Recording from a digital voice recorder

I’m using a Mac mini with M1 chip and Ventura 13.1. I want to record files that are on an older model Olympus digital voice recorder (VN-4100PC). I have a cable connected to the voice recorder’s earphone port with the other end of the cable placed in the Mac’s headphones/speakers port. So far I have not been able to play a sound file and have it recorded by Audacity. Help will be much appreciated.

I have several Olympus WS-823 recorders. They will record in perfect quality WAV format and they have a digital connection so I can transfer sound files with no degradation or damage.

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If you plug actual headphones into your recorder, can you hear sound? Does the sound volume change with the volume controls?

The Mac’s analog connection is doing three different things and it takes a special connector or cable. Play Headphone Left, Play Headphone Right, and Record Microphone. It’s designed to connect a headset with earphones and microphone in one.

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There is a special adapter cable for this job and this is me looking for it…


Does your Mini claim it supports a “Headset?”

If it does, this breakout cable should work.

3.5mm TRRS angle male phone plug for connection to smartphone; separate 3.5mm TRS female connectors for connection to a stereo headset and separate mono microphone connector with stereo mic adapter


supposedly you can download the audio files from the recorder to the computer via USB,
( rather than go through the rigmarole of recording the audio from the Olympus device)

I see it can record in in 2 formats, ADPCM & CELP.

ADPCM can be played in Audacity, but not CELP.

download the audio files from the recorder to the computer via USB

I wonder why I didn’t see that when I looked. The graphics I saw didn’t once mention a USB connection.

I still can’t tell what kind of USB connection, but yes, there is one.

So you don’t need the special analog cable. You just need to dig in the instructions to see what kind of USB cable is needed.

The instruction book is not that much help.

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It’s listed as a “PC (usb) Terminal” and that’s pretty much it. My machines will mount and give me a file description and listing of all the recordings, just like it was mounting an external hard drive. It may depend on how old the machines are.