Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

LiveScribe Partners With TranscribeMe to Bring Audio Transcription to Smartpens

Livescribe, makers of the Sky and Echo smartpens, introduced a new feature today that will make the tedious task of converting recorded audio notes into written notes a lot less painful — if you’re willing to pay, of course.

sky_notebook_audio

Working in collaboration with transcription company TranscribeMe, Livescribe smartpen users can now send their audio notes to the service and get a full transcription delivered to their inbox or Evernote account within one to two days.

The cost is $1 per minute for recordings that have a single speaker, while those with multiple speakers (for example, business meetings, interviews and panels) costs $2 per minute.

To use the service, smartpen owners can simply upload their audio recordings to TranscribeMe’s website. People who use their pen with the note-taking app Evernote have several different options, including tagging an audio recording with “TranscribeMe” or dragging the audio file into the TranscribeMe folder within Evernote.

Once TranscribeMe receives the recording, it uses speech-recognition software to digitally enhance audio. Next, it divides the recordings into sections, which are then sent to the company’s team of professional transcribers. TranscribeMe says it offers an accuracy rate of 98 percent.

When asked about privacy and security, the company told me that the method of splitting up the audio recordings ensures confidentiality, since it prevents any one transcriber from having full access to a customer’s files. Meanwhile, TranscribeMe’s platform is built on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud solution.

For those unfamiliar with Livescribe, the company makes digital pens that record everything you write and hear, as long as you use it with one of the company’s special notebooks. A small camera built into the base of the pen “reads” the special paper and creates a digital version, which you can view on almost any device. You can read my review of the Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen here.

The new transcription service is available for all of LiveScribe’s smartpen models. As an introduction, TranscribeMe is offering Livescribe customers five minutes of transcription services for free.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik