[iBook] Off topic? Audio and OCR help wanted

Larry Kollar kollar at alltel.net
Sun Nov 12 18:57:52 PST 2006

> He has a boatload of audio tapes of lectures from an instructor,  
> and wants to transfer them to a digital format (he hopes there's a  
> way to be able to search content in a digital file, but I have no  
> clue). He's on Windows...

I suppose that with a speech-to-text translator, he could build a  
database of search terms. I haven't used any of them, so I don't know  
how well that would work. What I *do* know is that for video, you do  
it the old-fashioned way: logging (watch the video and record the  
time of each scene break and what's following). Logging should work  
for audio as well, and should be easier on an iBook because you can  
fit both a text editor and the shrunken iTunes window (or QT Player)  
on an iBook screen.

> His other project is recipes. He has a ton of recipes, clipped from  
> magazines, newspapers, etc., that he wants to scan, archive, and be  
> able to search. He's a private chef, and wants to create a database  
> of his recipes and articles. I assume there's a way to create a  
> database something has been OCRed, given the proper program, etc.,  
> unless I'm smoking crack again.

If he doesn't have a scanner, he'll (obviously) need one. Some come  
with OCR software (we got some iteration of ReadIris with our HP  
scanner). I've compiled the JOCR program mentioned by another  
respondent, but you really need to be comfortable in Terminal to use it.

Plenty of databases out there, some dedicated to recipes. Tiger has a  
built-in database engine (SQLite), but that would require some  
programming (AppleScript Studio, perhaps).

> ... he sees me working with Sound Studio (which came with one our  
> Macs), and he is rather drooling to do the same. I'm sure there's  
> something comparable on Windows (am I dreaming?), but, in that  
> case, you are stuck with using Windows.

Sony offers a range of audio software, with names like Acid and  
Cinescore, but I wouldn't depend on a Dozebox for stuff that involves  
my livelihood. (I know lots of people don't have that choice,  
unfortunately.) I think Cinescore is similar to Soundtrack Pro in  
scope, and Acid to Logic Pro. You might want to point out the iLife  
suite and show him what can be done with the software that comes  
standard on every Mac.

> What about the sound situation? I'm aware of Sound Studio, Fission/ 
> Audio HiJack Pro, Amadeus, etc. What else am I missing?  I was on  
> the Mac Audio list for awhile, but never got much response to  
> questions, so I place them before you folks.

Audacity (Free), Soundtrack Pro, Bias Peak (pro), Logic Pro...  
there's a ton of audio software out there. You have to get the sound  
*into* the Mac though; a Griffin iMic should be sufficient for  
personal use. He might find Audacity interesting because it runs on  
Dozeboxes and Linux (where it came from) as well.

Larry Kollar     k  o  l  l  a  r  @  a  l  l  t  e  l  .  n  e  t
Unix Text Processing: "UTP Revival"

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