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Thursday, 6 May 2010

smugness and 'free' software

So, today I had to try and transcribe a sound file that was recorded on my mobile phone. Needless to say it was in a format the windows media player could not understand, so I downloaded Audacity to listen to it. I have been meaning to do this for a while because Audacity is a really useful piece of free (or make a donation) software that I like to show to groups that I work with so they don't think they have to fork out huge amounts of their budget for microsoft/apple software. I also like to show people another suite of 'free' software; Open Office, which I use instead of Microsoft Office. Open Office will open and save to most other common formats, whether it's text, spreadsheet or presentation (eg .doc, .xls, .ppt) and I use it all the time for work. you can export to .pdf from it too.

Back to sound editing: I did have to download the beta (ie not entirely predictable) version of Audacity so that it would run on windows 7 on my netbook, and with the beta version I could also download a plug in to get Audacity to recognise .amr files (the format to which my phone records sounds). This plug in will recognise various file formats that I have had trouble opening in the past, so fingers crossed, next time I have a range of sound files to work with it will be easier.

And it works, it seems. So now I am feeling pretty smug. And I had better go finish the transcription.

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