Monday, February 28, 2011

Add Text to Videos

Every now and then, you might find the ocassion to add text to your video. There are only certain times you'll want to add text—afterall, a video should speak for itself—but text can appear as titles, subtitles, captions, overlays, as credits, or a watermark on your video. Adding text is easy to do, you just need a user-friendly video editor like VideoPad Video Editing Software.

Part One: captions, title screens and credits
Text can be added to your videos as captions to describe scenes or to provide commentary to the current action. You can also insert a title screen at the beginning of your movie, and credits at the end.

To add a caption or overlay text to any clip, first select the clip in the sequence, then click the green plus button on the Overlay Track. Make sure the Text option is selected, then type the text for the clip in the text field and click Add when you are done. The text will be added at the 'In Point' position, and you'll see a 3-second-long box added to the Overlay Track on the sequence. You can move this box anywhere in the movie along the overlay track, and you can change its duration by dragging out the left and right edges of the box. Select the text overlay to view it in the Clip Preview panel, where you can change the size, opacity, font, color, and more, as shown below.

Creating a title screen is very similar, but first you have to add a blank clip to the movie. Click the 'Insert Blank' icon in the toolbar and choose to add the clip to the beginning of the movie. Next, add a new overlay by clicking the green plus sign on the Overlay Track and type the title into the text field. Select the overlay on the sequence to view it in the Clip Preview panel, where you can position the text in the middle of the screen using the Alignment buttons, and adjust the size using the Size Slider.

To add text credits at the end, add another blank clip to the end of your movie. Create a new Text overlay by clicking the plus sign on the Overlay Track. Then type the credits into the text box, placing each name on its own line, and click OK when you are done. Select the text overlay on the sequence to make it appear in the Clip Preview panel. From the panel, select Bottom to Top from the Scroll drop menu. Preview the credits. If they go by too quickly, increase the duration of the text overlay. If they stop in the middle, you need to increase the duration of the blank clip so the credits have enough time to scroll off the page.

For visual demonstrations of all the text-tips discussed in this blog, you can view the video tutorial VideoPad Video Editor Tutorial - Part 2 and watch the beginning sections on working with text. Part two will talk about working with subtitles in VideoPad.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Express Scribe Transcription Using Voice Recognition

We stumbled upon a great article this week by Ryan Dube on teaching readers how to use Express Scribe with voice recognition to optimize dictation.

transcribe audio to text In order to use this feature, you'll need to begin by turning speech recognition on both in Express Scribe and in your PC's control panel. To do this, begin by clicking on the Ease of Access button in your control panel and then select Speech Recognition. From there you can start the speech recognition engine and begin to familiarize your computer with your voice. Note that it can take time to train your computer to the ranges and pitches in your voice, so you may need to do this multiple times, being sure to speak clearly.

After that, open up Express Scribe and go to the Options menu and click on the Speech to Text tab. The default speech profile should show up in the drop-down menu, select this and click the Add button to begin using it.

To make a live recording, plug in your microphone and click Dock and choose the Audio Cable option. There will be a screen that appears titled Dock (Audio Cable). This shows you your microphone's audio levels – you can now begin dictating.

You can also do the same thing with a recording of your voice. Just follow the same steps, but instead of connecting your microphone you'll connect your recording device to the microphone input.

Learn more about Express Scribe Transcription Software and our other Dictation software. You can also check out Dube's full article How To Use Voice To Text Dictation With Express Scribe and we'll keep our eyes open for more new and interesting ways to our software to share with you in the future.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Web Designers: Why You Don’t Need DreamWeaver

web design without dreamweaver DreamWeaver is supposed to be a one-stop shop for web design. The package offer is very tempting to the beginning web designer in search of web-design training wheels, or even the small business owner who is comfortable working with HTML but needs help with everything else. But unless you can get DreamWeaver as part of a larger Adobe Suite, buying it alone is hardly worth it. Here, we break down the stages of designing a basic website and show how to avoid paying hundreds of dollars for something you really don’t need.

Concept Design
Obviously, the first place to start is with a paper and pencil. If you’re putting a site together for a client, ask as many questions about their design aesthetic as you can think of. If the site is for you or your business, make sure you cover all the functionality you need. Jot down the structure of the website as a chart or on separate pages. Plan everything out before you go to the computer.
Cost of Concept Design: $0

Graphic Layout
Not only is it nice to see what the site will look like before you do all the hard work, but a good digital mockup of your site will be easy to slice up for the images you’ll put in the code. Many designers use PhotoShop, but if your site doesn’t need to do back-flips and speak Martian, you can easily get away with using a more basic image editor.

