Olympus Dictation App for iPhone & Android – How Does Free vs Paid Subscription Compare

Olympus Dictation App - iTunes iPhone - Google Play Android - 12 Month Subscription Licence

As we wrote a couple of weeks ago, Olympus released an iPhone and Android digital voice recorder dictation app. Since then Olympus around the globe, including here in Australia, have held information sessions with their professional audio dealers to educate them on what is called ODDS (Olympus Dictation Delivery System), a cloud based secure file transfer service that integrates with the new app.

If you haven’t downloaded the Olympus Dictation app yet, it is free so go grab it , click your relevant link below for the download:

Download Olympus Dictation app for iPhone from iTunes Olympus Dictation app for Android on Google Play

To use the Olympus cloud server to deliver audio to your transcription typist or team you will need an ODDS subscription licence. These licences are per device (smartphone) and last for a full twelve months. The full list of features which are available in the free app or with a paid subscription are:

Olympus Dictation App - Free vs Paid ODDS Subscription Model
Feature Free Version With ODDS Subscription Licence
Overwrite and Insert Voice YES YES
Supported Recording File Formats AAC/AMR DSS/DS2
Voice Activated Recording (VCVA) YES YES
File Transfer via Email YES YES
File Transfer from DS-7000/DS-3500 YES (via FlashAir card) YES (via FlashAir card)
File List View YES YES
Photo Attachment YES YES
Embed Priority Setting in File NO YES (DSS/DS2 Only)
Embed Worktype in File NO YES (DSS/DS2 Only)
Transfer Files to ODMS Transcription Module NO YES
File Encryption (128 & 256 bit) NO YES
Configure Admin Settings NO YES

With the Free Version of the Olympus Dictation iPhone & Android App you:

  • Can record, insert and overwrite, audio just like on a digital dictaphone
  • Can attach an image with your audio recording
  • Can send your recording via email (non secure)
  • Can record via a bluetooth headset/mic
  • Can use voice activation (VCVA)
  • Can connect to a FlashAir enabled Olympus DS-7000 or DS-3500 to receive recorded audio
  • Can not record in .dss or .ds2 audio format
  • Can not encrypt your recording
  • Can not send Worktype or Author ID information with the audio file even though you can set this while recording
  • Can not send audio via the ODDS (Olympus Dictation Delivery System)

So the free version of the app is great to have a play with. See how the features and functions can be configured and to run a few test recordings. The audio formats (AAC on iPhone and AMR on Android) both create digital audio file formats, .m4a and .3gp respectively, both of which are NOT compatible with the Olympus ODMS dictation or transcription modules, so you can not automatically route audio to your transcription module via email. To play audio recorded in the free version of the Olympus Dictation app in ODMS you will need to convert it first to one of the supported ODMS formats. Of course those audio formats will play without conversion in many standard audio players like iTunes, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, VLC the list goes on.

With a Paid ODDS Olympus Dictation iPhone & Android App 12 Month Subscription you:

  • Can record, insert and overwrite, audio just like on a digital dictaphone
  • Can attach an image with your audio recording
  • Can send your recording via email (non secure)
  • Can record via a bluetooth headset/mic
  • Can use voice activation (VCVA)
  • Can connect to a FlashAir enabled Olympus DS-7000 or DS-3500 to receive recorded audio and send to your typist or transcription team
  • Can record in .dss or .ds2 audio formats on the device
  • Can encrypt your digital dictation
  • Can send Worktype and Author ID information with the audio file so it will appear just like audio recorded on a pro dictaphone like the DS-7000/DS-3500, your typing staff will no no difference.
  • Can send audio securely via the ODDS cloud server to your typist or transcription team

From the app itself it is not that obvious that even a paid subscription service is available. The only clue you might have is when you select “to Server” in the Send option in the Communications settings in the app and then hit Server Options. This is where you are prompted for your https (secure http) URL, login user and password and your email address. All these configurable parameters are supplied by your Olympus Pro Audio reseller when you subscribe to the ODDS service by buying a licence from them. The Olympus ODDS system is hosted at https://www.dictation-portal.com (for the techs out their this is a Windows Azure server hosted out of Ireland).

Configure Olympus Dictation app Android iPhone for ODDS portal

The key benefits of the paid subscription are clearly the ability to record dss/ds2 on the device, encrypt it if need be and send it securely (encrypted from smartphone all the way to receipt at your typists transcription module). This type of security is a pre-requisite for all medical and the vast majority of legal practitioners, thus ticking any regulatory requirements when sending confidential audio. When combined with a FlashAir card in your Olympus DS-7000 or DS-3500 you can use either you smartphone or your digital dictaphone to record and send from anywhere in the world.

Who Would Pay for an Olympus ODDS 12 Month Subscription Licence for their iPhone & Android Smartphone?

