Gap in the market for a decent “live transcription A/V recorder” tool

Note: This post is over 4 years old. It was first published in December 2006

Microsoft OneNote's AV capture facilitiesMicrosoft Onenote is an odd beast. It has some potentially great features that don’t seem to be properly executed yet. One of these features is the way it allows you to record audio or video (e.g. via a mike or webcam) and take notes simultaneously (as pictured). Then, after the recording, you can click on any line of your notes and have the audio/video jump to that point. (All it does is it time-stamp each line you type and associate it with the recording – quite simple really). This is amazingly useful for live transcription while recording interviews, podcasts, lectures, minute taking in meetings, and most importantly in my line of work, taking notes in usability tests & focus groups.

For example, the average user testing project generates about 18 hours of video. You can’t give it all to your client and expect them to trawl through it – you have to give them some way of getting to the good bits quickly.

It seems like a no-brainer to me that a tool like Onenote could easily offer a one-click export function for stand-alone video or audio file with chapter markers, a series of files segmented on the basis of the timestamps, or even an Enhanced Podcast as Guy Kewney suggests in his recent article in The Register.

As well as Onenote, Morae, VisualMark and Noldus all kind of offer this functionality, but none of them do it properly – yet.

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