Voice Recognition Software and the voice it dictating machine
I have long been fascinated by the concept of dictating into one's computer, in fact this began long before my stroke left me virtually a one fingered typist prone to typos and hitting more than one key at a time. I first bought IBM's Via Voice in the UK back in 1999 and had quite a lot of success with it.
I was even able to dictate directly into a chat room window for example where my party piece was a macro whereby simply saying "abracadabra" would cause the names of all 50 States to appear on screen!!
But at the time my lowly Pentium 100 with about 128MB RAM limited the recognition speed.
Later over here the local NJ Dept of Vocational Rehab sent me an expert to evaluate remedial aids and he brought a laptop equipped with Dragon Naturally Speaking which after a comparatively brief training session seemed to be giving rather better and more accurate results than the Via Voice. I was sufficiently impressed to buy in 2001 the then current version (5) "preferred" which included a small USB sound card.
there is a very good demo at:- DEMO
it is now up to version 8 at around $200. When I bought it I had noticed that there was a "mobile" version that included a small digital dictation machine a VXI Voice It VTR-3200
click for an old and detailed supplier's page:
this has a table showing recording times at the available three "qualities" of 6,8 or 11 KHz
current manufacturers page at:- VXI
I was impressed with the idea that with this or a similarly approved recorder the software could be trained to recognise one's
recorded voice and I later found a supplier of the recorder only that worked out cheaper than getting it with the software.
To date I have not installed the software as I knew that sooner or later and now currently I would have to upgrade my desktop PC.
Meanwhile the voice it model I purchased is no longer available and one advert even says it will not work with the Dragon software so I will try it out shortly with reduced expectations. In fact currently available digital recorders are very much cheaper. and have larger memories (the VTR uses Smart Media flash memory cards but only up to a maximum of 8 MB.
(I am about to order a Precision Digital PD1000 mp3 player/USB storage device that has 1.5 gigabytes capacity.) But it can only "voice record"
OK you thought I would never get to the point of all this right??
I took the VTR with me to Hamilton last November as being so much smaller than my digital camcorder the anti-taping police would be less likely to find it. On the first night I neglected to realise that I was recording on the 4 MB internal memory so only captured the first 35 minutes and but by the second concert I had worked out how to record onto an 8 MB Smart Media card so was able to get the entire 68 minutes of Gord's performance as a compressed proprietary (sri) file.
As I had anticipated the quality at the best sampling rate is not great but bear with it and you should find that it gives the flavo(u)r of the concert plus quite a bit of Gord's patter
you can download the sri file from here:- download It is only 6.51 MB
To actually play and then convert this file to a wav file
get the voice it player from:- Download Voice ItŪ Link Player
a small file VoiceItPlayer1_2_8A_EN.EXE of a mere 321 KB
Nevertheless it will play the sri file:-
"Listen to the file to confirm that you have opened the correct file. Select "Save As Wave File" from the File menu in the Voice It Player.
And on the file menu is an option:-
"Open the file in the player as you would any Voice It compressed file.
To make a wave file copy of your Voice It compressed audio file, select "Save As Wave File" from the File menu in the Voice It Player. You will be presented with a dialog box to select the folder on the PC to save your file and the name to give your file on the PC. The original compressed file will not be affected and will still be loaded in the Voice It Player."
when I did this (twice) I found that the wav file is 86.3MB but when run in Musicmatch it is revealed to be 68 minutes and at a bitrate of only 176KBPS instead of the usual 1411 maybe the quality could be improved by reencoding or some tweaking???
I thought this might amuse you