- 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
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
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
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
Marks out of ten 9/10
please visit www.olympus.co.uk
For where to buy, please visit
by Nicholas Newman - 7 February 2010