PhotoPad Image Editor allows you to work with digital pictures, resize, and edit as you need for your website, then save in a web-friendly format. You can also add text and get a good feel for the layout you’ll be building into the site.
Cost of Graphic Layout: $0

To the Trenches: the Text Editor
This is where I geek out, so there’s no way I want a program that is going to do the coding for me! And the sooner you can wean yourself off the idea that web design can happen like any WYSIWYG word processor, the better. Plain and simple, you will have to know HTML and CSS to build a website. Once you’re comfortable with these two peas in a pod, any text editor will do. You want a fancy one, you say? Sure! Get one that color codes your tags for easy readability. Go big, but be sure to go free. There are several free, quality text editors out there that are more than qualified for this job.
Cost of Text Editor: $0

Test, Test, Test
Testing is a matter of opening your .html files in a browser and making sure they don’t look funny. And last time I checked, browser downloads are free.
Cost of Browsers for Testing: $0

FTP to Your Web Host
Your website is ready for the big time, finally! But how to get it off your local machine, and out into the World Wide Web? FTP, of course. You’ll do yourself a favor to find one that is easy to use, reliable, and can guide you through the initial setup with your web host.

Classic FTP is all of these. It has an intuitive interface that doesn’t get in the way of the functionality, and it stores your connection settings so that making updates to your site later on is absolutely painless.
Cost of FTP Software: about $45

There you have it. Web design without DreamWeaver, for a highly reasonable price. Try it. You’ll probably like saving money and getting just as much accomplished in the meantime.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Getting Started With Music Transcription

TwelveKeys Music Transcription Software is a unique tool for musicians who want to learn how to play a piece of recorded music without the sheet music. If you recorded a piece of music and want to turn it into a personal composition or improvisation, you can use TwelveKeys to pick out the notes, along with Crescendo Music Notation Software to write your transcription out. Or maybe there is song you've been listening to on your iPod that you would love to learn how to play on the piano, guitar or any other instrument. You can use TwelveKeys to create a visual representation of the notes in that song, pick out the notes using the TwelveKeys keyboard, and slow the music down and loop the phrases you want to learn while you play along.

Transcribing music can be a great way to both learn songs and improve your ear. Download TwelveKeys to help you learn your next song, and watch the tutorial below for tips and tricks to make your transcription process faster and more accurate.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ToneGen your way to the Center of the Universe

What if I told you that Tone Generator Software could cure cancer or could attribute itself to miracles? Not a bold enough statement? What if I told you that it could elevate human kind to the highest levels of human consciousness and understanding and perhaps save the planet?

The 528 Hz frequency, also known as the Solfeggio or love frequency, is associated with everything from DNA repair to miracles. Found especially within new age belief circles, proponents of the theory claim that the entire universe is constructed through a musical, mathematical matrix composed of nine core creative frequencies. According to the belief, the Solfeggio frequency is the key component of this matrix and the frequency can be found in everything from sunlight to oxygen and all manners of human interaction from laughing to yawning. It is also sometimes called the love frequency, a frequency that can help human beings achieve a higher level of consciousness, purpose and ultimately, world peace.

It might sound crazy and if you’ve never heard of the 528 Hz anomaly before, you’re probably not alone...but that doesn’t mean you’re not subliminally aware. Many believers contend that people are aware of this frequency at a purely subconscious level, as it resonates outward from people as joy. By shutting out negative frequencies (such as A440 Hz) and embracing the positive, one can achieve a deeper understanding of self and live a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life, existing as one with the center of the universe.

Ready to achieve a higher level of purpose? If so, ToneGen can help you get started. It’s free to try and easy to use, so set the frequency to 528 Hz, light a candle and meditate your way to the center of the universe.

If you'd like to learn more about the Solfeggio frequency, here's a good place to start.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New: iPad Pocket WavePad HD Audio Editing App

One more way to easily record and edit music, voice, and other audio on the go.

Pocket WavePad iPhone app and iPad appWe are excited to announce the new iPad version of the NCH Software favorite, WavePad Audio Editor is now available for download from the Apple iTunes App Store. The iPhone Pocket WavePad App was released in October 2010, and since then we have had a lot of positive feedback on the free audio editing app. The release of the iPhone app prompted requests for an iPad version to make use of the larger screen, and to make precise audio selection and editing easier for iPad users—a request we are happy to now fulfill.

