Of course, this doesn't always coincide with the actual rhythm of speech, but you can easily break these bits down further. In fact, that's what Audio Notetaker is designed to do - breaking up the files into chunks that can have notes written in next to them, and files inserted at pertinent points, including text, images or PowerPoint slides.

Once it's broken down you can also put it back together again, in any order you like. By colour-coding the different segments you have the option of creating a new file, choosing just the elements of one or more particular colours. Very useful for paring a recording down to its key points, or for reorganising the talk thematically.

The screen layout is straightforward, seen as a table with room for notes, attached files, and then the coloured boxes of the recording. The controls are easy, most of which can be operated from the keyboard - great for both speed, and for those who might find a mouse difficult.

The only drawbacks I found were that I couldn't attach PowerPoint files on my PC because I don't have it installed, even though the files were identifiable as such (I'm a Staroffice user). That, and the way it had me analysing, dissecting, dissembling and transcribing recordings that didn't need that amount of work doing to them, just because I could. This is software that makes it easier to work harder. Even when you don't need to.

Ratings (out of 5)
Fitness for purpose    4     (would be 5 if it wasn't for the .ppt upload)
Ease of use               4.5  (nothings perfect)
Features                    4    (would like to see it synch with video)
Quality                       4.5  (see Ease of use)
Value for money        4    (I'm tight)

Audio Notetaker 2.0

Note-taking software (for Windows PCs) for working with/transcribing speech soundfiles (compatible with WMA, WAV or MP3 files). Aimed at students, teachers and researchers, £79.95 (+VAT).
Audio Notetaker
Created by Sonocent Software (formerly Accessible audio) and distributed by iansyst through Dyslexic.com:
http://www.dyslexic.com/

Iansyst Ltd , Fen House, Fen Road, Cambridge CB4 1UN
Tel: 01223 420 101

BETT 2010: Audio Notetaker 2.0 will be featured on the the iansyst stand at BETT 2010. Stand F119

You can find a downloadable trial version of Audio Notetaker 2.0 here.

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