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Whose Talkin'???

Whose Talkin'???
by Gary Woods

I'm in a lot of meetings where we're brainstorming ideas. There'll be a lot of people around a big table and ideas are flying fast and furious. Usually nobody is taking notes at these fests but even if they are it can be difficult to discern who said what and how that concept was reacted to unless the meeting is recorded. The problem is discerning who is speaking even if the meeting is recorded can be difficult if not impossible.

To sort out this problem I came upon a product from Dev-audio called Microcone. Microcone is an innovatively simple way to record and manage group conversations. Using just a single microphone array device, Microcone can record individuals within six different directions on six separate audio channels.

The device provides a dedicated audio channel for each of the six recording directions and complements that audio with information about when and where voice activity occurs in each region including how long each person spoke with the closest Microphone picking up what he or she is saying. Then, Microcone relays each person's voice as a separate audio signal to your Mac via USB.

The Microcone Recorder app then processes and records each of those individual audio streams; they appear as separate tracks in a timeline. You can isolate what one person said and play it back or save it. You can also tag tracks or segments of the timeline to reference and search later. Then, if you need the audio transcribed there's a service you can subscribe to called Nuance.

The Microcone device retails for $359 and the Recorder app is $5. For more on Nuance checkout

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc