Online dictation site & sound file recording

Ben: I think your offer of starting a site is terrific. My email is [email protected] if you would like to discuss further.
I would be most willing to contribute time and voice to making dictation sound files. I agree with the person who posted saying we need to have lots of accents. And it is nice to have different voices.
ALL: Can we hear from others who would be willing to contribute some time and voice toward helping Ben with the site?

(by sidhetaba for everyone)

22 comments Add yours
  1. Hi there.  Don't know how everyone feels about this.  I think your efforts to have your own dictation website is great and I am very excited too.    If this idea helps with more dictation storage, I'd be willing to offer my sound file dictation rooms to anyone who wishes to donate at  I am working to finish the Music Dictation Rooms right now and can only do a little each weekend toward its growth.  Once the 3 dictation rooms are mostly filled, I can concentrate on the classroom lesson plans.   There are 4 FREE rooms on the main website that are completely for the public.  The classroom enrollment dictation, homework and test dictation files will be totally separate from the free dictation rooms.  I have a lot of donated dictation files already but have not posted since the web-designer and I have been concentrating on the music rooms.   If at least 10 folks agree to donate material, I will ask Kelly to open the main sound file menus so dictation material can then be posted.  Discuss this among yourselves and let me know what you think.   I think it's a terrific plan to build a website just for shorthand writers with plenty of dictation material in variety and accents.  I would love to be part of this.   Ms. Letha Rye, Co  

  2. Shorthand Spuddy?! That must be Ms. Letha! (Oh yea, she signed it with her name). So you really are out there watching…how nice. I agree, you definately need to put your accent into recordings.

    As far as me…I'm out. I can't even get myself to stop recording over my voicemail greeting.

    Shorthand: isn't it about time?

  3. Hi John,  It is certainly good hearing from you also.   Of course I keep watch with your website!  It is quite educational for anyone needing to talk shorthand.  As far as my dictation accent…I will surely have to shallow my draw for the city folks!  No matter, it shall be fun indeed.  Finding the time is another matter that currently seems next to impossible.  So so busy here.  You take care.  I shall try to keep in touch as I can.  Bye for now, Ms. Letha  

  4. I might be able to do some.  Haven't recorded on my computer ever, but I've done my own shorthand dictation tapes (yes tape recordings) for years so I've gotton pretty good at doing them.  This would give you another female voice.  Don't think I have an accent but maybe I will to some… And I have a variety of shorthand books with transcripts, including one for 5 minute takes (2 business letters) from 40-120 wpm (I think it has 130 and 140 but can't remember now) it's a DJS book, orange, can't remember the name now either… there's where I found the timings for various transcripts. Debbi

  5. Thanks for that info about sound quality, Andw., I'll try it.   The minute limit is very irksome, and so I have a number of saved files called, 5minuteblank, 8minuteblank, etc.   The nice thing about SoundRecorder is that if you only use 4m11s, you can go to edit and delete the rest of the file.

  6. All's you need for a nice recording of human speech is a normal microphone and Microsoft sound recorder. Do you think that quality is bad? You are right! Its default quality is rather poor. However, all you must do to create a nice quality recording in that program is to start a new file, and before recording, go to File> Properties.

    In that dialog, go to Format Conversion's "Convert Now" button.

    For a decent and economical format, just choose 44.100kHz, 16 bit, Mono in PCM format. If you want to get back to that parameter frequently, save it with the "Save As…" button, naming it "my parameters" or something.

    Press OK, and press OK on the second dialog. Record a nice file. If you need more than a minute (surely for any dictation file), you may have to record several minutes of blank space and record over it. If you have a silent click, you can just reach the end of the sentence at 60 minutes and continue another minute. That minute limit always irked me.

    —Andw. Owen

  7. Ms. Letha, what if they're the older books?  I have the Functional Method copy write 1947 or something (would have to look). But some of the older books are put on other sites.   I guess that's the other thing we need to think about, what are we going to put on there?  I guess if someone is good at writing business letters we could use those. Debbi

  8. Re word count — does it really matter if we use word=word or word=1.4 syllables? It seems to me that the word=word counts I did were only slightly off, say 5 or 10 "words" different for each 100 words?   It would sure make it easier to count and dictate, rather than counting 1.4 syllables — I always get messed up: does mess-ed count as 1 or 2 syllables. And passed?

  9. The really old books should be off copyright, but you can take some of the old material and modify the vocabulary so that it is more up to date.  The only thing is that you need to redo the word count.  I don't think it is that difficult.

  10. I don't think you will loose much, but really, the 1.4 syllable-rule is not hard to follow.  Count 28 syllables, you got 20 words — that's all.  Start your dictation at 60 wpm, or three groups of 20 standard words.  Then, increase your dictation speed based on twenties: adding three words (five syllables) to each group of 20 will increase the dictation by a factor of 10 wpm.   "Messed" and "passed" are one syllable each, whereas "jagged" is two.

  11. As someone who used to count the material for McGraw-Hill, I can tell you it IS a bit of a pain. If you factor in personal pronounciation, it becomes even more difficult.

    For example, I say "sev'ral" (two syllables) rather than the "standard pronounciation" of "sev-er-al." An entire S90 text is counted that way thanks to me!

    I do think it does make a BIG difference in counting 1.4 versus one word when the material becomes heavy with multisyllabic words or is filled with nothing but monosyllabic words.

    Court reporters do not use the 1.4 standard. Pitman does not use the 1.4 standard. The 1.4 was a Gregg feature to "even out" the dictation.


  12. Business letters? Great idea!


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    Shorthand: isn't it about time?

  13. Marc, I also have a Pitman book that uses the 1.4 syllable rule–in a fashion. The copy was deliberately chosen to comply with an average of 1.4 syllables per word, but the word count is actual words. Does that make sense?

    The name of the book is "70 Australian Tests in Pitman New Era" and was aimed at intermediate users.

    One thing I can say for Gregg is that there seemed to be far better standardization. Pitman varied to various degrees from country to country, especially in the early years when the various versions were mutually unintelligible….

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