CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

MP3 Players

Hands-on with the Olympus DS-50 voice recorder

We've been playing with a great little digital recorder this week, and for its price it's absolutely ideal for podcasters, students and budding MI5 agents

In a world of citizen journalism, bloggers and podcasting, digital voice recorders are far from being an exclusive tool for stuffy businessfolk and slovenly journalists. There are some cheap and cheerful options on the market, but the real fun starts when you look above a certain price bracket -- around £250 for the Olympus LS-10. But we've been playing with a smashing alternative from Olympus that can now be snagged for around £150.

It's the DS-50, and it offers up to 275 hours of recording time to the internal memory in low-quality mode, or with really good sound quality for 17 hours. We put it to the test in office environments for interviews and conversation recording, and at live music events (for testing only, of course!).

Although the DS-50 doesn't offer the higher than CD-quality PCM recording modes as seen on the LS-10, the extremely sensitive and detachable stereo microphone makes as good use as possible of the 128Kbps WMA encoding option.

With live music, sound is handled fairly well, but this is an area the more costly LS-10 shone in, and is worth the extra pictures of the Queen if you plan on recording live performances (that you have the rights to record, naturally). It's the superb quality of recording of voice that impressed us with the DS-50, and it's safe to say if all you plan on doing is recording interviews or lectures, we have little reason to recommend the LS-10 over this model.

That is, however, unless you want even longer recording times. The DS-50 has 1GB of internal memory and isn't expandable with SD card, unlike the LS-10. But it's dead simple to use, and will play your podcasts and MP3s, running off two simple AAA-size batteries.

It's a smashing little device for recording voice and podcasts, and as it's available on sites such as Amazon for as much as £80 less than its £229 RRP, you just can't fault it. -Nate Lanxon