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    Lisa Dorner

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    This is a fabulous service you’ve provided here for faculty and students alike. Could you let us know what to do if we don’t have Windows 7 or Vista, so we don’t have the voice recognition program already installed?

    Thanks! Great work!

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    Brian Huxtable

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    I’m afraid that is a fairly hard question in that ‘Speech-to-Text’ applications are still pretty cutting-edge and require developer specialization and HEAVY research. Most of what is good right now is proprietary (i.e. owned by a corporation) and they want you to buy their product to get it. Can’t blame them much. But for the lowly college student, even upgrading to the latest-and-greatest OS is pretty significant. First, I’d recommend checking out the campus bookstore for deals on Win7, likely you’ll find something affordable there.

    Short of that, I’d be looking in the Open Source community for answers … which I did before writing this and regret to say that I didn’t find too much. All that I was able to find doing some basic browsing were references to a project run by Carnegie Mellon (CMU Sphinx @ cmusphinx.sourceforge.net) that is under development as a project that looks to be geared primarily toward assistive technologies. Not quite what your after and furthermore looks to be geared for developers, not end-users

    Short of that, we are talking about proprietary solutions. In which you’ll be looking at Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking ((Nuance’s old competitor (IBM ViaVoice) appears to have been bought-out by Nuance!))

    Sorry I couldn’t give you a better answer but I hope this helps regardless.

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    Brian Huxtable

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    I should also add that this is a common question in the TLC and we are always on the look-out for the next low-cost solution. Please, if ou find it before us, please let us know ; ) We’d love the help.

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    Lisa

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    Thanks – that’s helpful. I think someone else mentioned Dragon to me.

    By the way, there is a program that I have (but haven’t used yet) called HyperTranscribe. I bought it bundled with HyperResearch (a qualitative analysis software program). With HyperTranscribe, you don’t need a foot pedal because they allow you to control the audio/video that you want to transcribe using shift & tab keys, right on the key board.

    I still like your Windows/Vista option up above, but this is another option. I believe the student version of HyperTranscribe goes for $70 or so.

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    Lisa

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    One more question. I’m looking into purchasing the latest Windows OS, so that I can try the dictation method of transcribing you describe above. You suggest “We highly recommend that you have a good quality microphone headset.” Any recommendations on what to buy? I assume we want a microphone that plugs INTO the laptop/PC so that your voice goes immediately TO the software/program for ‘transcribing’ the words you’re saying, right? Does this kind of headset connect via USB or into the little “mic” (circle) plug on a laptop/PC?

    Basically, where do I find such a headset, and what should it have?

    Thanks again!

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    Brian Huxtable

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    Lisa, you could go to Best Buy or the like and find a decent headset for this work, but I like getting reviews so I don’t get something low quality. For this I recommend NewEgg. Search for ‘headsets’ and then sort by ‘Best Rating’ or ‘Most Reviews’ to get a sense of peoples actual experiences with the product. Sennheiser is a good brand but tends to be on the expensive side. Rosewill products seem to get good reviews but I’m not really familiar with the brand. Hope this helps and thanks for your interest!

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    Brian Huxtable

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    Oh! Almost didn’t see your previous post:

    I’m not familiar with HyperTranscribe but I’m certain it is good. BUT, I should mention that ExpressScribe has the same capability. Just got to ExpressScribe’s “Options > Pedal & Hotkeys…” There you will be able to change the control actions of PLAY, REV, FFW, STOP (and many more) to whatever you’d like. The Foot Pedal is handy so to easily separate the functionality, not to interfere with any aspect of transcription.

    I also noticed, while browsing the options, ExpressScribe now has the ability to do voice recognition. I have Vista, so I’m not certain this option is available for XP users. Maybe you could take a look and let us know. It is under ‘Options > Speech to Text …’ Can you enable this option in XP? Does it exist? Can you test it?? : )

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    Lisa

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    If I, or a graduate student working with me, try out the Express Scribe “Speech to Text” option, we’ll definitely let you know how it goes! Thanks for all the tips.

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    Jesús D. Díaz

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    Quick question…. Is it possible to do the exact same transcription process with the difference of your audio being in another language? Let’s say Spanish? The reason why I ask is because I am conducting interviews this semester and my interviewees are Spanish speakers and the interviews are going to be recorded in Spanish. I was wondering if there is a work around for what I think will be very conventional: transcribing the interviews on their original language and then translating them into English. That’s a pain! Any thoughts on the matter?

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    Brian Huxtable

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    Hey Jesús! I think so. According to Window’s website, “Windows Speech Recognition is available in English (U.S.), English (U.K.), German (Germany), French (France), Spanish (Spain), Japanese, Chinese (Traditional), and Chinese (Simplified).” (I’m not certain, however, how well it handles the various dialects within the language.)

    I imagine it is simply a matter of downloading the appropriate language packs from the Windows Update Site. You should then be able to select the language you want under Speech Properties > Speech Recognition > Language

    Keep in mind that only certain display languages come with voice recognition capabilities.

    I’ve never tried to do this so let us know if this works out for ya!

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