Free Podcast Transcript: Curtain Call Podcast

We are pleased to present another free podcast transcript; the Curtain Call Podcast. At Scribie, we believe that eventually all audio/video content will be available as text. This free transcript is that one step towards that final goal. Please visit the following link to learn more about this program.

https://scribie.com/free-podcast-transcription

Download Links:

CCP_Ep_10_Catherine_Gray__Will_Bigham.mp3

CCP_Ep_10_Catherine_Gray__Will_Bigham.doc

CCP_Ep_10_Catherine_Gray__Will_Bigham.pdf

CCP_Ep_10_Catherine_Gray__Will_Bigham.odt

CCP_Ep_10_Catherine_Gray__Will_Bigham.txt


0:00:02 Chuck Clay: Hello, and welcome to Curtain Call Podcast episode 10. I am your host Chuck Clay and on this particular episode of Curtain Call Podcast, we are pleased to present a two for one episode. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Curtain Call Podcast episode 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. Say that 20 times fast. 10 is a Twofer. 20 times fast. 10 is a Twofer, 20 times fast. 10 is a Twofer, 20 times… I digress. Continue reading “Free Podcast Transcript: Curtain Call Podcast”

Transcription Service Changes

Our our transcription subsytem has undergone a complete revamp. As a result there are several changes to it. The major one’s are:

We have transitioned to a complete manual process for transcription from an mixed automated and manual process. This means

  • No more screening of the files
  • Flat 0.50 per minute rate for all kinds files
  • Improvements in quality of transcripts

Transcript orders can be placed from the uploaded records page. Earlier it was from the transcript page which used to list all the screened recordings.

The limit of 60 seconds on transcripts orders has also been removed. Transcript orders can now be placed for files of any length.

Rates

Rate/min Delivery
$0.50 7 days
$0.75 3 days
$1.00 1 day

Major Release, Client Version 1.2.1.1

New Features

Skype 4 Echo Issue: A new option to remove Near End Echo when using Call Graph with Skype 4. Thanks to everyone who tested the workaround!

Skype Link Error Detection: If no data is being received from Skype during the recording then the recording is stopped an an error notification is displayed.

Default Wav file encoding: From this release onwards the recorded file is always encoded in wav format during the Skype call and converted to mp3 after the call is finished. This reduces the CPU load during the recording process.

Automatic Recording In Between Call: If Call Graph is started during the Skype call and automatic recording is set, then the recording is started immediately.

Browser Launch Dialog: The browser launch dialog can now be skipped.

Bug Fixes

Manual Recording: Fixed several bugs in the manual recording process.

Browser Launch During Startup: The Call Graph Browser is no longer launched on startup. Instead the toolbar is shown.

Skype Connection Notification: If Skype is not running then Call Graph does not keep on showing the Skype Connection Error notification. Instead after two attempts to connect to Skype, the Skype connection notification is shown once.

Notification Messages: The notification messages have been redone in this release.

Please update now. Do not forget to authorize Call Graph to connect to Skype after installing the update. As usual, feedback/comments is welcome.

UPDATE: Some users have reported that after applying this update they cannot hear their callers anymore. If its happening then please upgrade to version 1.3.0.0 to resolve it.

Call Graph Sample Transcript

This podcast was recorded last year when we had just launched Call Graph. We finally found some time to transcribe it with our system and post it here.


0:00:03.8 S1: Hello.

0:00:06.0 S2: Hello.

0:00:06.7 S1: Yes. Rajiv can you hear me?

0:00:10.2 S2: Yeah, I can hear you.

0:00:11.8 S1: Hi. This is Austin Taun from Taipei, Taiwan.

0:00:17.3 S2: Hi Austin. How are you?

0:00:19.3 S1: I’m fine. Okay, so today, Rajiv could you first introduce yourself a little bit.

[pause]

0:00:30.2 S2: Sure. Well I’m a Telecom [0:00:32.5] ____ here. I graduated sometime in 1999. And after that I worked for some various companies out here. My last company that I worked for was Lucent. And then after that I started off on my own. And for the past two years I’ve been trying to do this Sedna Wireless thing. As part of Sedna Wireless we released Call Graph.

