- 7 February 2010
Using the Olympus DM 450

"The Olympus DM450 is a well made portable digital recording device that offers a solid construction and well-thought-out ergonomics which are ahead of other similarly-priced compact recorders."

By: Nicholas Newman



A gadget review

Who is it for?

It’s designed for a majority of users, but its tactile buttons and voice guidance, which indicates where you are in the menu, makes it a very useful office tool for the visually impaired and dyslexic user. In fact, the voice guidance means the user does not have to look at the device’s menu screen as the user operates the DM450. However, some potential users with dexterity issues might find operating the device a bit of a challenge?

The gadget itself

The DM450 enables the user to produce high quality recordings that are currently not available from mobile phones or laptops. Recordings can be made in a variety of formats including MP3 and WMA. The device has an in built memory of 2GB, equivalent to 522 hrs in LP mode; this can be supplemented by using the microSD/microSDHC card slot for storing up to 16GB of additional recording. It features rechargeable batteries with a life of 51 hours.

What is it for?

The Olympus DM 450 is designed primarily as a dictation device for office activities such as dictating notes, documents and voice mail. It can be used for entertainment and learning purposes as well. This device can also be used to listen to or produce podcasts or audio books.

Outside the Office

Increasingly, the DM450 are being used outside the office and in universities. Many lecturers are using such devices to record their teaching sessions, while students can utilise such gadgets to download podcasts made by their lecturers for learning purposes. Increasingly, university podcasts are now available on the internet on such sites as ITunes U, for the public to listen to on a free subscription basis. There are a range of topics available from creative writing to advanced mathematics. For an example of a well produced and interesting podcast, it is worth while downloading Marianne Talbot’s series of podcasts on ‘Romp through the history of philosophy". from Oxford University pages of ITunes U.

Recording in the Real World

For journalists this device can be handy, not only for recording press conferences and interviews, but also for dictating press releases and ideas for articles. In addition various types of external microphone can be purchased and plugged into the device including:
For mobile phone use, the Olympus TP7.
For recording bird song, the directional Olympus ME31.
For recording whilst lecturing, the Olympus ME15 tie clip microphone.

Writing an autobiography

For autobiography writing, the DM 450 is ideal. It means you don’t have to be chained to the computer in the drafting process. In a sense an autobiography is a collection of short stories along a single theme. For the writer, the user can dictate using the device, and then listen to it, before revising it. Then can download it onto a computer, before using an audio typist or using the computers voice to text software. The trouble with using voice to text software it can make mistakes, like when you say: ‘did you make her’ can be mis-interpreted by the software as ‘Jamaica’. Similar issues apply to similar sounding words such as ‘brake’ and ‘break’.

Making Use of the provided Olympus Sonority Software

Olympus provides Sonority audio management software that helps users manage the audio files created on the DM450. The Sonority software provides the management of audio files, several editing functions and a choice of Web services like RSS Information’s and Podcast Channels. Sonority allows the user to improve the functionality of the DM450 and it also facilitates automatic updates, upgrades and downloads to be managed. It is ideal for Windows. A plus version can be purchased online, allowing the user to individualise the menu of the DM-450, create audio CDs and MP3 writing. In addition for budding music artists, a Music Editing Plug-ins can be purchased, which include more than 20 advanced additional effects and multiple tracks. For users, interested in producing podcasts, it is worthwhile obtaining the book ‘Podcasting for Dummies’ by Tee Morris et al. Tee Morris has also produced a series of podcasts to accompany the book, available free on iTunes.

How easy is it to use and install.

The DM450, like all Olympus products, is easy to install, setup, reliable and use, in addition, the people on the Olympic ‘help’ line are both knowledgeable and eager to help. The Olympus DM450 Digital Voice Recorder should prove a very productive and comfortable device for most users, in a variety of situations. I would certainly recommend it to my colleagues.

Marks out of ten 9/10

please visit www.olympus.co.uk

For where to buy, please visit http://www.scvlondon.co.uk/catalog/index.php?manufacturers_id=49
by Nicholas Newman - 7 February 2010



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