Is there software that can ‘listen,’ transcribe recorded speech?
Special to The Seattle Times
Q: For several months earlier this year, my church was without a regular minister. We had access to some “supply” preachers, however. Normally, the preacher would turn in a printed copy of the sermon, which was then put on the church’s website. A recorded version of the sermon was attached to the digital sermon. The supply preachers didn’t always remember to turn in a printed copy of their sermon, but there was always a recorded version.
Now my question: Is it possible for Dragon NaturallySpeaking to “listen” to the recorded sermon and produce a digital version? If this is possible, do you know of anyone who does such a thing?
— Harold Armstrong
A: I’m confident the day is not very far off when software will be able to do this, but it is not this day.
Commercially available transcription software has to be trained to the speaker’s voice before it can do a decent job of transcribing.
But, yes, you can hire services to do the transcribing. Just search for transcription service. Expect to pay around $1.50 per minute of audio.
Q: I have configured my Outlook to use pop.gmail.com as my default and I still have Microsoft Exchange Server as a secondary account from a previous setup. (Both have an inbox in my mailbox.)
My first problem is that when I log in, I cannot get my mail until I click on “Send/Receive.” I get an error message that the Microsoft Exchange Server is not available but my Gmail comes in fine.
First, how can I get rid of the Microsoft Exchange Server safely without affecting any of my Gmail configuration? Second, for some reason, my “Deleted Items” is tied to the Microsoft Exchange Server rather than the default. This is only a nuisance because while I can delete individual messages, I cannot empty the deleted items folder. I get a message “Outlook is not finished synchronizing local changes.”
When I try to check the synchronization, I get a message that I am not authorized. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
— E. G. Sergoyan
A: All you need to do is delete the Exchange account. To do so, click on the File tab and then select the Account Setting button. Highlight the Exchange account and then click on the Delete button.
Once your Exchange account is gone, Outlook should revert to the standard delete configuration.
Q: I called the Microsoft online help line (the lady with the headphone who perches up in the top right corner of my screen at all times) to ask about installing Microsoft Security Essentials. You had written about it a few months ago.
At any rate, as the technician was troubleshooting my computer (controlling it thorough Logmein software), he introduced the idea of my buying a support service for $249.95 that would give me phone help for almost ever — as long as I transfer the info when I obtain a new computer.
The introductory screen for the Microsoft Security Essentials describes the service as “free,” but I guess that might just be a one-time hit. Does this sound like a scam? Have you heard of it?
— Sheila Valentine
A: This offer sounds a bit dubious. To begin with, I don’t know of a Microsoft product that offers a lady with a headphone perched on the screen. Nor have I been able to find any such service plan offered by Microsoft.
To contact legitimate Microsoft support, access it through a Microsoft application or through the Microsoft website. Finally, Microsoft Security Essentials really is free.
Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/