0:01:05.3 S1: Okay. The reason that I know your company, Sedna Wireless is because this product Call Graph, yeah, I think thats, if I think correctly its kind of like Skype recorder. Its like a plugin for Skype, right?

0:01:33.0 S2: ____. It is a call recording application for Skype. It works in the background and it records all your calls into an mp3 file. And then you can play it back, you can search through your call records. Its basically meant for… Its a productivity application. Somebody who would like to have records of his calls, he can use our software.

0:02:02.9 S1: Yes. And the reason that I found it interesting is that, I’m not sure if you aware of this fact, your software Call Graph seems to be the only one that can be used for free! And with the functionality of Stereo. What I mean is that your software Call Graph can record the conversation into separate audio tracks. So that will be perfect choice for Podcasts. Because most of the [0:02:53.9] ___ come into the situation that the two people have different volumes. So it will be very very hard to do the modification, to do the post production.

0:03:14.3 S2: Right. Thats true. We record it in separate tracks which makes it very easy to edit the files. You can use any external audio editor. For example, Audacity is a very good audio editor. And you can export the tracks separately. Plus there is also a feature in which you can record the calls in a wav file. So if you do record the calls in a wav file then you don’t lose any quality. The quality is maintained, of the call.

0:03:44.8 S1: Yes. So I think, frankly there are other software in the market that provide the same functionality of separate tracks. But they all require, a little bit registration fee. So its a very very outstanding point, from my point of view.

0:04:10.3 S2: Yes. Great that you like Call Graph.

0:04:17.4 S1: So I think you should emphasize this point. I actually spent several days to search through the Internet about Skype recording solutions. And I was very surprised that Call Graph was not mentioned very much. It only has 50,000 Google hits, compared to other software, maybe several million hits.

0:04:50.3 S2: Well one of the reason is that we released it recently, its around just two months old. And it got covered by a few popular weblogs, few popular Blogs. For example LifeHacker covered us. And DownloadSquad covered us. But I guess it takes some time to spread through the Google’s network.


 

A couple of points about our transcription.

  • It is time coded.
  • The words which cannot be transcribed are timestamped and marked with blank ____.
  • Its provided in Word, PDF and Open Office Document formats.
  • If names of the speakers are mentioned then we use their initials. Otherwise we use Speaker 1, Speaker 2 etc.

One Year of Call Graph, Five Lessons Learnt The Hard Way

We crossed an important milestone this month: we made it into the second year! The Call Graph client was launched on March 8th 2008 in the first edition of DevCamp Bangalore. We launched the services part few months later, paid plans in November and since then we have been making revenues. Today Call Graph is mostly a ‘Ramen profitable‘ venture. That is, the revenues are just enough to sustain our operations and meet our living costs. The last year has been an incredible learning experience. We made mistakes, stumbled, recovered and somehow managed to survive. Not sure if we can keep doing that given the worsening economy, but for the time being, here are few lessons that we’ve learnt the hard way.

Its The Business Stupid

A new venture is always about creating a sustainable business.  It is almost never about the product or the service. Its about keeping enough coming in so that you can grow and get better with time. Coming from an engineering background its a very hard lesson to learn. The focus is always more on the product. The product is obviously very important. But never ever lose sight of the business. If the product is not creating a sustainable business then maybe you’re doing it wrong.

You’ll Be Lucky To Have One Percent Conversion Rate

For any internet product or service, its assumed that you’ll have a conversion rate of one percent. It could be number of paid to free users, signed up users to active users, etc. In our case it is the number of downloads to the number of registered users. We haven’t been able to achieve that 1 percent conversion rate yet. There are variety of reasons for that, one of the most important being the large number of international users. Its a simple chicken and egg problem. Support for Internationalization requires effort but we cant do it since we don’t have the resources and so on.

