I found this little gadget in a Spiegel catalog and decided this was my gift for the holidays. After reading through the description I opted to order one for my parents as well. This is available at www.spiegeltronics.com for $99.00 plus shipping and handling. Within five days the box arrived from the friendly UPS man.
What a surprise when I found inside the box two small bubble manila envelopes. I chose to have the gift for my family sent to my address instead of paying an additional $12.00 to ship it separately due to two addresses in the order. Upon opening my envelope I discovered the blue package this Olympus V90 Voice Recorder is in.
The picture in the catalog is bigger than what I am holding in the palm of my hand! My first thought was this is flimsy and reminded me of a cheap kiddie flip phone found at a dollar discount store. The Olympus V90 Voice Recorder is ultra super-lightweight. I would like to have a little case to carry this gizmo in so it will not bounce around and get lost in my belongings. When I purchase sunglasses from dollar stores, I get a case that usually outlasts the glasses.
I looked around my cabinets for a case and instead found a plastic smaller sized makeup zipper bag. The type that sells three sizes in a bag for about a buck, except it is red flowers with green leaves. At least I am concealing my Olympus V90 Voice Recorder in a bag with holiday colors. I also grabbed a mascara wand and realized these two items are about the same size!
Time to test the mechanisms and see how my voice really sounds and I quickly realized that the volume was not turned up. When placing the Olympus V90 Voice Recorder in the palm of your hand, turn it to the right to see the volume display at the bottom part of this gadget. Where your thumb would be is the stop button with the play button above it. For example with the flick of my wrist I could press the record button with the third finger of my right hand, press stop with my thumb and play it with my index finger all within a matter of a few minutes of record time.
This example may not be exact for those who are left handed and/or have larger hands than mine, obviously. I have not tried this yet, but I figure I could press the record button and slide this inside my pant pocket with no one noticing.
Between the top buttons and the volume is the battery cover with the arrows pointing to slide it down to input the AAA battery, not included in the package. There is an ear jack for those wanting privacy in hearing what they have recorded. This would have to be purchased at a Radio Shack or similar place since it is not included, but a hand strap is. I have not attempted to try this since I have my little bag to use as my recording disguise.
There is a warranty card with the option of registering online at www.prodreg.com/olympus. The first step should be to call the customer support department at 1-516-844-5000 to determine the nature of any problems. The instruction book is slim and thick, but I was glad to see that only 29 pages were in English, instead of the whole 143 pages having to decipher. The others appear to be written in French, German and Spanish, but that is just a guess on my part.
I was at last ready to start my testing, done in my kitchen, which also picked up the bedroom television in the background and my son. The erase button is the only one that is not black, thus being orange with red lettering. This was simple to do as well.
The middle part of the Olympus V90 Voice Recorder has the display consisting of this configuration:
B = folder, with a choice of A, B or C 01 = message number 02 = the number of messages in this folder
This is the time to be set using the three remaining buttons on the front. The one directly under the display is the folder with menu/set. The other buttons show arrows and are used to set the time, turn the beep and alarm on or off. These arrow buttons are also to skip and pause messages in the playback mode.
There are options to play a recording at a set time and date as well as predetermine when you want to record a meeting. Folder S is for schedule notification giving you the beep to listen to the message at the designated day and time. When the alarm goes off pressing any button will play the message until you press the stop button.
Another feature is the voice activated recording (VACA), set to either a high or low volume. When the voice stops the Olympus V90 Voice Recorder will set to standby mode with a red light blinking. While you are recording you can see on the display the remaining memory time. The total time allotted is ninety minutes with 100 messages stored in the folders before the full message. The next step would be to erase messages in that folder or start the next folder.
While I would not come across the Olympus V90 Voice Recorder in a store or even search for it, the picture in the catalog sold me on how this would enable me to become more organized with recording lists of things I need to do.
My children have therapy appointments, assessments and intakes frequently. With both kids in the room most times I have a hard time focusing on what information is being passed and this will allow me to turn the record button on or schedule the recording time for the arrival of our appointments.
When I pick my children up from the school gate the assistants and/or teacher usually want to tell me something and I have to watch my children on the sidewalk. I will now have the option of replaying the conversation so I can keep track in a log of discussions with the school.
My oldest son will be singing in a holiday program that I will try to record so he can hear it later. If it works than I could play it over the phone for the relatives out of State.
I will no longer have to purchase post it notes to jot down each message from my voice mail service and forget where I posted them. When I am not online, I can delete the messages due to a limited amount allowed, and repeat the information into the Olympus V90 Voice Recorder for access at any time without searching for papers or turning off the computer.
I am not sure what the reaction will be from my parents when they do get this in the mail. I imagine something like, what the hell is this? How much did this cost? I think they will assume under fifty and I will agree with whatever figure they assume. My Mother is turning sixty before the end of the year and we discuss quite often who will get Alzheimers since this is in our family history for the women. I hope she will realize this would give her a memory boost.
My sister has many doctor visits and just the other day my Mother told me about a Neurologist she argued with on the phone and the office manager told her some things that were inappropriate. The next visit my family has in the beginning of the New Year they will be armed with the Olympus V90 Voice Recorder to record all pertinent details.
My Father has his own business with mounds of forms to submit to agencies and taxes to figure out. This could assist him with his thoughts on what he needs to do and remind him with a beep. My Mother could always input some information on reminding him to pick up items on the way home, plus he gets to hear her voice without making a toll call.
Just in case I am keeping the box this came in with the return UPS label if the Olympus V90 Voice Recorder is too much for them to handle. This would make a great gift for a Professor, Lawyer or Teacher to name a few. Anyone who needs organizing and likes gadgets will enjoy this in the Champagne goldtone metallic finish.
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About the reviewer
Bonnie Sayers (autismfamily)
single parenting two teens on autism spectrum. Working out daily, Zumba & Bodybugg enthusiast.
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The V90 is a tiny 1.6-ounce digital voice recorder ergonomically designed to fit snugly inside the palm of the hand. It stores 90 minutes of voice recordings With a 90-minute talk time, the V90 is ideal for recording meetings, school lectures and television or radio shows, as well as short memos, ideas, phone numbers, shopping lists, and other notes.