We’re moving!

We’ve given our blog a face lift, improved functionality, packed up all of our content and have moved to a new URL. As of November 1, 2010 the blog will now reside at http://olympusamericaaudioblog.com/. Please be sure to update your bookmarks. We will keep this blog live, with existing content, for the next 60 days. All new content will be posted to the new blog. See you there.




The LS-11 is Going Hollywood (Actually Anaheim)

Already a favorite among musicians everywhere, the Olympus LS-11 digital audio recorder is getting some serious national recognition.

The 26th Annual TEC Awards for Outstanding Technical Achievement has nominated the Olympus LS-11 as one of six finalists in the category of Recording Devices (Hardware Recorders).

This year, the TEC Awards are an even bigger deal as the upcoming show will be presented for the first time at NAMM (Anaheim, CA) – the music industry’s largest international products trade show. NAMM has nearly 1500 exhibitors and 90,000 attendees. TEC Awards will be presented on Friday, January 14, 2011 in the Pacific Ballroom of the Anaheim Hilton and it will be the signature evening event at NAMM.

Nominees and winners of the TEC Awards are determined through a three-step process. In April, a “Call for Entries” is posted on the TEC Foundation website, and emailed to audio manufacturers and sound production professionals. Initial selections are made in July by a Nominating Panel comprised of prominent professionals from all areas of the audio industry. Nominees are selected in the Technical and Creative fields, consisting of 25 sub-categories. Eligible nominees are those projects or products that, in the opinion of the Nominating Panel, represent superior accomplishment in their respective fields.

Voting for the TEC Awards is performed by members of prominent professional audio and music industry organizations and websites, including the Producers & Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy, SPARS, the Audio Engineering Society, NAMM, and the GAME Audio Network Guild.

So good luck, LS-11. However, with two condenser mics, built-in mics for immediate playback and 8GB of internal memory, the LS-11 hardly needs it….

Think You Have A Hit? We Want To Hear It!

Olympus is, once again, proud to be a sponsor of the NSAI Song Contest presented by CMT. If you think you have a hit now’s the time start laying down tracks. If your song is selected you could win a prize designed to help you on the road to becoming a professional songwriter.

Just a few of the prizes up for grabs this year include:

  • 90-minute mentoring session with Capitol Records Nashville recording artist Darius Rucker
  • Your song pitched to music industry execs through our Winners Compilation CD for one year
  • Three-day trip to Nashville including accommodations by Hilton Garden Inn and airfare by American Airlines
  • A private tour of the CMT studios
  • Entrance to the NSAI Songwriter Networking Program
  • Prizes from Gibson, SHURE, Elixir Strings, CMT and more

Songs must be submitted by October 31, 2010. For more details on the contest and how to enter please visit


Good luck!

Dedicated Voice Recorders vs. Smart Phones

I’m definitely one of those people who is annoyingly attached to his smart phone. My BlackBerry goes everywhere with me. I can’t fathom living a productive and fruitful life without it by my side. With each generation of device we find ourselves holding productivity tools that become more convergent, mostly due to the wide availability of applications. But just how good is that tool for everything you do? You’ve probably heard some folks say, “why do I need to get a point-and-shoot camera when I have a phone with a built-in 5 megapixel camera that allows me to edit and post to Facebook within seconds?”  Well, I’m starting to hear the same thing about digital recorders.

People looking to thin-out the number of devices they’re willing to carry are starting to rely more on their phones for dictation. How good are those built-in recorders? It really depends on your needs. If you only dabble in occasional dictation then convenience may trump performance. But if you’re a road warrior who relies on dictation as a productivity tool you may need to step up your gear.

Recently, Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research, took our DM-420 for a spin against his iPhone and provided us with a full review of his findings. You can check out his entire review, but I’ll provide you with a few highlights:

Transcription Test:

Using Dragon Naturally Speaking to transcribe his dictation, John found that both the DM-420 and iPhone performed pretty well. The iPhone recorded a 354-word document and transcribed it with 12 errors while the DM-420 logged 15 errors. These were measured against a control using a direct input mic which logged only five errors. Bottom line, if you’re using Dragon Naturally Speaking to transcribe, either one if these devices is going to work well for you. This is a testament to the software.

