Podcasting with the Olympus WS 300M
I’ve started producing some podcasts for various sites. After experimenting with a bunch of different setups, I think I’ve come up with a winner. I use the Olympus WS 300M along with the Logitech Premium Headset. Here are some initial observations:
- You NEED an external microphone if you’re serious about sound quality. The internal Microphone just won’t do it for you. If you don’t have an external microphone, set the unit about 2 feet from your mouth on a towel (sound absorbing) and don’t move it through your recording.
- DO NOT RECORD in stereo mode unless you have their ME-51S Stereo Microphone. The Stereo Recording feature of this unit is great, but you’ll burn needless space if you’re using a mono microphone and recording in stereo (2x). Basically, if your mono microphone has 1 ring (true mono) you’ll be recording on the left channel only. If you have a hybrid mono microphone with 2 rings, you’ll be recording the exact same sounds across two tracks of audio.
- Stereo recording doesn’t produce a better podcast. Unfortunately, I found this out AFTER spending another $50 on the Microphone.
- This is primarily a Windows unit as it records directly to WMA. Of course, with a little creativity you can use it on a Mac, but this aspect peppers the Amazon reviews with negativity.
- Use the highest quality non stereo setting. You can experiment with the lower settings, but they are generally useless. These would probably work fine for classroom recordings and such, but don’t use them for something you plan on disseminating on the web.
As for the unit itself, Will store up to 17.5 hours in HQ mode using the 256MB of internal flash memory. Unfortunately, you cannot add additional memory.
One of the coolest things about this unit is the ability to plug it directly into a USB port on your computer (it is USB 2.0). The Olympus WS 300M can record your podcasts in up to 5 pre-named folders with 199 files per folder maximum.
Battery life isn’t great, but it runs on a single AAA battery. It feels cheap as it is so light and made of flimsy plastic (1.9 ounces). This will undoubtedly be an issue for me as I am quite hard on electronic devices.
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