What are the main features of this model?
The DS-61 features a removable stereo microphone styled to match the design of the recorder. When the stereo microphone is removed, the recorder switches to a discreet, built-in monaural microphone for recording dictation. The stereo microphone can also be connected with an optional RS29 Remote Controller that controls the RECORD and STOP functions.
The DS-61 includes accessibility features to make it easier for use by the visually impaired. Buttons feature ridges and grooves to make them more identifiable by touch. The recorder's Voice Guide can be set to announce buttons' functions when pressed, further aiding navigation by touch.
The recorder also has an Audible folder, permitting the download of audio content purchased from Audible.com®. The Music folder permits download of WMA (Windows Media Audio) and mp3 music files using Windows Media Player.
The bundled DSS Player version 7 software can be used to manage, archive, and edit audio files made with the recorder. Files can be downloaded to the software via a bundled USB 2.0 cable. The software also enables subscription to and download from podcast URLs. The podcasts can be transferred to the recorder for playback at the user's convenience
What enhancements does the PLUS upgrade to DSS Player offer?
Purchasing the DSS Player v.7 PLUS upgrade adds the following features to the version of DSS Player bundled with the DS-61:
- 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.
- Voice Recognition--Creates compatibility with voice-to-text applications IBM ViaVoice® 10 or Dragon NaturallySpeaking® 8 and 9 Preferred.
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 version 7 is compatible with IBM ViaVoice® Pro USB Edition 10, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking® versions 8 and 9 Preferred.
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.
What is EUPHONY?
The DS-61 features EUPHONY MOBILE - a psychacoustic surround sound system that combines bandwidth correction, expansion technology, and virtual acoustic source technology to allow the listener to alter the audio dynamics when playing back recordings. EUPHONY creates a natural, expansive feel so listeners are less prone to experience a closed-in feeling or growing tired over extended listening sessions, such as playing audio books. The options are: OFF, NATURAL, WIDE, and POWER.
EUPHONY is only applied during playback. It cannot be used, and its effects cannot be saved, when recording.
What is Intro Play?
Intro Play enables quick searches for files in the recorder's folders by playing only the first few seconds of a recording. When Intro Play is enabled, simply selecting a file in the folder's file list will automatically play the begining of the file without requiring the [PLAY] button being pressed. The selectable options are 3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, and Off.
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 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's menu. In the DS-61, the VCVA can be set to any of 15 different values. The higher the value, the more sensitive the recorder is to sounds. At the highest level, even the faintest sound will activate recording.
What is the function of the LowCut filter?
The recorder has a LowCut Filter function to minimize low-frequency sounds and record voices more clearly. This function can reduce noise from air conditioners, projectors, and other types of "white noise."
What is the function of the Voice Filter?
The Voice Filter cuts low- and high-frequency tones to create a playback frequency range encompassing only the tones that can be produced by the human voice. This makes playback of dictation recordings clearer. Voice Filter works in all playback speeds.
What is the function of Noise Cancel?
Noise Cancel can be enabled to reduce background noise in recordings made in noisy surroundings. In effect, the function treats the loudest sounds as the most important and reduces other sounds to make the dictation clearer.
The Noise Cancel options are OFF, LOW, and HIGH. The options are set in the recorder's menu. The LOW or HIGH settings remain valid until Noise Cancel is set to OFF. Noise Cancel is not available while the Voice Filter is set, and it cannot be used during Slow or Fast playback.
What are Index Marks and Temp Marks?
Index Marksare 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.
Index marks cannot be placed in files created on machines other than Olympus digital voice recorders. This means that they cannot be placed in podcasts. Instead Temp Marks can be placed in podcasts to temporarily remember desired locations. Up to 16 Temp Marks can be added to a single file.
Both Index Marks and Temp Marks are inserted using the [INDEX] button on the recorder. Index Marks and Temp Marks cannot be added in the Audible function.
What is the purpose of the Audible folder?