Battery Test:

You all know what to expect here. We’ve got too much going on with our smart phones to expect any reasonable battery life for this kind of application. While recording a presentation, John’s iPhone battery ran down in two hours. Any dedicated voice recorder is going to give you a ton more time, and space, with which to record.

Eyes Free:

For the folks who dictate regularly, here’s where the rubber meets the road. If you’re doing business on the go, having a dedicated recording device is a must. In addition to superior sound quality and storage, these devices are intuitive and easy to use. It’s as simple as record, stop & play. Smart phones just don’t offer the kind of simplicity that allows you to get to a recording app quickly and safely, for example, dictating while driving. Plus, many of these phones aren’t quite built for multi-tasking. If you need to take a call during a long presentation you’re running the risk of losing your audio.

For general purpose recording, such as lectures or quick notes, either type of device is sufficient. However, if you’re on the road a lot or require high quality audio, there just aren’t any smart phones out there that can compete with a dedicated voice recorder.

DP-10: The “Micro-Cassette Successor”

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the new DP-10 to our extensive line of digital voice recorders. You may have noticed we’re doing something a little different with the introduction of this device. Many of our recorders are filled to the brim with the latest technology and options that our users crave. But we understand that not everyone is looking for bells and whistles when it comes to voice recorders. That’s why we’re calling this piece our “micro-cassette successor,” which may seem a little unusual to say in 2010. Let me tell you why it makes sense.

Over the years of digital audio recorder development we’ve noticed a trend. Some folks just refuse to give up their analog recorders. Why? They’re incredibly simple to use and the price is right. And while they’d like to upgrade to digital, ease-of-use, sound quality and price are key to making the transition. The DP-10 was built to make that transition a little easier.

Simple & Easy-To-Use: While most of our recorders are intuitive and easy-to-use, we’ve taken it a step further with the DP-10. You’ll find that we’ve kept the buttons down to a minimum and feature only the necessities (i.e. Play, Stop, and Record). Such simplicity will feel quite natural to micro-cassette users. Users will find the built-in memory as easy to use as swapping out a tape. The new “Calendar Search” function gives users the ability to organize recordings by date and time. There are no folders to navigate on this device.

Long Life & Great Sound Quality: With only two AAA batteries the DP-10 features 63 hours of battery life and, like all of our digital recorders, the DP-10 records in high-quality WMA format. In LP mode this adds up to 131 hours of recording time.

Simple features and a great price ($34.99) make the DP-10 the perfect transitional recorder for those looking to upgrade from micro-cassette recorders. For more information on the DP-10 check out the full press release here.

We have tech support. Please don’t shoot your digital voice recorder.

While we strive to bring you the best in digital voice recorders, sometimes you may experience hiccups with your device. This is why we provide technical support over the phone or online. If you’re ever having issues with one of our products here are some helpful tools to help you solve your problem.

– Call us Mon-Fri 8:30 am – 7pm EST @ 1-800-622-6372 for live technical support

– email us with questions about your specific recorder using this link

– find FAQs, instruction manuals and software downloads for your specific recorder here

Whether online or on the phone we provide many solutions so you’ll never have to resort to shooting your recorder. Like this guy did.

DM-4 Audio Walkthrough

If you’re considering the new Olympus DM-4 or DM-2, or if you already own one, this audio tour will take you through the ins and outs of the recorders. Pat Furguson from blindcooltech.com has put together a very thorough audio tour covering everything you need to know about the new DM series from box contents to the position of buttons on the recorder to a live functionality tutorial. Many thanks to Pat and the folks at blindcooltech.com for their ongoing support of Olympus audio products and their commitment to improving the lives of the visually impaired with technology.