Getting the words from the recording into a text document.

Transcription or Dictation: Will HAL Open the Pod Bay Doors?

Dave Bowman, in 2001, interacts with the HAL 9000 computer. “Is there some way to automatically transcribe a recording?” That’s a question I recently received from this site. Automatically? What does that mean? In my mind’s eye, I see that this automatic transcription software should closely resemble the HAL 9000 computer from 2001: A computer that talks and can understand human speech. It’s a high ideal, but there are still technicalities involved. My conclusion, a while back, was, “I’m sorry, Dave, I just can’t do that.”

Is Automatic Speech Transcription HAL getting any closer to opening the Pod Bay Doors?

I conduct some tests using some speech-to-text tech I have on hand, and see how it stacks up against standard transcription. In this post: the test results, lessons learned, and best practices for each technique.

The HAL 9000, the computer from 2001 whichcould understand human speech (and even lip-reading!) The current state of HAL 9000:

There are many devices, services and software that act like Hal: Siri on iOS, the Android Google Voice, or any number of corporate voice address systems that say “speak your request and I’ll get you to the right department.”

With my 3rd generation iPad (March 2012 Retina Display, running the iOS version 5.x), I use the Dictation feature ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on February 13, 2013 in • AfterwardsAudioAudio: SoftwareHow-ToTranscription
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Express Scribe: Free transcription software

New (to me): Express Scribe, software to transcribe audio. Cross platform, Windows and Mac. Works with key commands or keyboard pedal. Worth looking into. Linked post says to watch out for all the upgrade offers: This free software is “bait” to get you to buy other stuff.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 13, 2008 in • Transcription
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Veterans History Project casts wide net

Veterans History ProjectThe Veterans History Project is casting a wide net for 20th and 21st century wartime stories. The project is soliciting submissions from veterans –and civilians who directly participated – during the conflicts of WWI, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Back in April of this year, Sarah Rouse, Senior Program Officer of the VHP, spoke at the Southwest Oral History Association’s annual meeting. Rouse described the project’s wide scope.

While many oral history projects are focused on a limited population, the Veterans History Project stands with the Slave Narrative Collection, the 1930’s WPA effort to record the recollections of as many living former slaves as possible, or the Shoah Project, which collects personal narratives of those survivors of the Nazi holocaust. Like these other collections, the Veterans History Project’s purpose is to collect, archive and curate as many personal recollections as it possibly can.

I like the fact that this national effort, funded by Congress and run through the Library of Congress’s American Folk Life division, is rooted in family oral history. Congressman Ron Kind of Wisconsin ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on September 23, 2007 in • Oral History ServicesTranscriptionVeterans History Project
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Listen & Type: A good transcription tool

I downloaded Listen & Type last night. It’s a handy transcription tool for Mac OS (Shareware. $15. 20 days’ tryout time). I’ve mentioned it before. But oh, it bears mentioning again. (Later today I’ll post the results of that transcription session). It takes a few minutes to adjust to after launch, but then you’re up and runni– er, typing.

When you first launch Listen & Type, an Open dialog box appears, directing you to open a sound or movie file. (Listen & Type works with any media file that QuickTime can work with.)

imageOnce you locate and open your media file, a new window appears, with playback controller and a small button labeled “Front.” Here’s the part that makes the app both tricky and wonderful: The window with the sound file floats above other windows on your screen. Once you click anywhere on the screen after it first opens, the Listen & Type window, though floating on top, is not the “active” window. Open up any text editor and that window is active. You can type to transcribe the speech while using a set ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on September 14, 2007 in • AudioAudio: SoftwareTranscription
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Granddad blogging: Oral history project

The Vol Abroad blog posts weekly entries of transcripts from interviewing her Grandpa. Lots from WW2, and Tennessee. I’ve read the first few posts, and Granddad blogging looks to make for one of those great read-it-all-in-one-sitting stops on the web….well, until you catch up to where she is now. New installments every Tuesday.

From Vol Abroad’s introduction to the series:

I have started with the WWII transcripts, because that’s where we started recording, but I will also share other stories, some of which cover aspects of Tennessee history that I have not seen recorded. I had promised my grandfather that I would give the recordings and transcripts to the University of Tennessee, which I haven’t done (yet), but in the meantime, I am publishing them here.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 17, 2006 in • AfterwardsOnline Oral History CollectionsTranscription
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Controversy over Brooklyn neighborhood oral history project

Queen Ledger: Historical Underground Railroad meets Redevelopment meets Eminent Domain meets Oral History. Result: Embattled and embittered. The oral histories are part of the battle between city and residents, and methods used in the oral history have become a part of the controversy.

The Duffield Street neighborhood was the site of the underground railroad. Should all the homes be bought by the city and sold to a developer to be made into a parking lot?

At the fight’s core is a dispute between residents and the city about whether houses along Duffield Street were part of the Underground Railroad, and thus part of a crucial piece of national history that should be preserved.

The latest saga in this fierce battle between the city and its residents centers around collecting a proper oral history of the neighborhood. Residents claim that the oral history recorded by the city is false and riddled with errors.

Oral histories were recorded in late December 2005 and ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 03, 2006 in • Oral history in the newsTranscription
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