The Audible folder is present to download and play audio content from the Audible.com® website (http://www.audible.com). Audible.com is a source for audio books and audio newspaper and magazine articles. Audible also has web sites for the United Kingdom, France, and Germany that offer content in other languages.
Audible files are not managed by the DSS version 7 software. When users purchase a subscription to Audible.com, they receive Audible Manager software. The DS-30, DS-40, DS-50, DS-61, and DS-71 are listed in the Mobile Device listing in Audible Manager. Audible Manager is used to download audio content from Audible.com and transfer files to the recorder's Audible folder.
When the Audible folder is selected on the recorder, the recorder automatically switches to the Audible mode. The Audible mode is able to play the downloaded Audible files in any of the three formats used by Audible. The different modes determine the quality and file size properties of the downloaded files. Only those Audible files that have a .aa file extension are displayed in the Audible mode.
Re-Playable Audible File Formats
ACELP (8.5 kbps)|
ACELP (16 kbps)|
MP3 (32 kbps)|
When a content file is transferred to the recorder, a .pos file is created to record the playback position of a file. This allows the recording to take up where it had left off during a prior listening session.
Technical support for the Audible.com Web site, software and content download process is not provided by Olympus Digital Technical Support.
What music formats does the DS-61 accept?
The DS-61 can store and play WMA (Windows Media Audio) and mp3 music files.
What operating systems support the DS-61 digital voice recorder?
The DS-61 digital voice recorder is supported by Windows® 2000 Professional, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, and Windows Vista.
The DS-61 is not supported by Macintosh™ operating systems.
How much dictation recording time is available in the DS-61?
The length of the potential recording time available in the DS-61 is governed by the recording quality mode that is selected. When a quality mode is selected, several audio file properties are put into place. These properties 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. Podcast and Audible files use up portions of the recorder's built-in flash memory, as do files saved on the recorder used as a USB flash drive (aka "thumb"drive). This usage will reduce the amount of memory available for recording new files.
The table below shows the maximum dictation recording times possible (assuming there are no other files saved in the recorder).
||Maximum Dictation Recording Time|
|STEREO XQ mode
||33 hours 50 minutes|
|STEREO HQ mode
||67 hours 40 minutes|
|STEREO SP mode
||135 hours 30 minutes
||135 hours 30 minutes|
||266 hours 50 minutes|
||530 hours 50 minutes|
The different quality modes save the digital record of the recording with different levels of faithfulness to the original sound. The STEREO XQ and STEREO HQ modes are recommended for music, drama, or interviews that may be made for broadcast. These quality modes make very detailed digital records of the sound and use a very wide frequency range that may exhaust the available flash memory very rapidly. Lower-quality modes, such as SP (Standard Play) and LP (Long Play), make less-detailed records of the sound and use a narrower frequency range, so they will use up the available flash memory much more slowly. These modes are best used for situations in which large content capacity is more important than high audio quality - for example, for taking notes or recording college lectures or seminars.
What are the maximum recording times per file?
A maximum recording time per file is set in the recorder for each quality mode. Even if a recorder's memory is not exhausted, a single recording cannot be continued beyond the limit.
|STEREO XQ mode
||26 hours 40 minutes|
|STEREO HQ mode
||26 hours 40 minutes|
|STEREO SP mode
||53 hours 40 minutes|
||26 hours 40 minutes|
||53 hours 40 minutes|
||148 hours 40 minutes|
How can the visually impaired set the time and date in the DS-61?
The recorders' built-in audio cues can be used to enter the Time & Date settings. These same cues can be used to set Timer Recording and Alarm functions as well.
Using the Keypad
When executing a menu function that requires time and date setting, use the buttons on the recorder's four-way keypad to enter the settings. The settings are hour, minute, month, day, and year. Press the PLUS (UP) and MINUS (DOWN) buttons, respectively to increase and decrease the values. Press the REWIND (LEFT) and FAST FORWARD (RIGHT) buttons to move between variables. Press the OK/MENU button to complete the set-up and start the clock.
