Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Transcription City Makes Their First Instructional Video

Guest post by Transcription City, specialist transcription services

As most transcriptionists know, NCH Software makes some pretty awesome dictation and transcription software. Most of our transcriptionists use Express Scribe for their transcription work, and it is the programme I always recommend when anyone asks for advice on transcription software because of its simplicity and ease of use with pretty much any audio or video file. At the office, I also use Switch audio file converter from time to time, usually because somebody has sent me a file in an unusual audio or video format. I also use Switch to compress large files, which can save so much time when a transcriptionist needs to download a file for quick turnaround. In my opinion, NCH make some of the best software around, so when we decided to make some instructional videos for our clients, NCH VideoPad was our first choice for video editing.

Watch all the Transcription City videos on YouTube at
Transcription City is an up-and-coming company, and we want our clients to be able to get to know us as a trusted and professional brand. This is why we came up with the idea of making a few videos to help our clients to get to grips with our website, as well as learn a few tips on recording a high-quality audio or video file. In theory, it was simple: make an informative video and then post it to YouTube. As Company Director, I felt the responsibility should lie on me to introduce potential clients to our company, but the problem was once the camera was pointed at me, I would instantly forget what I was going to say or burst into fits of laughter due to my embarrassment; after all, I’m no Angelina Jolie! We needed a solution so we could cut out the guff and get our point across to our clients clearly and informatively.

Enter VideoPad. After downloading VideoPad from the NCH website (which took us less than a few minutes) we began editing our video. VideoPad was so user friendly that we had a fully edited video in around half an hour, without even watching the tutorials. We were so impressed with the software because we could easily edit and upload video from any camcorder or even an iPhone. VideoPad will accept any video file and it can easily be uploaded to YouTube or transferred to DVD (great if you have made a lot of home movies). You can easily add music or narration, stabilise a shaky video or add photos and captioning to your film.

I can honestly say that by using NCH VideoPad, we have created professional, informative videos that our clients can really benefit from. Now, if we could just get them to arrange George Clooney to star in our next video...

TranscriptionTranscription City offers specialist transcription services to businesses and individuals around the world. They provide a cost effective way of getting work done quickly and faultlessly for large and small companies alike.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Importance of Parental Control Software

verity parental control softwareThe Internet has become an invaluable asset to us in the last decade. It has expanded our world and allowed us to access information to an extent we never imagined. Schools use the Internet and computers for many aspects of our children’s education, from research to learning games. However, all of this technology presents some common safety issues that parents constantly have to confront as well. Some of the most frequent parental fears are:
  • Children coming into contact with dangerous people. Chat rooms, social media, and instant messaging are all ways that children interact with others. Unfortunately online predators lurk in these areas as well.
  • Web pages with inappropriate content. These can be pornography sites, gambling sites, pages that are violent or promote drugs & alcohol, or include tactics for cheating.
  • Online shopping. Kids might not always realize that it is not okay to use our credit cards to purchase products. Blocking some of these sites can help contain the problem of those unexpected charges on you monthly bill.
  • Exposure to Cyber-bullying. Chat rooms and social networks can allow your children to talk to their friends, but even classmates can have very harmful things to say. Cyber-bullying has become a dangerous and all too common activity.
There are times that we as parents cannot constantly monitor whether or not our children are on the Internet for longer than they should be. If kids are old enough to stay home alone while we finish our workday, it is hard to say whether they really did only spend 30 minutes on the computer, or if they actually spent 2 hours playing or on Facebook instead of working on that English essay.

Verity child monitoring software helps parents take control of these problems. After a quick setup, Verity will begin monitoring whatever you want it to. You can block certain websites by using the domain name or keywords, preventing pages from being opened. This way kids can still do school research without going anywhere they shouldn’t. You can also set up time limits on certain programs or on the computer itself so you know your child is not spending too much time online. You can save screenshots of what your child was doing and looking at to review later, as well as viewing usage and activity reports that show how long your child is on a certain website or using specific programs. You can even have alerts sent to your email so you can check on your child from your smart phone.

Protecting our children in today’s high tech environment can be a daunting task. As fast as technology is moving and progressing, it can be nearly impossible. But with the right tools like good parental control software it becomes much more manageable. As parents, anything we can utilize to keep our kids safe and happy is worth checking out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

F is for FTP

NCH Software ABCs Series

FTP SoftwareFile Transfer Protocol, or FTP, is a very useful and standard way of transferring files over a network or the internet. The most common uses are for a web master or designer uploading files to a server, or designers transferring their large files to a printer, but those are is just two of the possibilities.

Despite our constantly growing computer hard drive capacities and faster internet speeds, transferring large files can still be a challenge because media files have been growing too. FTP was created as a solution to this file transfer and sharing problem, and it has withstood the test of time with few major changes since its first graphical user interface upgrade from command line operations.

NCH Software offers two flavors of FTP programs with distinct designs catering to different transfer management scenarios and/or personal preferences to make sure that you can find a streamlined and easy method to handle your FTP needs:

Classic FTP is just what the name implies. Its design is what those already familiar with FTP or other FTP clients have come to expect—a straight-forward interface where you browse your local computer on one side, and the remote server or machine on the other.

Fling is a different way to think about FTP, where the interface is rarely needed after the initial setup. You set up folders to map to an FTP server, then you can choose to have Fling automatically check for updates for you to keep the files synced, or you can choose to manually upload or transfer files from your local machine, which can be done by simply right-clicking on the file or folder and selecting Fling Upload. Fling does the rest.