With the release of firmware v1.2o for the Olympus DS-7000 and DS-3500 professional digital dictaphones and the launch of the new DS-7000/DS-3500 Air models (recorders supplied with a FlashAir card and pre loaded with v1.20 firmware) Olympus take digital dictation fully mobile. If you like to dictate away from the office, any time of the day in any state or country the combination of the Olympus Dictation App with a 12 month ODDS (Olympus Dictation Delivery System) subscription is all you need to get your letters, notes or client reviews back to your transcription team as soon as it’s complete. No need to wait until you next dock your recorder.

What Does an Olympus ODDS 12 Month Subscription Licence for iPhone & Android Cost?

In Australia you will need one licence per smartphone which costs $149 incl. GST per year. Licences and setup information can be obtained from your favourite Olympus Australia Professional Audio Reseller, Dictate Australia we would hope. Click here to buy Olympus ODDS 12 month subscription licences.

Can I Try Before You Buy ODDS?

Yes you can try before you buy a 12 month ODDS subscription. We can set you up on a 30 day trial which will activate the additional features on your smartphone so you can see just how well ODDS and the Olympus Dictation app will work for your business and help you integrate mobile dictation with your transcription typist or team.

Olympus Dictation iPhone iOS Android App - Free trial subscription to ODDS

I Already Own An Olympus DS-7000 or DS-3500 Where Can I Get a FlashAir Card and the Latest Firmware ?

When Olympus first announced support of the Toshiba FlashAir cards in their professional digital voice recorders, they have been long supported in the Olympus PEN range of cameras, off I went that weekend looking to buy a FlashAir card. I tried the usual suspects; JB HiFi, Ted’s Cameras, Harvey Norman, OfficeWorld, Dick Smith even K-Mart none had the FlashAir cards. Sure you can buy them on eBay imported from Taiwan but I wanted one source officially from a Toshiba Australia reseller, nope. Even Olympus were unable to sell me individual FlashAir cards, they are only bundled with cameras and with the new DS-7000/DS-3500 Air models. This seems a little unfair to the people who have already invested in DS-7000/DS-3500 pre this release and there are plenty of those people. We ate Dictate Australia are actively working to try and source some FlashAir cards for existing users of the DS-7000/Ds-3500, keep an eye on this blog.

5 thoughts on “Olympus Dictation App for iPhone & Android – How Does Free vs Paid Subscription Compare”

  1. Your software is very very very bad. Terrible. 0 out of 10. It can not send via email to another olypmus users from the iPhone app in the correct Olypmus formate. The file is autmatically converted from the .ds2 file to a .m4a file so my Typiest can not play the files!! Complete waste of time & money. I will review this online and provide a scathing report of your useless & expense app.

  2. Hello Dr James

    You seem to have been misinformed about the Olympus app, especially the difference between the free version and with a paid licence, as detailed in this blog post. In regard to your comments:

    “It can not send via email to another olypmus users from the iPhone app in the correct Olympus formate” yes it can, but you require an ODDS licence to do this. Without a licence, i.e. using the app for free, the app will email audio to anyone in m4a format. The key reasons you would buy the licence are 1) to encrypt your confidential audio and 2) to send via email (or FTP) in one of the Olympus proprietary formats (dss or ds2). The free version of the app is designed to let you use the functionality to see how you like recording via an app rather than a physical dictaphone. The free version of the app will also allow you to email you audio to listen to on another device like your PC or Mac. It is in m4a format, which is a non proprietary open format not capable of encryption. Again, the free version will email audio to allow you too listen to it and validate the audio quality recorded, not intended for full business use, that why there is a licence.

    Now if you have paid for a licence which you may have done based on your “waste of time & money” comment then we or your Olympus dealer can help you with the setup of your app. The fact that you are sending m4a audio indicates that you have not configured your licence correctly. You must login to the Olympus web portal first and configure your licence. In the portal configuration defines the audio format to record in, any encryption settings and how and who you send your audio to.

    Happy to send you a link to the ODDS documentation and walk you through your setup.


  3. I’ve been using the free app for some time on an android and have loved it. However, today the app stopped working. When I press send to email the dictation the app starts the conversion and never finishes. It seems to freeze. Have tried uninstalling then reinstalling app with same result.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.

  4. Hello Sally

    Are you using the app as-is from Google Play or do you have an ODDS (Olympus Dictation Delivery Service) licence?

    As-is is just for demo purposes so that you can try dictation from your smart phone. When you link the app to an ODDS licence then you are able to dictate and send (via email or FTP) .ds2 (DSS Pro) audio files either with or without encryption. This gives you a mobile dictation option that creates the same secure audio files that the pro digital dictaphones (DS-7000 and DS-9500) create.

    I hope that helps.

    Dictate Australia

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