The iPad Pocket WavePad HD Audio Editor provides a remarkably easy way to record and edit audio, voice and other sound recordings while on the go. Normalize audio levels, apply audio effects, and reduce background noise. Recordings can be sent by email, ftp upload, or iTunes file sharing from Pocket WavePad for you to share, use, or even broadcast later.

Pocket WavePad the ideal solution for professionals such as journalists, scientists, and other audio enthusiasts on the go. It also makes significant strides in mobile audio editing, as WavePad user and audio aficionado Andrew Wardell said, "The very tactile method of manipulating audio in this app, combined with the amount and quality of features NCH has packed in has made iOS a serious competitor in the mobile audio editing space."

Users of Pocket WavePad should also try more of the NCH Software Audio Essentials Suite, as well the other NCH Software iPhone apps.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Key to Success: Touch Typing

Knowing how to touch type is a basic necessity for children growing up in the information age. It is no longer practical for children to go through high school, let alone college, using the "hunt and peck" method of typing. It's important for children to learn how to touch type at a young age before bad habits become engrained.

Benefits of touch typing
KeyBlaze Typing Tutor SoftwareThe benefits of knowing how to touch type include being able to edit on the fly, transcribe from a written document or from word of mouth, and increased typing speed. Knowing how to touch type can more than double your typed words-per-minute speed, going from an average of 30 wpm to upwards of 80 wpm. Imagine how much faster homework and other typing activities can be done just by having better typing skills.

Even though typing is so important, touch typing isn't always taught in schools simply because there just isn't enough time to squeeze it into the curriculum. Other times, even when typing is taught, it is taught after children have adopted the "hunt and peck" method, a habit that dies hard.

When should you learn how to touch type?
Most schools begin to teach typing skills during the 4th grade, but kids today are exposed to computers younger and younger ages. With this trend continuing, learning to touch type at early age is becoming more important than ever before, and more parents looking into typing tutor software to teach their kids how to type at home.

Learning to type is essential for all kids growing up today, but it can also be beneficial to adults as well. If parents become interested in touch typing, children are more likely to be interested. Additionally, adults who work to develop their typing skills can expect to see improved work productivity, and potentially more job opportunities.

More resources and information information on learning to touch type:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Do More with Audio - Blog Carnival February 7, 2011

Here are this edition's entries to Do More with Audio:

Bobby Owsinski presents Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture Production Blog: 5 Steps To Prep For Mixing posted at Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture Production Blog.

Katie Tellefson presents 40 Blogs for the Cajun Enthusiast posted at Accredited MBA, saying, "With Cajun culture and history comes amazing music and even more amazing food. It isn’t every day that you get to nosh on gumbo or dance to the sounds of a fast-paced accordion, but with these Cajun enthusiast blogs, you’ll gain a better understanding of the culture and appreciate its quirks."

Steve Guttenberg presents Does lossless audio guarantee good sound? posted at The Audiophiliac.

Nathan Madsen presents Tips for Creating Audio for the iPhone posted at The Sonic Spread.

You might also be interested in:That concludes this edition of "Do more with audio." Be sure to Submit your audio article, story or success to the next edition.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mix Up Your Valentine's With A Sweet Gift

Make A Mixed CD For Your ValentineValentine’s Day is a day for love but it can also be a day of great stress. Finding just the right gift for the one you care about on a tight budget can be mind boggling and quite taxing.

Make this Valentine’s unique by bringing back the puppy love from ’85 and making your sweetie a mixed CD. Fill it with songs from your memories together, or revive your passions with new songs that tell how you feel.

Use Express Burn CD Burning Software to copy your heartfelt songs to disc so your beau can listen in the car or upload your creation to their iTunes. Get crafty and make a CD label with Disketch Disc Label Software to completely customize your one-of-a-kind gift.

Browse more NCH Software to find your own creative gift ideas.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Break Free From The Groundhog Day Typing Tedium

Stop Tedious Typing Tasks Most people are familiar with the movie Groundhog Day where Bill Murray gets trapped living the same day over and over again. While it is a funny film, I can't help but sympathize with his frustration and how hard he tries to break out of the routine and tedium of living the same thing over and over again. One thing I like about my job is that every day is different. It is nice to have different things to do to help keep things fresh, but even more dynamic jobs can have a hint of a repetitive undercurrent. On the bright side, using FastFox text expansion software helps reduce some of the monotony by helping you get through some of those tasks faster. By saving frequently used text such as answers to common questions, descriptions of the company or various products, or even phrases that you are bound to misspell or waste time correcting, you’ll get on to the next challenge quicker. And since Punxsutawney Phil forecast an early spring, using FastFox shorthand software also means you’ll get to enjoy spring sooner.
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