Transcribe!
Review

On June 28, 2011, in Audio, Review, Video, by Mark Sealey

Transcribe! 8.1.0
Price: $50 for single users;
contact Seventh String for pro-rated discounts

Transcribe! claims to be the “world’s leading” tool to help musicians extract music from recordings. It can also be used to transcribe speech and even allow musicians to play along. Does British firm, Seventh String, get credit for trying what’s difficult to do well but really end up as little more than an “also ran”? Or do they have a winner that works in almost every way?

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Speech!

On January 1, 1997, in Opinion, by Brian Koponen

Speech is, by far, one of the neatest features of Macs. It’s also one of the least used. It seems that everybody turns off speech recognition for one reason or another. Some people say it’s too slow while others say it uses too much memory. Not only is it useful, but it’s a lot of fun.

There are two types of speech uses on a Mac. One is Text to Speech (TTS) while the other is Speech Recognition. Combined, these form PlainTalk. Text to Speech is the easiest to use. If you open any speech savvy application, such as SimpleText, you can type and have it read back to you in a variety of voices depending upon your system. There is also a Mexican Spanish TTS system available off the Internet. This allows your computer to read back Spanish with an accent. In PlainTalk 1.5, TTS can read alert boxes that pop up.

While having your Mac talk is fun, it is limited in its use. Speech recognition, the second part of PlainTalk, is where the real fun begins. With this on, you can open files, empty the trash, find out the time and date, close windows, zoom windows and even change the view of windows. Those are just a few of the things the Finder will do. If you have any speech savvy applications, many will be able to be controlled with speech.

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