Visualising is key to learning

Making notes from recorded interviews, meetings and lectures can be a laborious and longwinded task. However a new product from annotation software specialist Sonocent is set to transform the way notes are made and used.

Audio Notetaker for Mac users is a note-taking tool that makes audio, rather than text, the basis of the user’s notes.  Audio Notetaker’s approach to note taking makes creating comprehensive notes from interviews, meetings, presentations and lectures a simple and time-efficient process, requiring very little user input.

The Audio Notetaker technology allows the user to display phrases from recorded speech as bars, allowing them to interact with the recording as if it were text. The ability to quickly annotate audio recordings with colour or words makes the need to transcribe entire recordings a thing of the past.

Roger Tucker, Managing Director of Sonocent, said: “With Apple’s emphasis on simplicity and ease of use, the Mac has always seemed a very appropriate platform for Audio Notetaker.

“We didn’t want to simply port the Windows version, but rather transfer the Audio Notetaker concept into the Mac way of doing things. It’s taken a long time to develop, but we think it will revolutionise the note taking technology industry and save users hours and hours of time.”

Audio Notetaker’s visualisation of audio makes it very easy to quickly work through a recording. Important phrases can be marked with colour, and bars can be formatted into sections and labeled with text and images allowing the user to easily reference key parts of the audio.

Claire Smith, a staff writer for a national sports magazine and a regular user of Audio Notetaker, said: “The solution literally revolutionised the way I work. The colour coding was a dream, it makes it so much easier to revisit the material. Not every interview gets run immediately so Audio Notetaker lets me go back to old stories for reference.”

Audio Notetaker works with both recordings imported from a digital recorder or computer, or by recording live straight into the software. The latter gives the advantage of being able to mark phrases as they are being said, without breaking up the flow of the interview, an extremely time saving measure.

As well as being used to record interviews and meetings the Audio Notetaker is a vital piece of technology for those who find note taking difficult. The new technology will not only be convenient but indispensible for international students or those with dyslexia, who struggle with note taking during lectures.

Andrew Campbell, a psychology student at the Open University stresses the importance of this technology:

“I used to come in the bottom of the class, but since using Audio Notetaker I have come in the top 3%. It is the most important piece of assistive technology software I have.”

The tool also has the ability to import Powerpoint slides or PDF files so that students can link their lecture slides, written notes and audio all together. Deleting bars will delete the corresponding audio, making it possible to condense long lectures down to the essentials.

Ghislain Mumbari, a student from Cameroon now studying in the UK, said “Audio Notetaker is truly amazing; it’s like you’re in class over and over again, but this time just getting the main points. I think my grades would have been vastly improved if I’d had the software earlier”

Audio Notetaker will be showcased at the British Educational Training and Technology Show (11-14 January 2012 at Olympia, London).


  1. Can you tell us more about this? I’d care to find out some additional information.

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