Convert Web articles to MP3 and sync with Drive, Dropbox

Sitting in front of a computer all day for work makes your leisure reading time seem like more of a chore. Or even worse, you may not have time for reading about your interests because you need to keep your eyes on the road to make your way home or to another appointment. For times like these, wouldn't it be useful to be able to listen to the articles instead?

SoundGecko offers a transcription service that converts articles you find online to MP3 format. It's definitely not going to sound smooth like a podcast or newscast, but you … Read more

Record voice notes after important calls

Ever made plans or laid out action steps while on a business call, and wish you had taken notes? Maybe you were on your Bluetooth headset while driving, or you couldn't find a pen. Or maybe you just plain hate scrawling anything on paper at all.

Enter Tote Notes, a brilliantly conceived app that pops up after voice calls so you can dictate notes before you forget any important details. It not only records voice notes, it e-mails them to you, and even transcribes them to text so you can easily search for them later.

Here's how it … Read more

Words count

Many professionals need accurate, specific word counts in a wide range of document formats. Technocom's Word Count 'N' Invoice is a word-counting application optimized for professional-quality transcription in medical, legal, secretarial, and similar settings. It counts words, lines, pages, and characters and calculates billing rates in single documents or batches of thousands of files in more than 15 document formats. It generates professional-quality reports and invoices, too.

This tool opens with a nag screen and a compact but busy interface. A button hides or shows the Settings at a click, though, which cleans up the layout. Tabs let you … Read more

YouTube brings auto-captioning to everyone

On Thursday Google announced that YouTube is turning on its auto-captioning technology to all users--a move it hopes will make videos both easier to watch and find in its search engine.

The company is trying to make the service more accessible to everyone. At a press conference at YouTube's San Bruno, Calif., headquarters, the company touted the feature as useful to not only viewers who are hearing-impaired but also to people who are learning English as a second language.

Video providers are now able to apply for machine transcription on their own videos. And for videos that have not … Read more

YouMail gets real with a BlackBerry app

Since its inception, YouMail, a visual voicemail service for mobile phones, has had one big problem. You could view and play your mobile phone's voicemail messages online, or--beginning lat June--by pointing the mobile browser to, but messages weren't stored on the device itself.

Starting Wednesday, YouMail has begun to change that with a native YouMail in-box for BlackBerry phones. Visual Voicemail Plus is a free downloadable app that stores your incoming voice messages along with the caller's name, number, and time of call.

In addition to viewing and playing messages in any order you'd … Read more

YouMail: How about a voice mail secretary?

How would you like to have your own secretary for taking and delivering voice messages? It sure beats slogging through your phone's voice mail menu, especially if you're short on time or if you want to quickly refer to a saved message.

YouMail's new transcription service, launched from beta on Thursday, adds a (premium) human touch to its otherwise free "visual voice mail" service. In addition to receiving automated transcriptions of cell phone voice messages online, YouMail users can now pay for real people to transcribe their messages and send the gist through SMS or … Read more

Voice-to-text services seek a human touch

If you want to convert a series of 1's and 0's to text, ask a computer. If you want to convert a voice message into a text message, ask a human.

That's the crux of the argument given by VoiceCloud, which launched into the voice-to-text fray on Tuesday with a speedy, employee-focused transcription service.

Speech-to-text is a huge trend in wireless and Web apps this year that--judging from the numerous services showcased at the CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vegas this week--is heating up as an important frontier in cell phone software. You may have read about … Read more

SimulScribe turns voice mail into text

As our lives get busier and we become more reliant on text messages and e-mail, voice mail is starting to seem a tad archaic (not to mention impractical if you're sitting in a business meeting or loud bar). A company called SimulScribe has come up with a technology that claims to be the answer.

The New York-based start-up uses voice recognition technology to transcribe voice mails into text. Instead of having to sit through Grandpa Bill's three-minute voice mail, you'd get a written message, via SMS or e-mail, approximately two to five minutes after the voice mail … Read more