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Olympus DM-20 Digital Voice Recorder/Music Player/Data Storage

While Olympus is well known for its quality line of film and digital cameras, less is known about their other products. One that I will be looking at today is the DM-20. It’s billed mainly as a digital voice recorder, but triples it’s functionality by incorporating a music player and USB data storage device into its duties. It’s sleek, portable, versatile and comes equipped with enough accessories to justify the $299 SRP. The one location I was able to find it online, DM-20 (click here), listed it for $269. If you were to look for a voice recorder, MP3/WMA player and USB storage separately you can count on spending three times as much for similar quality devices.


Recording Format DSS (Digital Speech Standard)/WMA (Windows Media Audio)
Recording Media 128MB integrated flash memory.
Recording Time SHQ mode: 4 hours 20 minutes
HQ mode: 8 hours 45 minutes
SP mode: 20 hours 55 minutes
LP mode: 44 hours 45 minutes
Sampling Frequency SHQ mode: 44.1 kHz
HQ mode: 44.1 kHz
SP mode: 12 kHz
LP mode: 8 kHz
Overall Frequency Response SHQ mode: 300 to 8,000 Hz
HQ mode: 300 to 7,000 Hz
SP mode: 300 to 5,000 Hz
LP mode: 300 to 3,000 Hz
Battery Life Voice Recording: Alkaline
Recording: Approx. 16 hours
Playback: Approx. 9 hours (based on our standard testing procedure)
Voice Recording: NiMH
Recording: Approx. 12 hours
Playback: Approx. 8 hours (based on our standard testing procedure)
Music Player: Alkaline (Approx. 10 hours)
Size 109.5 x 39.5 x 15 mm (without protrusions)
Weight 85g (including batteries)
OS Supported Windows: Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000 Professional, XP Professional, Home Edition
Mac: Mac OS 9.0/9.1/9.2/10.1/10.2

The times listed in recording time are for the voice recorder, for the music player you can store up to 340 minutes of audio depending on the bit rate of each file. The higher the quality of the music the less recording time you will have. At the highest sampling rate you will end up with about 1+ hours of music. There is considerable battery life for any of the applications, be it music, voice or data. Not too shabby considering all that powers this goodie is two AAA batteries. It is small and light, about the size of two Zippo lighters placed end to end.

Even if you are running Windows 98, you should have no problem with installation of the software and operation of the unit. I installed it using XP and it went flawlessly. Once you insert the CD you will see this screen:


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About Jeffery Sexton

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