Organise your digital audio recordings quickly and easily
Refining audio notes from a lecture, meeting or interview is a time-consuming process. Sonocent's Audio Notetaker aims to make the process easier, allowing users to import audio, visualise it as coloured blocks then edit it.
Powerpoint slides, PDFs, images and text can also be imported, allowing complete albums of multimedia notes to be produced in one place.
On first use, Audio Notetaker shows a helpful introductory video that leads to an easy-to-follow text and image-based tutorial so that users can understand the product's capabilities and get to grips with its controls. The learning curve to make full use of the program is quite slight.
There are two main ways in which to use Audio Notetaker: either import pre-recorded audio to then edit it, mark it up and add other media to it, or record the audio and mark it up simultaneously as you go along.
The program supports the widely used WMA, MP3 and WAV audio formats and it can also strip audio from some MP4 and MOV video files, though Windows XP and Vista users will have to have either Quicktime or iTunes installed.
Audio Notetaker's user interface was simple to navigate and use, with enough familiar features in its well-thought-out toolbars that learning the program should present few problems to anyone familiar with a word processor such as Microsoft Word or the one in Open Office.
We managed in a few minutes to create albums of notes that incorporated speech, text, and PDFs. Importing Powerpoint presentations required Microsoft Office XP (2002) or later to be installed, though installing a trial version of the Microsoft software circumvented the problem.
The way in which Audio Notetaker projects are indexed when saved is worth noting: while within the main workspace, users can name a project and add useful metadata such as file-creation dates, subject tags and the speakers' names.
Using the metadata from a large number of test albums we created, the program's in-built file manager performed very well, making it easy to search through albums, which are folders that contain all the documents that comprise a project.
Audio Notetaker does not turn speech into text, but it can complement programs that do, by letting users review and edit audio before then exporting only what is needed to the speech-to-text program.
Audio Notetaker can export album folders, making them easy to view in a range of widely used programs. A separate, free download must be installed to export files to iTunes.
For students, lawyers, medical people, those with dyslexia, and even journalists, Sonocent Audio Notetaker is an incredibly handy tool with very few drawbacks: it is definitely worth the asking price.
Read more reviews
A great tool that could lead to real productivity gains
Low technical specifications for installation; good value for money; intuitive interface
Support for importing video would be useful; no web upload or collaboration options
£From £47 for one-year licence (full licence £94)
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