The Sound Recorder that comes with Windows will capture the audio stream and save it as a WAV you can edit or convert later on. But there's room for improvement, and there are more than a few choices, when it comes to recording digital audio with your PC. It's possible to spend staggering amounts of money on pro audio suites that really don't handle most users' needs any better than Free Sound Recorder by CoolRecordEdit. Like the Windows tool, it records whatever your sound card is processing, but Free Sound Recorder adds scheduling, more output formats, hot … Read more
LAS VEGAS--HD Voice has suddenly become a hot topic at this year's Consumer Electronic Show.
The feature, which significantly enhances call quality by improving voice clarity while blocking out background noise, has been long touted by the wireless carriers. Widely available in Europe for years, the U.S. carriers have lagged behind.
T-Mobile said yesterday that HD Voice was now available on select phones in its lineup. PC Mag reported that AT&T was shooting for a launch some time this year. Now Verizon has stepped in, and told CNET that it would offer the feature in 2014. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Home automation is all over CES 2013. Tucked away in a small booth is Ivee, a company known for its voice-controlled alarm clocks. The newest Ivee creation is the Sleek, a voice-controlled home automation gateway.
You can tell Sleek to turn down the temperature, report stock prices, and share the weather. A pleasant woman's voice communicates with you in turn. This really is like having a HAL for your home, only this particular device hasn't reached sentience yet. She doesn't seem to have Siri's snarky streak, but if you ask her, "Who is Siri?" Sleek will reply, "She is not important."
Sleek is already compatible with Belkin's smart plugs. Ivee also mentioned working with the Nest thermostat, but Nest says it hasn't opened up compatibilty with anyone. Sleek could potentially hook up with all sorts of home automation devices. Ivee is looking at a summer release at a price of $199. … Read more
T-Mobile USA said today that it had enhanced its coverage in several cities, allowing unlocked iPhones to tap into the network's highest speeds.
The carrier said it has built out its HSPA+ network in four cities -- Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, and Virginia Beach, Va. -- utilizing the 1900MHz spectrum. That's important because the iPhone is compatible with 1900MHz, but not the other frequencies that T-Mobile uses.
In total, T-Mobile's 1900MHz footprint covers 46 metro area and about 126 million people.
T-Mobile also fast-tracked the carrier's 4G LTE plans and plans to cover 100 million … Read more
Mooly Eden, the Intel senior vice president who oversees the company's "perceptual computing" operations, told CNET today that voice recognition will do to touch what touch has done to physical keyboards -- making many things unnecessary.
"Voice is the best means of communication between humans," Eden said. "We finally have enough compute power to do what we want from science fiction."
Intel is working with partners on complete systems … Read more
LAS VEGAS--As attendees arrive today for four days of innovative developments in consumer technologies, a related revolution is also getting attention at CES. At today's Broadband Unlimited conference, representatives of the communications industries and others were unified in calls for an accelerated transition from outmoded legacy copper phone lines to new networks that would treat all traffic as IP packets from end to end -- what has sometimes been called the "Internet Everywhere" network.
"If 'The Graduate' were being remade," according to Daniel Berninger, a pioneer in voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications and now … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Here at CES, we were able to sneak a quick demo of MindMeld, a unique voice and video-calling app developed by Google Ventures-funded Expect Labs. The app supports up to eight parties at once, and based on what I saw, I've got high hopes for it.
At first glance, MindMeld might seem like just another Skype clone, but the reality is that this voice-and-video caller offers a layer of functionality that I haven't yet seen in a communications app. What sets it apart is its ability to "listen" to your conversations and add streams of … Read more
I gave high marks to the original SuperTooth Disco bookshelf speaker when it dropped into stores last year, but I took issue with its inability to travel and of course, the lack of true stereo sound.
This year, the company will take to CES again to announce a portable listening solution called the Disco Twin that includes two separate speakers, giving you option to perch them wherever you like.
Wireless Bluetooth channels stream music to each device powered by 16 watts of audio juice, and the company's legacy "bass reflex system" in the back keeps the low … Read more
The Google Play Books app was recently updated with a "Read Aloud" feature for Android devices. Once enabled, your Android device will read the text of books acquired from Google Play Books.
There's just one problem; the voice reading the books sounds horrible. It's slow, words are awkwardly broken up, and it just doesn't lend itself to a great experience. The good news is you can enable a high-quality voice to read the book to you directly in the app.To enable the high-quality Read Aloud voice in Google Play Books, make sure you're … Read more
The other day, in my post listing the best money-saving tips of 2012, I suggested ditching your landline in favor of a voice-over-IP option like MagicJack or Ooma.
But there's another option, one that lets you embrace the goodness that is Google Voice: Obihai's OBi100 VoIP phone adapter, which Amazon has for $39.24 shipped. It's been that price for a while now, but Google's recent announcement that free calling would continue through 2013 makes this worth another look.
The OBi100 works much like an Ooma or MagicJack Plus: You plug your existing cordless phone system … Read more