Preferred DNS – Switch

Getting the Preferred version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking is becoming an excruciatingly slow process (unless when you were growing up, there was no such thing as the Internet/Web, and you lived in the “country” and it might take weeks or longer to get something which was seen on television (one of only 3 stations – the major ones), and ordered by what today is called “snail” mail.  The USPS attempted to deliver the package on Friday, but I wasn’t home.  They left a note saying that I could pick up the package the following day (Saturday) after 8:30am.  I didn’t realize that the US Post Office worked on Saturdays, so I woke up late, and made it to the Post Office Saturday morning about 9:30 am.  *Apparently, the package had been placed in the wrong bin, and had gone out again with the mail carrier, so I had to go back home and wait. 

I heard the mail van pull up outside about 11am and I rushed out (I’m on the second floor of an old apartment complex.) to meet him.  The mail carrier was almost at the top of the stairs when I turned the corner.  I held out my salmon colored delivery notice and said, “That’s for me.”  We made the exchange, my note for the package.

Okay, so I ordered the software from Amazon.com, and I purchased the educational version (Student Version) because it was about half of what the non-ed version would have cost ($79 + shipping).  I knew from the Nuance (Dragon NS) site that I would have to prove that I was a part of an educational institution, but that would be easy since I was using my FSU email account.  *Darn, the process wasn’t immediate or automated, like many other online purchasing sites.   The almost instantaneous email from Nuance said that it would take up to 2 business days (and this was Saturday) for my registration to be approved. 

In waiting for the registration, I googled for something like “video transcription software” and was directed to the following Calvin College page http://www.calvin.edu/admin/av/transcription.html.  What was good about this was that there was a link listed for a free application that would convert audio files into different formats.  The program was called “Switch” for Windows byan Australian company, “NCH Software”.  What was nice about this utility was that you could point it to an mp4 (video) file and it would rip the audio, quickly, to an mp3 or other type of audio file format.

I went out to Abilene Christian University, where I knew I could get a mid-length video clip to use for this test.  Any one of their videos, on their Mobile Connect Initiative, would be excellent for this test.  Switch quickly ripped a 7 MB mp3 file from the 51 MB mp4 (had to convert from their m4v format) video file.

I actually think that the audio from this video is going to support the most positive outcome for this test.  The audio is great and the speakers speak  distinctly, and there are about four different persons talking, so that should be a good test for Dragon Naturally Speaking.

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