Free == Substandard Product

Its assumed that everything on the internet expected to be free. What we found was, giving it away for free creates this impression that its somehow substandard. This is especially true if your competitors charge. For Call Graph the business proposition necessitated that we offer it for free. But we had a incredibly hard time dispelling this illusion. Adding a purchase option helped a lot. That is in fact our most popular plan.

Turning Cash Flow Positive Is A Moving Target

Its never ever that one single feature or that one plan which does the trick for you. By the time you implement it, things have changed and the potential customers have disappeared. It’s rather a culmination of all those features and plan which add up. What we’ve learnt is to never rely on a single source of revenue. Especially in these recession times. You never know which one is going to earn your bread on any particular day!

Its A Survival Game

Someone once said that the first 3 years of a startup’s life are the toughest. After that you just get used to it! That statement sums it up. The world out there is tough and you need to evolve yourself with the only goal of surviving. Like as it happens in Cricket One Dayers, batting through the 50 overs matters the most. The more you’re out there, the bigger are the chances of making it.

Finally a big thanks to all our users who have helped us reach here. Thanks to all those who tried out Call Graph, pointed out the bugs and deficiencies and helped us improve it. You are simply the best!

Transcription Settings

For high quality voice recordings of your Skype conversation, please use the following settings

  • Recording Mode: Stereo – 2 channels
  • Sampling Rate: 16000 Hz
  • Bit Rate: 128 kbps

The first three can be configured from the ‘Recording’ tab of the configuration dialog. The last two are in the ‘Advanced’ Tab.

Tips:

  • First and foremost, use a headset instead of the inbuilt speaker and mic. It helps to keep the background noise to the minimum and reduces the possibility of any echo during the call.
  • If you get an echo then drop the call and try again. If possible, record a test call first and play it back to make sure things are fine.
  • For SkypeOut and Conference calls, ensure that the call quality is good enough before you start the recording. Make a few test calls before the actual one if possible.
  • Close all other applications which might use your internet bandwidth during that period. Usual browsing should not interfere but downloads or uploads (or BitTorrent) severely hampers the call quality.
  • If possible, reboot your machine once before you start on the call. It clears up the memory and performs better.
  • Finally, keep an eye on the status displayed at the bottom of the Toolbar as well during the call. It should be showing ‘Recording in progress’. If not restart the call and the recording.

Explanation:

Technically speaking, these settings are optimal for our system. The Speech Recognition engine that we use works in the wideband mode (16 kHz) and the 128 kbps bit rate preserves the optimal voice quality in the mp3 files. Encoding in two track mode enables us to split up each of the track separately and process them.

If you have more questions then feel free to leave a comment or contact us.

Transcripts of Skype Call Records

Today, we introduced a new transcript ordering process and UI. Transcripts are one of the premium features we offer and it is the cornerstone for our business model. Till now we had been offering the service for free. But starting today, we have changed our policy to offer only the first transcript for free. For subsequent orders, an advance payment is required. The payments can be made from PayPal as of now.

Ordering Process:

Here’s how the new process works (click on the images to see a larger version).

Once the uploaded file is screened by our system you will get a notification and a link. The link will lead you to the transcripts page. Its a new page and a new menu item.

Click on the ‘Order’ button to place an order. The system will detect if its your first transcript order and offer it for free.

In case this is not the first transcript order then the price will be mentioned and clicking the ‘Order’ button will lead you to the PayPal gateway. Once the order is done, it will provide a confirmation.

If you want to check your transcripts any time then click on the ‘Transcripts’ page on the menu. It will show all the ordered transcripts and the files for which it can be ordered.

Policy Changes:

Only the first transcript will be offered for free and the subsequent ones will be charged on a per line basis. The cost per line is 7 cents. The payment has to be made in advance and the transcript will be delivered within 18 hours after we receive the payment.

We have also relaxed the minimum duration criteria for screening of call records. Now all call records more than 1 MB are screened by our system.

Whats Next:

Ability to view the transcripts, download it, search through it, share it with others etc. If you have any suggestions please send them across.

