Ah. this one (http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&product%5Fid=14-1147) ? When I was writing the review, that model seemed to be available only in Japan (see here (http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/news/2004b/nr041018ds20e.cfm) ). I mentioned it obliquely in the second paragraph of the “Hello, Computer” section above, but should have added a link.
The thing was, I didn’t know if the DS-20 was coming to the States. Just after receiving the DS-2 for review, I saw a news release for the WS-200S (http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_product_lobbypage.asp?l=1&bc=11&p=25&product=1171) , which seemed like a better fit for mobile recordists because of the smaller size, integrated USB plug, and bigger memory (128MB, like the DS-20). So I asked Olympus’s PR firm if I should send back the DS-2 and review the WS-200S instead. The rep told me to go ahead with the DS-2 review, because the WS-200S wouldn’t be available for a while and then only through select RadioShack outlets.
As it turned out, the WS did become more widely available (I bought mine at Amazon), but I was going on what I knew at the time.
As always with tech, there’s something slightly better just around the corner, but by waiting, you miss out on doing cool stuff now. Because the DS-2 and DS-20 store sound so efficiently, I don't know if the extra 64MB of memory is worth the $50 difference in price. Depending on how much audio you record at once, you might be better off spending that on a lavaliere mic.
The DS-2 vs. the WS-200S makes a more interesting comparison; there are some unexpected benefits to each. I’ll post my findings here shortly. —David Battino (http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/pub/au/2032)