Sunday, June 13, 2010

Olympus Digital Wave Player -- Where Is Folder A? What Time Is It?

I was using an Olympus VN-960PC digital voice recorder, and was downloading recordings from that device to Windows XP via mini-USB cable.  Unlike the Olympus VN-6200PC, the VN-960PC used the Digital Wave Player (DWP) program to download and display recordings.  DWP showed the actual time and date when the recording was made.  That information was not visible in Windows Explorer; WinEx would just show the date and time when the file was downloaded.

I was able to rename DWP's files (in the format DW_A0001.wav) so that the date and time of creation were contained in the filenames.  I did this using the Aqua Deskperience screen capture program to save the onscreen data from DWP into a text file, and then massaging the contents of that file with text commands (e.g., MID) in Microsoft Excel to produce a batch file to rename the files.  The batch file would run on the WinXP command line, and each line in the batch file would contain the command to rename one file.  The Excel formula for this conversion was something like ="ren "&char(34)&[old filename]&char(34)&" "&char(34)&[new filename]&char(34).  (The meaning of that command becomes visible when you run it.)  The resulting batch file line would say something like "ren DW_0001 2010-06-03 08.41 Recording.wav."

To make that approach work, I needed to be able to view the downloaded recordings in DWP.  The recordings were typically saved in a folder whose name matched the name of the folder I had used to save them on the VN-960PC.  Since I typically used Folder A, the usual location of the downloads, in WinXP, was \My Documents\Digital Wave Player\Message\Folder A.

But now I had a problem.  I was copying the downloaded files from a machine running WinXP SP3 to another machine running WinXP SP2 in a VMware Workstation virtual machine (VM) on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx).  I had installed DWP in this VM, and when I ran DWP in the VM it did show the usual set of folders (Folder A, Folder B, etc.), but I could not find where on the computer those folders were actually located.

The answer was that I was looking for the wrong folder name.  It was not Folder A.  It was FolderA, without a space, and it was being created in the usual place.  That part was simple enough.  I wanted to explain my setup, though, so that I could address some questions that I have seen in other posts online, and to pass along a couple of related insights.

One such insight was that, as it turns out, it was also possible to run DWP in Ubuntu.  The basic solution was to install Ubuntu with Wine, and then just find the DWP installation file (setup.exe) and double-click on it.  (You could also use Wine to run other Windows programs.)  The DWP installation file was already on my system because I set it up as a dual-boot, but I could also have copied it over.

Someone had also created an Ubuntu command-line program to download files from the DVR.  My search led to the discovery that this program, odvr, also had a GUI in its latest version.

Incidentally, in case anyone wonders, I was not able to get the VN-960PC to work directly with Ubuntu itself, nor with WinXP in an Ubuntu VM.  In other words, I could run DWP in a VM to view the DW*.wav files that I had copied there, and I could run DWP in Ubuntu via Wine, but I could not get the hardware to work such that DWP would offer to transfer the files from the DVR to the computer.  All I could get in the WinXP VM was a "usb device not recognized" error.

The other thing I wondered was whether Ubuntu might have a way of extracting the date and time from the DW_A0001.wav file without making me jump through those hoops in Aqua Deskperience and Excel.  The creation date and time information had to be in there somewhere, but how could I get it out?

I took a look at a DW_A0001.wav file in WinXP (right-click > Properties > Summary).  It said it was a 4-bit mono file saved in IMA ADPCM format at a bit rate of 88kbps and an audio sample rate of 22 kHz.  Those values would probably have been different if I had been using the VN-960PC's SP or LP rather than HQ recording modes.  Properties did not state the correct date for file creation; as just noted, it claimed that the created, modified, and accessed dates and times were identical.  I couldn't figure out a solution, so I posted a question on it in an Ubuntu forum.  That didn't draw a quick response, so I tried again in a Windows forum.  No luck there either.  I wasn't turning up much in a search, so I had to let this slide for now.