Important Note:

If you have ordered transcripts in the recent few days then it probably has gone into a black hole due to the changes that were being done. We’d request you to place the transcript order once again. We’ll be mailing you individually as well regarding this.

Please let us know what do you think of these changes. Is this interface simple enough? Is the policy okay? Price high, low? We’d be glad to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks.

Recording Skype Calls

So how do record Skype calls? Here’s how you do it with Call Graph.

Installation:

The first thing that you have to do is to download and install Call Graph client. Get it from here. Its completely free and certified by CNET. So you can be assured that it will not install any spyware/adware/crapware on your PC. What’s more, its completely free.

Save the installer to a directory and double click to run it. The installation wizard will start off, agree to the license and then click on ‘Next’ till it finishes. If you want you can modify the options during the installation. Here’s a screenshot of the installer.

Configuration:

After installation Call Graph icons should turn up on your Start Menu. Run it from there. The first time it runs, it might ask you to choose a directory where the Call Records are stored. It tries to guess but if it cannot, it just prompts. Once that is done, the Call Graph icon will appear on your task bar. Hover your cursor over the icon and it will show you the status.

The first status it will show will be “Waiting for Skype connection…”. All Skype plugins have to be authorized by the user before they can connect to Skype. So Skype will display a dialog asking you to Authorize it. Once you click OK on that, its ready to record. Hover your cursor again and it should show “Connected to Skype. Ready to record…”. Here’s a screenhost of the Skype authorization dialog.

If you do not get the Skype dialog asking you to authorize then, you have to authorize the plugin manually. Go to the Skype ‘Tools’ menu, choose ‘Options’ and click on the last item ‘Advanced’ on the left hand navigation bar. Look for a link called “Manage other programs access to Skype”. Click on that and explictly give permission to Call Graph.

Recording:

At this stage you are all set to record. To check, right click on the Call Graph task bar icon and select ‘Start Recording’. You should get a notification saying that no calls are in progress. So go ahead and make a call. If you do not have anyone to call then call up echo123 (Skype’s test call service). As soon as the call is connected, you should get another recording saying that the call recording has started.

When the call ends, Call Graph will again notify you that the recording has been completed and the filename where it has been saved. Click on that link of the notification and you will be able to see your call record now. To play it back, just click on it. Your default mp3 player will be launched and you can listen to you recording.

Each of the calls that you record will end up on your search dialog. To open the dialog anytime, double click on the Call Graph task bar icon. At the bottom of each call you will see options to manage the call record. You can either rename it, edit the tags and delete the file.

Tagging and Search:

By default all your calls are tagged with the name of your contact. So the ‘Echo Skype Test Call’ should have been marked with echo, skype, test and call tags. You can can add as many tags as you want to it. And then search with your tags. Type ‘echo’ in the text box on the top of the search dialog and press enter. You should see the Skype Test call record as a result.

To list all the calls from a specific contact, just type in the name and you should see it listed in reverse chronological order. The tagging and search feature has been designed to help you locate a call record that was made some time back. It takes away the pain of managing individual files in a folder. If you want you can still open your call record folder and play the call record manually.

Options:

You can configure Call Graph to record call automatically or manually.  The setting is in configuration dialog, ‘Automatically record Skype calls’ check box. If this option is enabled then recording will be started automatically for all your calls. If not, then you’ll get a notification when a call is made or received. You can choose to start recording from that notification.

You can also set the ‘Auto Update’ feature on or off. We don’t recommend turning the feature off since we are still in beta phase and release updates at regular intervals. Usually once a week.

You can also change the recording parameters. We support mp3 and wav encoding formats. For mp3 recording we support various bit rates and sampling rates. The default setting is 80kbps bit rate at 16 kHz sampling rate. Its good enough to record voice calls.

What else?

Nothing. That’s it. It’s that simple to record Skype calls. Download, install and authorize. You dont have to pay anything or hack to record a Skype call anymore. Try it out now. If you face any issues, we are always eager to help out. Get in touch with us here.