For the longest time Olympus’s stuff has kinda sucked in Linux. Ok, lets me frank: it plain and simple didn’t work. And even if you did get it to work, they had their own pathetic and horrible file format. Really annoying. But at least, a solution!

A guy (or girl) going by the username tristan.will on has created a working solution. The project is dubbed ODVR. You can access the project page here (
The only problem is a lack of documentation in the .deb package and the help command (-h) doesn’t give the best info either. Anywho, click the more button to read upon the goodies this great software offers (FOR FREE!)

*quick note #1: I use Kubuntu Linux 8.4 AMD 64. Just in case if you were wondering*

From the website:

odvr is a user-space driver for USB-enabled Olympus DVRs that do not support the USB Mass Storage specification. odvr is tested against the VN-960PC, but should support other “VN” Olympus models.

Even better is that there is a nice little supported devices page! As luck would have it, it supports my VN-480 device. Wohoo!

Installation of the software was very easy and painless. Downloaded the correct .deb file (AMD64 onto kubuntu), clicked on the file and everything installed nicely. With a lack of documentation it can be a bit ‘weird’ for the non-command-line-literate person to figure out how to run it. To help any of you along, here is a quick step by step:

*quick note #2: you’ll need to be root to get files from the device, unless you setup permissions and all that fun jazz (I didn’t, so I just used sudo)*

  1. Connect the VN-480 to your linux box
  2. Take it off of hold (aka: turn it on)
  3. Open up a console window and type the following command:
    • > sudo odvr

If you see something like this:

$ sudo odvr
Model: VN-480PC

You know things have worked out well. If not … well, I can’t exactly help you with that. Try asking the project people or googling.

To download ALL the audio files:

$ sudo odvr -e

After you download all the files and want to delete them all now:

$ sudo odvr -c

And for your reference, here is the -h output:

$ odvr -h
Usage: odvr [options]
-= Options =-
-h             : This help.
-v             : Print version.
-d <folder>    : Download all files in <folder>.
-e             : Download everything.
-l             : List all files.
-x <folder>    : Delete all recordings in <folder>.
-c             : Delete all recordings.
-y             : “yes” to all yes/no questions.
-r             : Reset the DVR. This may fix some sync issues.
-D             : Enable debug tracing.

A word of warning though, I don’t know if it is the device or linux or the connection … but it took ungodly long to transfer a device full of audio to my computer. My guess it that it’s the device and NOT the software or linux.