Wednesday, December 7, 2011

iOS Recording Apps For Dragon NaturallySpeaking Transcription: A Feature Comparison

My previous blog post analyzed how well recordings made on the iOS platform compared to a typical well-rated digital voice recorder for Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS) transcription. I tested the Voice Memos app that comes preinstalled on most iOS devices (the exception being the iPad) and the Andrea PureAudio Live Recorder app which was recommended by Nuance at the time.
But in October 2011 Nuance released its own recorder app for the iOS platform: Dragon Recorder. While I haven’t applied the analysis procedure to this app as outlined in my Recording on the iPhone for Dragon NaturallySpeaking Transcription blog post, the following feature comparison shows that Dragon Recorder nicely fits the requirements for DNS users looking to create recordings for transcription on the iOS platform.
Note however that Nuance says: "While the Dragon Recorder app introduces more customers to the freedom and flexibility of remote dictation, customers requiring advanced recording functionality can continue to rely on Dragon’s ability to transcribe the audio files of the industry’s leading digital voice recorders."
Feature / AppVoice MemoPureAudio Live RecorderDragon Recorder
File Type Accepted by DNSNo (M4A, but can use iTunes to convert to MP3)Yes (WAV)Yes (WAV)
Audio quality settings1 (64 kbps bit rate, 44.1 kHz sample rate)/td>4 sample rates: Low (8kHz), Med (11kHz), High (22kHz), CD (44kHz) (Nuance recommends High)1 (352 kbps bit rate, 22 kHz sample rate)
File sizeabout 4.6 MB for 10 min. recordingWAV is about 5 times larger than M4A / MP3WAV is about 5 times larger than M4A / MP3
Voice activated recordingNoYes (removes pauses in speech for shorter recordings but you may need to experiment with its “Activation threshold” slider to adjust the sensitivity so your voice isn't clipped)No
Background noise cancellationNoYes (but turn off if using the Sylencer to take voice notes)No
Pause during recordingYesYesYes
Append to end of recordingNoYesYes
Wireless file transfer to your computerNo (must use iTunes sync)YesYes
Rename fileNoYesYes
Create categories (i.e. folders) for recordingsNoYes (a good feature if you have lots of recordings but you should delete them from your iDevice after transferring / transcribing)No
Costfree (preinstalled in Utility folder on iPhone & iPod Touch)$2.99 (download from iTunes Store)free (download from iTunes Store)

More Info

Getting Started With Dragon Recorder App (video that demonstrates the end-to-end process of creating a recording, transferring it and transcribing it)
Dragon Recorder Application Home Page
Dragon Recorder App Press Release
PureAudio Live Recorder iTunes Preview

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