Wednesday, May 13, 2009

796th Post - A Mini Vacation!

I am off work for a few days. We're gonna open up the cottage on Friday if things go according to plan. I go back to work on the 20th.

I am still transcribing 2 interviews from a few weeks ago. Just today, I firmed up an interview for next Thursday the 21st. And on the 22nd, I meet with someone else. There is a chance there will be a third interview on the 23rd. Hours and hours of stuff to transcribe.

There has gotta be a software package to aid me in this. People tell me this all the time. "Bev, you're wearing your fingerprints off typing all the time. I'm worried about your health!"

Then they say something like, "Haven't you heard of [insert name of software package here]? It will take what you say, an audio file, and turn it into text!"

I am dubious. Even doubtful. Skeptical.

I have researched the Hell out of this. I am not aware of any software package that will take the words of more than one person and reliably turn that conversation into a reasonably accurate text file. Yes, one person can read prepared sample text into a microphone and have a software package like Dragon Naturally Speaking learn how that person speaks. After that, the software can do a reasonable job of taking, say, a dictated audio file and turn that into a text file. I am sure you'd still have to go through it afterward and manually insert paragraph breaks, and change things like "to" to "two" or "too" as the case may be. Other packages don't require you to read sample text to them; they just learn how you speak and inflect as you go along and do their best to create a text file you can use.

But as for taking the words of two or more people, and have any software package break that down into a useful text file: Let's just say I don't think the technology is there yet. I don't think the day will dawn any time soon when you can take, say, all the cross talk of the women on The View and break that down into a text file that is useful to anybody.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong. Seriously. If you know of any software package that will do what I need it to do, I'm here and waiting to hear all about it.

Something tells me I'll be waiting for quite a while.



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