Each time and date variable has a baseline value, from which it is possible to calculate the number of times the PLUS (UP) or MINUS (DOWN) buttons must pressed to reach a particular value. The baseline settings for hour, minutes, month, day, and year are respectively 12 AM, 00, 1M, 1D, and 2007Y. The values appear on the recorder screen as shown below:
When setting time and date variables the recorder emits distinct audio cues to determine that the variables are being changed. Pressing the PLUS (UP) button causes the recorder to emit a high-pitched beep. Pressing the MINUS (DOWN) button elicits a low-pitched beep. When a baseline value is reached from either direction, the audio cue becomes a chirp.
The DS-50 digital voice recorder has a Voice Guide that speaks the menu items. However, it cannot speak the time and date or file names. When the recorder is turned on for the first time , the Voice Guide function is enabled. If the Voice Guide is disabled, use the following steps to enable it:
- Turn the recorder on by sliding the POWER/HOLD button downward.
- Launch the menu by holding down the OK/MENU button in the center of the four-way keypad for 1 second.
- Press the MINUS (DOWN) button 13 times to arrive at the Voice Guide setting in the menu.
- Press the FAST FORWARD (RIGHT) button on the keypad twice.
- Press the OK/MENU button in the center of the keypad once to enable the Voice Guide.
- Press the REWIND (LEFT) button on the keypad once to return to the menu.
Setting the Time and Date
- If the Voice Guide has just been enabled and returned to the menu, press the MINUS (DOWN) button 7 times to arrive at the Time & Date setting. The Voice Guide will speak, "Time and Date Setting."
- If the menu has been newly opened, press the PLUS (UP) button four times to arrive at the Time & Date setting.
- Press the FAST FORWARD (RIGHT) button to open the Time & Date menu. The first variable to set is the hour. Press the PLUS (UP) button or MINUS (DOWN) button until the recorder chirps instead of beeps. The chirp means the hour variable has been set to 12 AM.
- Press the PLUS (UP) button the number of times necessary to arrive at the correct hour value. Remember: The baseline value for hour is 12 AM. Therefore the first 11 button presses represent AM values. It may be quicker to press the MINUS (DOWN) button and count backward from 12 AM if the correct time is a PM value.
- Press the FAST FORWARD (RIGHT) button to move to the minute variable. Press the PLUS (UP) or MINUS (DOWN) button until the recorder chirps instead of beeps. The chirp means the minute variable has been set to the baseline value of 00.
- Press the PLUS (UP) button the number of times necessary to arrive at the correct minute value. If it would be quicker to count backward to the minute value, the MINUS (DOWN) button can be used to arrive at the correct minute value.
- Press the FAST FORWARD (RIGHT) button to move to the month variable. Press the PLUS (UP) or MINUS (DOWN) button until the recorder chirps instead of beeps.The chirp means the month variable has been set to its baseline value of 1M, representing January.
- Press the PLUS (UP) button the number of times necessary to arrive at the correct month value. If it would be quicker to count backward to the month value, the MINUS (DOWN) button can be used to arrive at the correct month value.
- Press the FAST FORWARD (RIGHT) button to move to the day variable.Press the PLUS (UP) or MINUS (DOWN) button until the recorder chirps instead of beeps.The chirp means the day variable has been set to its baseline value of 1D, representing the first day of the month.
- Press the PLUS (UP) button the number of times necessary to arrive at the correct day value. If it would be quicker to count backward to the day value, the MINUS (DOWN) button can be used to arrive at the correct day value.
- Press the FAST FORWARD (RIGHT) button to move to the year variable. The year value is selected by using the PLUS (UP) or MINUS (DOWN) button. The baseline value is 2007Y and is identified by a chirp.
- Press the STOP button (center button on the right side of the recorder) to set the time and date settings and close the menu.
The same entry procedure is used in the Timer Recording and Alarm functions.
How is the recorder turned off?
The recorder is turned off by sliding the [POWER/HOLD] button on the lower right side of the recorder downward and then releasing it. The switch should then be moved to the HOLD position to prevent accidental activation of button functions.
