Sonocent Audio Notetaker review

Sonocent Audio Notetaker PC

Audio Notetaker for Sonocent is billed as an alternative way of taking notes in meetings, interviews and lectures. It does this by breaking down speech, recorded on your computer, into visual bite-sized bars, for annotating and editing. See all software reviews.

Unlike Dragon speech recognition software, it doesn't attempt to turn audio into text, although you can add written notes, or reminders should you wish. See also: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Premium review.

It's a novel experience, one that takes a little time to get used to, especially colour-coding bars live as you attempt to highlight important parts of any audio.

Once highlighted, these key elements can be played back to form a more concise and useful set of audio notes, with the option to add images, PowerPoint slides, PDF documents, links and more, all within the software.

Things are complicated a little further when your voice is part of the conversation. Listening to your own voice isn't necessarily pleasant, while editing your contributions on the fly requires good multitasking skills.

It's also crucial you don't simply switch off during meetings, in the hope that you can make up ground at a later date.

Quibbles aside, it's still great to have your notes and supporting files all in one organised, fairly intuitive place. Indeed, the more you embrace Audio Notetaker the more it makes sense.

It's also good to have a complete record of audio notes for back up, should the precision of your edited notes be questioned, or needed for legal reasons.

Sonocent gives users the option to buy a 'Perpetual Licence' at £95.99 that lasts a lifetime, or '6 Month Licence' costing £29.99, aimed at students and those who only need to study for a short period.

Both options cover two computers at any one time, so you can happily install the software on both Windows and Mac. The Windows version is currently a little ahead of the Mac versions as regards features, although Sonocent plans to address this with forthcoming updates.

Disappointedly, while you import audio notes from a variety of sources and formats, a dedicated app for smartphones and tablets is still on the 'to do' list. Such an app would be a welcome addition, one that would add a level of intimacy and convenience to visual note taking.

Sonocent Audio Notetaker: Specs

  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (Output recording not available for Windows XP)
  • Mac 10.5.8 Leopard and later
  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (Output recording not available for Windows XP)
  • Mac 10.5.8 Leopard and later

OUR VERDICT

While clearly rooted in educational software, Audio Notetaker from Sonocent is widening its appeal with every update. Plenty of potential users are likely to find annotating and visually organising audio a boost to productivity, once the concept is grasped and embraced.

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