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Serious play from Olympus

Olympus aims voice/MP3 unit at biz and pleasure

Olympus last week unwrapped a combined digital voice recorder and MP3 audio player, so businesspeople can appear to be making a serious purchase while getting something on which to listen to Limp Bizkit.

The DM-1 can store up to 22 hours of recorded voice or more than an hour of music in MP3 or Windows Media Audio format. The files are stored on a 64MB SmartMedia card, included in the unit's price tag of $349 in the US. Memory capacity can be upgraded to 128MB.

UK pricing has to be announced but a release is imminent.

Olympus has essentially crammed two units into one. The MP3 player element has a built-in SRS Labs audio signal processor and features a five-setting equaliser. The player comes with MusicMatch jukebox software, Olympus said. In addition to the SmartMedia port, the player also includes a USB (universal serial bus) interface to connect to PCs.

The voice recorder allows the storage of up to 199 voice messages in each of three folders. Olympus uses the DSS (Digital Speech Standard) format to store files, which are 12 to 20 times smaller than standard WAV files.

As well as the 64MB SmartMedia card, the price tag includes the DSS player software, MusicMatch PC software, a USB cable, a carrying case, a belt clip and headphones.

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