Thursday, October 31, 2013

In Our Own Good Time!

Things change over time. I often hear the phrase, "In my time". I actually hear myself saying something similar these days. "In my time" or "when I was young". Born in 1950, I remember when television arrived in Australia just in time for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. It had this huge channel changing knob - today I have to look at all these array of buttons on the remote control and wonder which one is for volume!

The same goes for voice recorders - yes, I know, we called them Tape Recorders but these days things have changed dramatically. Last weekend we attended a birthday gathering and one of the guests brought along a tape recorder which is still in perfect working order. The tape had conversations by his parents - Dale is currently in his late 70s or thereabouts. I guess the tape recorder was from the 60s.

The old tape recorder served its purpose in its time - not very portable though.
I used one of these to record interviews when I was writing my book on motor racing.
About six years ago I published my book on motor racing and interviewed many past drivers from a 4 decade period over the 30/40/50/60s. Initially I used a cassette recorder and later a new digital recorder. The digital recorder was less intrusive.
Transcribing recordings to text was always a time consuming exercise. I've just discovered an easier process called "Voice to Text".

Just recently I've been invited to join a Cycling Historical Committee under the auspices of Cycling Victoria. Over a short period they have been fortunate to have donated magazines, scrapbooks and memorabilia from local cyclists and enthusiasts. We are currently collating the material and occasionally you stop to read some of the interesting material - that certainly slows the collating process.

So - that brings me to this new method of converting voice to text. I discovered this App for iPhone and iPad that coverts your voice directly to text. If I see and article that is of interest in the archives, I simply read aloud the article into my phone which through this App, converts it to text. I then email it to my computer for the final editing and spelling corrections. So simple.
Then I just cut and paste it to a Blog post or a manuscript.

My digital recorder is now relegated to the back of a drawer to be lost in time.
I found this on You Tube describing Voice to Text, especially for Bloggers

In our own good time we see a lot of changes - don't we?


  1. Fascinating, isn't it, Leon? I'm a few years older than you, and remember when television arrived in the mountainous interior area of British Columbia. We had seen a bit of TV when visiting relatives in the Vancouver area, and were excited when the first of our neighbours had it in Kelowna.
    And that big tape recorder reminds me of my high school days. I had fallen in love with a recording called "Stranger on the Shore" by England's Mr. Acker Bilk and decided to find myself a clarinet player. I found one, took him home to visit my parents, and we began dating. Soon, however, he became bored with dates consisting of him playing his clarinet and me swooning over thoughts of Acker Bilk. So one evening he arrived with a tape recorder, on which he had recorded himself playing Stranger on the Shore. It seems to me the romance didn't last very long after that.
    Wicked of me, I suppose, but the only musicians in my family played trumpet, which had been wonderful earlier that same year when Bert Kaempfert's "Wonderland by Night" was my favourite. My brother, sometimes in a duet with Dad, played it for me.
    Those two pieces of music are still my favourites.

  2. Remember my uncle having that big tape recorder, and have had both the small recorders for my work. Now have a Marantz digital recorder which is not portable, but it doesn't travel anywhere other than my desk, so no problem other than the fact that it is so sensitive that it picks up the sounds of the farm as well, like the chickens talking or the geese banging on the window for some food. The recordings are connected to my work, and are sent out to the person I am counselling, but no one seems to mind the background noise, indeed they seem to rather enjoy them!

    Interested in the voice to text though, as sometimes have to transcribe the recordings. You are right in that technology has moved on in an astonishing way during the last few decades.

    1. We choose to ignore or go with the flow with new technology Vera - a bit like you and your river dear!

  3. My parents didn't have the enormous amount of money needed to buy a tv in 1956 but one of the uncles did. My brothers and I were shown how the tv went on and we sat there from 4.40 PM until the first programme started. It was Noddy and Big Ears!

    Isn't technology wonderful.

    1. Good old Enid - wasn't Noddy and Big Ears banned from schools?


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