Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Hack Of The Day: The Best & Cheapest Dictation Setup
So, you're still using microcassettes for dictation and you feel voice recognition isn't reliable enough to switch your entire dictation strategy to Dragon dictation? Problem is your microcassette player or recorder is dying and replacing or upgrading your whole dictation setup at work looks more expensive than buying Mac Pros for everyone. Digital dictation devices are, indeed, extremely expensive and impractical at best with the need to connect them via USB to a base station to send files.
The good news is that there is a much cheaper and much better alternative if you already own an iDevice: Combining Dictamus with Dropbox.
Dictamus is a dictation app that has the same functionality than any microcassette recorder with the ability to record, play, fast forward & rewind & erase recordings. The wonderful addition to this is that it gives you the possibility to upload your dictations to the cloud using email, FTP, WebDAV, MobileMe (while it still is available), box.net or Dropbox. IMHO, setting up Dropbox on the computer of the person who is going to transcript your recordings is probably the best and easiest solution to use in conjunction with Dictamus.
The beauty of this setup is to have the simplicity of being able to dictate from anywhere at anytime since you're always carrying your iDevice with you. It will then almost magically (via 3G or wifi) be transferred to the computer used for transcription without ever needing to connect your iDevice with a cable or having to be physically near the aforementioned computer.
There are many programs that will, then, enable you to play the sound files for transcription purposes. Express Scribe Transcription Solution is a good example of paid software to do that. You can even purchase a USB foot pedal to connect to your computer. All in all, this setup will cost less than $100 if you already own iDevices. Compare this to many four-digit proprietary solutions and this is a no brainer!