, the recorder will display a prompt requiring a user to enter the password before he or she can gain access to the recorder. The prompt is displayed each time the recorder is powered on.

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Can the DS-5000 display languages other than English?

The recorder's display language can be changed. The available language options depend upon the region where the recorder was sold. DS-5000s sold in North America have English, French, and Spanish options installed. German, Italian, or Russian options may be configured using the DSS Player Pro R5 software that is bundled with the recorder.

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Does the DS-5000 have a hands-free capability?

The DS-5000 can be used as a hands-free recording device when connected to an Olympus foot switch (sold separately). The RS-27 Foot Switch can be purchased online from The Olympus Store by clicking here.

To setup the recorder for hands-free operation, connect the foot switch to the back of the CR-10 cradle and place the recorder in the cradle.

Operations are controlled as follows:

Switch Press and Hold Release
Left SW NEW _
Center SW REC STOP
Right SW REV PLAY

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Must I charge the included battery before using it in the DS-5000?

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-5000?

The BR-403 NiMH battery pack bundled with the DS-5000 can be charged in the recorder when using the included CR-10 cradle and A-513 AC adapter. Replacement cradles and battery packs are available.

Olympus BR-401 NiMH AAA batteries cannot be charged using 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 avilable from Olympus Professional Dictation Products dealers. For up-to-date information regarding dealers in the US and Canada, call 888-553-4448.

To order the BS-90U quick charger set ( Item # 200899), click here. To order four-packs of BR-401 AAA NiMH batteries (Item #147423), click here.

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Can the DS-5000 be charged resting in its cradle?

The BR-403 NiMH battery pack bundled with the DS-5000 can be recharged in the recorder while the recorder is resting in its cradle. Connect the cradle to a power outlet using the included A513 AC adapter. When the BR-403 is installed in the DS-5000, the polarity of the contacts in the battery compartment is changed to enable charging.

Because of the polarity issue, AAA NiMH batteries cannot be charged in the DS-5000.

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Can the DS-5000 be charged while it is connected to a computer?

The BR-403 NiMH battery pack can be partially charged in the DS-5000 by connecting the recorder to the computer with the USB cable and the unit turned off. This should only be done in an emergency situation when the cradle and the AC adapter are not available. A computer USB port will (at most) provide 500 milliamps of power - often less than 500 milliamps. It is not possible to fully charge the BR-403 using a computer USB port.

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

Users of Windows operating systems can download a free application for this purpose. Olympus DSS Player Lite allows recipients of audio files in the *.ds2¹ and *.dss formats to play the files on Windows operating systems. (The program can also play *.wav files.) The software does not enable creation or editing of files; it is a playback-only application.

The original version of DSS Player Lite for Windows does not support *.ds2 files. If you are using an older edition of the software, please download the latest version.

To download the latest version of the software, please click here.

Note for Mac users: The *.ds2 audio format is not supported in a Macintosh environment. Instead of sending a *.ds2 file, convert the file to *.dss or *.wav format using DSS Player Pro (Release 5) or DSS Player for Mac version 7 (or later). Optionally, if the recipient does regular or high-volume business with you, it may be beneficial to purchase one of these applications for the client's use.

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I want to clear the DS-5000 of all loaded files. How do I format it?

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-5000. The card will then have to be formatted in the recorder to restore functionality.

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Is there an AC adapter for the DS-5000?

The DS-5000 ships with the A-513 AC adapter, which also serves as the battery charger for the BR-403 NiMH battery pack when connected to the CR-10 cradle. The recorder can be powered directly by the A-513 by plugging it directly into the recorder at the power jack in the base of the recorder.

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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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Where can I get technical support for the DS-5000?

The DS-5000 is an Olympus Professional Dictation Device and as such technical support for the recorder amd its associated software is provided solely by authorized Olympus Professional Dictation Products dealers.

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

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

The DS-5000 may have detected and recorded ambient sound along with the intended audio signal. For example, if the DS-5000 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 the surface.

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

If it is necessary to use CONFERENCE mode and impractical or undesireable to hold the DS-5000 throughout the entire recording session, place the recorder on a padded surface, such as a book. The padding will absorb the vibration.

You may wish to consider purchasing the optional ME-12 Noise Cancellation Microphone. The ME-12 plugs directly into the DS-5000's microphone jack for unidirectional recording in high-noise environments, such as lectures and seminars. It will cut down on much of the background noise and result in more accurate transcription. Click here to buy this item from The Olympus Store.

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After about 10 minutes, the DS-5000 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 the recorder. The default setting is 10 minutes, but the setting can be changed to 5 min., 10 min., 30 min., 1 hour or OFF.

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My DS-5000 has power but does not record. 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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