Hi Ray,
I bought a new HP mini laptop (Windows 7) and have installed the Olympus Digital Voice Recorder Software to upload audio files and the software update 2.1.4.

I am unable to have the computer see my recorder when I plug it in.

I have installed/ uninstalled software. I can't find any solutions online.

Do you have any insight or suggestions? I will check back on this site...or do you have an email associated with this site?

Much thanks


I'm not sure. To get mine to work, I install from the CD first. Then I install Digital Wave Player 2.1.4. That may be unnecessary work, but that's what I do. At one point, I was also right-clicking on VNUSB.INF and choosing the Install option. I'm not actually sure where I got the VNUSB.INF, though I assume it was on the CD. I have just kept it around, in a separate folder with VNUSB.dll and VNUSB.sys. Possibly that became unnecessary when I upgraded to Windows XP SP3. Maybe it will help to make sure you have installed all updates from I remember the process used to be pretty screwy, but those steps made it easier, and now it's easier. But now, as I think of it, one other possibility is that you have a hardware problem. If you're running your cable through a USB hub, try plugging it into the computer directly; and if one USB port on your computer doesn't work, try another. If your computer doesn't see it at all, that's probably not a Digital Wave Player Issue; you should at least get a Found Hardware dialog (or whatever they call it in your version of Windows; I'm using XP).


P.S. I also had more problems with some computers than with others. Try it on a different computer. Also, it may help to make sure your Hold button is off; that is, your VN-960PC should be in the regular mode that you use when you're recording and playing. Note, too, that plugging in the VN-960PC will cause some computers to crash, especially if you've already plugged it in once or twice since you last rebooted the system. This is another problem that has become less frequent with newer hardware and current WinXP updates. I've had times when I've had to upload my recordings from the VN-960PC on one computer and then use a USB drive or something to get them over to the computer where I actually needed to use them.


Hi folks,
Just sorted out a similar problem on Win7 64bit, thanks to Rian J Stockbower - see the link below, and good luck! I'm also hunting down a solution for using the VN-960PC with Ubuntu 11.10. Will keep you posted. Cheers, Denis


I think I found the site that Denis meant.


Another computer will recognize the VN-960PC at some times but not others. I have had some luck with various measures: unplug and replug the cable repeatedly; use System Restore; or even restore an older image of drive C. The problem appears to occur when the VN-960PC persists in Device Manager, rather than vanishing after it is unplugged.

So far, the method that seems effective and not too time-consuming is to uninstall the VN-960PC in Device Manager and then shut down the machine, unplug the power cord, and remove the battery. (That is, the regular laptop battery pack -- I'm not sure if laptops use a CMOS coin battery, but it is not necessary to go there in any case.) I let the uninstall from Device Manager proceed for a while before shutting down; sometimes it hangs, and being too hasty can foil the effort. I leave the battery and power cable disconnected for at least a few minutes. Then on reboot the system, so far, invariably recognizes the VN-960PC.


Further experience in Windows 7 x64 suggests another approach, when the computer does not recognize the VN-960PC. Unplug the VN-960PC. Reboot the machine. Keep hitting F8 at reboot to enter Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, open Device Manager. Plug in the VN-960PC. VNUSB Device appears, with VN Series Device under it. But no notice appears, indicating that a driver is being installed. With the VN-960PC still plugged in, right-click > Uninstall. Now unplug and replug the VN-960PC. This time, the driver installation notice may appear. Then, with luck, you will see an indication that the driver was installed successfully. Once that happens, leave the VN-960PC connected to the computer. Reboot the computer. After Windows shuts down, and before the machine restarts, unplug the VN-960PC. Now boot into Windows Normal Mode. There, with luck, if you plug in the VN-960PC, the Digital Wave Player program will start up and will offer to upload from the VN0-960PC.


And sometimes simply shutting the machine down for 15-30 minutes seems to reset it, after which it recognizes the VN-960PC.


Another post updates this one with what seems to be a real solution to this problem of not recognizing the VN-960PC.