How is recording volume controlled?
The DS-61 always records at 100% volume level to prevent accidentally recording with the volume set too low
The recorder has three levels of microphone sensitivity :
- LECTURE: The highest recording sensitivity, it is suitable for conferences with large crowds and recording audio at a distance or low volume.
- CONF (Conference): Suitable for recording meetings and seminars with a small number of people.
- DICT (Dictation): The lowest recording sensitivity, it is suitable for close-up dictation.
Microphone sensitivity is set via the [MIC SENSE] slide switch on the upper left side of the recorder.
How is playback volume controlled?
The playback volume is controlled during playback by using the [+] (plus) and [-] (minus) buttons on the circular keypad on the face of the recorder. Pressing [+] increases the playback volume. Pressing [-] reduces the playback volume.
How is the playback speed controlled?
The playback of files in the DS-61can be changed to between 50% and 150% of the default playback speed in increments of x0.125. The tone of the file will be adjusted digitally without changing the pitch so that the recording sounds natural.
The play speed is changed in the recorder's menu, under Play Speed. The options are:
- S. Play (Slow Play): x0.5, x0.625, x0.75, x0.875
- F. Play (Fast Play): x1.125, x1.25, x1.375, x1.5
S. Play and F. Play are not available while Noise Cancel is enabled. During fast/slow playback, stereo files will be played in monaural even though the files were recorded in stereo.
Can I rename my files when they are displayed in My Computer?
Files in the DS-61 should not be renamed when displayed in My Computer because the recorder's file management software may not be able to find the renamed file.
How does the Zoom Mic option work?
The Zoom Mic menu option employs the DiMagic Virtual Microphone™ (DVM) audio pickup system, which allows more dynamic recording by focusing on sound from selectable directions. It enables expansive stereo recording to high directivity recording using the bundled ME55S stereo microphone, which plugs into the DS-61's MIC jack.
The options available in Zoom Mic are: OFF, NATURAL, WIDE, and ZOOM.
The Zoom option has the narrowest angle of reception and records only in monaural.
Because the DVM technology is tailored to the ME55S microphone, the ME35S microphone used on the DS-30, DS-40, and DS-50 is not compatible with DVM. Zoom Mic is non-compatible with Olympus accessory microphones and third-party microphones.
How are files erased from the recorder?
Dictation, Audible and podcast files can be erased from the recorder by selecting the file and pressing the [ERASE] button. The LCD screen will flash Cancel. While Cancel is flashing, press the [+] button to select Erase, and then press the [OK] button. The LCD will briefly flash File Erase! and then Erase Done.
I want to clear my recorder of all loaded files. How do I format the recorder?
The recorder should be formatted only by using the internal FORMAT function found in the menu. Formatting using the computer may corrupt system files needed to run the recorder and may delete the Voice Guide Data and Audible system files, so computer formatting is not recommended. When the recorder is connected to a computer, individual files can be deleted from My Computer without negative effects.
How are music files imported into the DS-61 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 is included standard with the Windows Vista™ operating system.
- Save music tracks from CDs or Internet downloads to the Library in Windows Media Player.
- Connect the recorder to the computer's USB port using the bundled USB cable..
- Click [Sync] on the Windows Media Player toolbar. The [Sync List] window opens to the right of the Library.
- Select the tracks from the Library that are to be synchronised and drag them into the Sync List.
- Click the [Start Sync] button.
Windows Media Player will transfer the music tracks into the recorder. When the sync is completed, a display will show how much free memory remains in the recorder.
The DS-61 digital voice recorder has a Podcast folder. How are podcasts transferred to the recorder?
The DSS Player version 7 application has provisions to subscribe to podcasts and download the podcasts into the recorder's Podcast folder. Briefly, the process is as follows:
- In the DSS Player version 7 application, the Dictation Tree View window shows a Podcast folder. Right-click on the folder to open an options box.
