Speak and these apps will listen and transcribe

December 23, 2011 By Reid Kanaley

Voice recording for memos, interviews and lectures has moved - like so many tasks - to the smartphone. These applications help you save, or transcribe, the spoken word.

An called iSaidWhat?, by Danny Babiy, costs 99 cents for Apple devices and is designed for recording and editing sound. You can cut snippets of voice and music, duplicate and rearrange them. Reviewers report hilarious results.

Whether you keep it straight or manipulate the audio, your work of sonic art can be shared by email, Facebook and or transferred to a nearby computer using a clever Wi-Fi trick that deposits the .wav audio file as a download - very handy for working with sound files you may need for school or work.

Voice Recorder HD, by eFUSION Co. Ltd., offers a simple interface with an image of a microphone, record-pause and stop buttons, and a time counter for the for $1.99. It will save many hours of sound if you've chosen the "low" quality setting for your audio.

If you start recording and then hit the iPhone home button to move on to other tasks, the app will keep recording, as long as your phone's software is iOS4 or higher. As with the iPhone's built-in Voice Memos app, a red banner at the top of the screen will tell you that recording is continuing. Tap the banner to bring the app back into view.

Choose a recording-quality level by tapping the settings icon in the lower right, and indicate whether to send your files to Apple's iCloud, or to a Dropbox account. Sound files saved in the .wav format can be immediately emailed or uploaded.

You also can transfer the audio files via iTunes with a USB connector.

Dragon Dictation is free from Nuance Communications Inc. It's not for recording your voice, but for converting your to text. Speak and Dragon Dictation transcribes.

Your message can be - and probably will need to be - edited. Just tap to bring up a keyboard. You can also resume dictating after editing, or place the cursor in the middle of the written text, hit record, speak, and Dragon will insert the added text where you've indicated. Then you can send the written memo as a text or e-mail, or post it to or Twitter.

Dragon Dictation is a free-standing app for iPhone, but it is built into Nuance's Android app called FlexT9, and for BlackBerry there's a comparable Dragon for E-Mail app.

The Siri software on the iPhone 4S, the newest model, also does voice-to-text.

Explore further: Briefs: Embed dictation for wireless text unveiled

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