Get it All

The Beast HerselfI am so psyched about this new toy of mine! Since I do the DragonFlyEye.Net thing as a primary website, and since I’ve recently seen the need for interviews (I have an interview with Ellie Phillips of Zellies setup, another one with Eric Massa potentially on the way, and Wednesday I go to meet with Elliot Spitzer where I might be able to grab a quick bit of audio), I decided that I really needed a DVR (Digital Voice Recorder). Well, in truth, I really just wanted one!

Still, what a sweet little toy I got in this Olympus job! I didn’t want to shell out a whole lot of money for the fancy ones since I only want to do a bit of dictation and some interview-audio capture, and anyway, the more expensive models really just had a bit more room or possibly a removable storage type like SD or SmartMedia. Neither of those really mattered when I saw this dillio.

The VN-480 holds a maximum of 8 hours of audio in as many as four different folders, not counting the ones dedicated to scheduled recording. “Scheduled recording?” you ask. Yes, it does that along with voice-activated recording so I can do like those guys on Ghost Hunters. I’m gonna catch me some ghosts, or at least capture my African Grey parrot saying some cool stuff when we’re not around.

The PC interface for this little devil is pretty sweet, also. Rather than adding in a bunch of features you won’t want, or shoving QuickTime or some other nonsense down your gullet, this is a nice clean interface that works well and looks great. I hate flashy: I bought a tool, not a toy, so just give me what I need. As you can see from the inserted graphic, Olympus has come up with something as staid and boring as I am:The Control Set

So as you can see, there is very little fanfare for this tool, not even a very exiting splash screen, but everything you need is right there in front of your eyes. The one thing that is not in any of the documentation for this app that definitely should be is the “Transfer Date/Time” option under the “Transfer” menu. This allows you to synchronize the date and time of your DVR to what your system says. Nice touch for those times when you run out of batteries, eh?

The audio folder shown at the top of the left side-bar refers to a location in your My Documents folder. Here is at least one option I might have preferred the option to change. My Documents is OK, but I tend to prefer more specific locations for my transfers ~ for example, one that is with the rest of my web development stuff so it is regularly backed up ~ and so far, I have not found the option to do this. The “Transfer Options” window is surprisingly bare, and the Olympus website appears devoid of software updates for this application.

Still and all, this does not prevent the VN-480PC from being a nice little gadget to add to the arsenal of blogging/reporting tools at my disposal. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good balance of features and low-cost!