- Click on Subscribe Podcast. The Subscribe Podcast dialog box opens
- Enter the URL of the podcast web site, and press the [OK] button.
Clicking on the [OK} button registers the podcast web site in DSS Player version 7. When a program is registered, a list of broadcast content provided by the program will appear in the Podcast folder's list view.
By default, programs registered in the Podcast folder will be automatically updated. To change update intervals, in the DSS Player menu go to Tools then Options. The Options toolbox opens.
- Click on the Podcast tab. Change the intervals by selecting a new interval from the Update Interval of the Episodes drop menu.
- Content from the podcast website can be downloaded into the Podcast folder by highlighting the file and clicking on the [Download] button in the toolbar of DSS Player version 7. The file will then be downloaded from the web site into the Podcast folder.
Alternatively, the files can be downloaded into the recorder directly. Briefly, the process is as follows:
- Connect the recorder to the computer with the bundled USB cable, and in the Device Manager list, click on the DS-61 device listing. A list of folders in the recorder will be displayed.
- Click on the Podcast folder in the Dictation Tree View. This displays the contents of the folder.
- Highlight a podcast file, and then drag it into the Podcast icon in the Device Manager. This will download the file and install it in the recorder.
- Click on the Podcast folder in the Device Manager. This will display the contents of the folder in the recorder. (Highlight and right-click on the file to display the [Delete] function so that the file can be deleted from the recorder.)
- Detailed instructions on managing podcasts using DSS Player version 7 can be found in the Online manual. The Online Manual is installed when the DSS Player version 7 software is installed. To access the manual, open the operating systems' Program Files list and navigate to Olympus DSS Player.
How should the recorder be disconnected 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 pointing to the lower left 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 to shut down the USB connection so the device can be safely disconnected.
Clicking on the [Stop] button launches another dialog box to confirm the devices that are to be stopped. Clicking the [OK] button closes the USB connection.
The Desktop screen will display a message balloon above the taskbar indicating that it is safe to disconnect the hardware.
Is there an AC adapter for the DS-61?
The DS-61 uses the optional A-328 AC Adapter in countries with 120 VAC current and the A-322 in counties with 220 VAC current.
The A-328 adapter can be purchased directly from Olympus' online store by clicking here.
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 the DS-61. The recorder has an overall frequency response of 50 Hz to 19,000 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:
||Overall Frequency Response|
|STEREO XQ mode
|STEREO HQ mode
|STEREO SP Mode
I recorded a file and the battery ran out. Now I can't find or play the file. Why not?
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.
I formatted the recorder using my computer and the Voice Guide Data is gone. Can I restore it?
If you format the recorder and erase the Voice Guide Data by mistake, or want to change the language, the Voice Guide Data can be copied from the DSS Player version 7.4 software to the recorder via the following procedure:
- Make sure the recorder's Voice Guide is set to ON.
- In the menu, set the USB Mode to Storage and close the menu.
- Connect the recorder to the computer using the bundled USB cable.
- Start DSS Player.
- If the Voice Guide Data has been deleted, the Transfer Voice Guidance Files... dialog box will open. Select the language and click on the [OK] button. To change the language, open the Download menu in the menu bar, and select Transfer Voice Guidance Files... to open the dialog box. Select the language and click on the [OK] button. The language options are: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Finnish, Czech, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, Greek, Danish, Polish and Dutch.
- When the OK button is clicked, the files will be transferred to the recorder. The LCD screen on the recorder will read BUSY, and the red LED will flicker. When the transfer is complete, the LED will stop flickering and the LCD screen will return to displaying Storage.
- The recorder can now be disconnected from the computer by using the Safely Remove Hardware option in the Taskbar in the lower right corner of the computer's desktop screen.
I already have DSS Player installed on my computer because I own another Olympus recorder. However, I am unable to transfer files from the DS-61 to this software. Why not?
This function requires DSS Player version 7.1.4 or later. Please install the version of DSS Player that shipped with this product.
As an alternative, visit the Software Downloads page to see if an update is available for your other digital audio recorder.