So if you are looking for a file backup or transfer solution, an FTP client or FTP software, take a closer look at Classic FTP and Fling to see which one is the perfect fit for your file transferring.

<<< Previous: E is for Easy
Next: G is for Graphics >>>

Friday, February 17, 2012

Announcing NCH PhotoStage School Video Contest

What will computers do when I am 25?
We are excited to announce our first school video contest. We are asking kids to do what they do best, use their imagination and answer this question: "What will computers do when I am 25?" and create a video using PhotoStage Slideshow Software to show us all what the future of technology could be like.

Students K through 12 are invited to participate, with the winning video earning over $10,000 of software for the school's media lab. With PhotoStage, no video camera is required; you can combine photos, computer generated pictures, music, narration and more into a seamless video using dynamic features like panning and zooming to help the images tell a story.

The winner's school will receive $10k worth of NCH Software programs for their computer lab including: PhotoStage slideshow creator, VideoPad video editor, WavePad audio editor, MixPad music mixer and KeyBlaze typing tutor software.

Submissions are due by March 30, 2012. To learn more about the NCH Software PhotoStage Video Contest, go to:

Looking for Inspiration?
Here are three posts that discuss and show off some of the cool things PhotoStage users have done in the past:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NCH at the Heart of Transcript Divas Transcription Services

Guest post by Transcript Divas Transcription Services

NCH Software is at the heart of our business process at Transcript Divas Transcription Services. We use three of their programs to edit, convert and transcribe audio and video dictation files.
express scribe transcription software
NCH Software is key in solving two problems we often have to deal with, even before our typists get to work. Obscure recording formats can be problematic–although Express Scribe handles most common formats, clients do send us files that are difficult to handle, especially large video files. So to save time at the typist's end, we batch-convert these problem files to the smaller and more compatible MP3 audio file format using NCH's Switch File Converter.

The second key difficulty we often encounter is how to deal with poor-quality recordings. A surprisingly large number of interviews take place in noisy cafes, with hissing coffee machines and clunking cups almost drowning out the speech. We also receive poorly-recorded group sessions, where the participants farthest from the microphone are practically inaudible, while the closest voices are deafening. In these situations Transcript Divas employ WavePad sound editor to process recordings before they go out to typists. Functions we find particularly useful are 'normalize,' 'amplify volume,' and 'remove noise or hiss.'

Almost all of our 30 Divas use NCH Software's Express Scribe, which is free–though there's also a paid version, Express Scribe Pro, which has more functionality. Express Scribe's user-friendliness makes it the preferred choice when compared with other transcription software packages, and this is something it shares with all of NCH's programs. As one Diva put it, "I especially like the fact that you don't need to be a technical whiz-kid to use it!" Key features that Divas mention are its ability to handle most common file types, the essential functions of speed adjustment, rewind and fast-forward, and the 'volume boost' for quiet files–which saves typists having to go into WavePad for a small poorly-recorded Express Scribe Pro also plays video files–an ability our 'Video Divas' put to good use. To maximize typing speed, many of our typists also use a foot-pedal.

Another key feature our typists have highlighted is Express Scribe's ability to insert time-coding. This is seen as a real gem by the typists, and can save countless hours of inserting them by hand! For the uninitiated, go to Options → Display–this allows you to set the required combination of hours, minutes and seconds. Once you have chosen, simply go to 'Notes,' 'Insert' and 'Time' each time you need to put in a time code, or press Ctrl+Shift+T to save even more time.

Transcript Divas Transcription Services is a transcription agency with offices in London, New York, Toronto and Sydney.

Monday, February 13, 2012

E is for Easy

NCH Software ABCs Series

We are constantly reviewing our software, not only to add new features, but also to make them easier to use. Can we make something more clear to the user? Would a startup wizard help? Is the help manual easy to understand? Would a video tutorial be helpful? Where are people getting stuck, lost or confused? These are all questions we ask when looking at any of our software programs, trying to find ways to make sure you have the ideal experience with your software.

Quick and Easy SoftwareWe have posted before about how it is our continuing mission to make it possible for you to install and be using our software in 3 minutes or less. That's it. Just three minutes. That really isn't very long and it can go by faster than you think, so it is very important to make things clear, easy and intuitive. So if we haven't completely solved your problem in those three minutes you should at least feel like you are well on your way, and with each new release we are looking for ways to help make that getting-started time frame smaller.

So if you're looking for easy software, try our programs, and if you have ideas on how we can make them easier or better suited for what you want to do, please share your suggestions here.

<<< Previous: D is for Dictation
Next: F is for FTP >>>

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flying High with First Person Video and VideoPad

Guest Post by Scott Turchin

Flying High with First Person Video and VideoPad: RC GoPro video recording planeIn 1986 I was living in a dorm at Washington State University on the eleventh floor that looked over the rolling hills of wheat fields. I daydreamed about flying an RC plane from there, over the hills. The technology just was not there back then.

But today it is, it's called FPV or First Person Video and with the advent of micro technology you can put a camera on an RC plane and fly it and also pack along an HD camera to film some beautiful shots.

After buying the gear and waiting on it to be delivered, I found myself in a quandary. The GoPro recorded in Mp4 format and I had no editor that could handle it. I had used Windows Movie Maker previously, but it lacked a lot of the things that I wanted and it did not work with MP4 files.

After some research I came upon VideoPad Editor and started filming various things just to edit the video and test out VideoPad. I recorded a trip to pick up my brother on Christmas Eve, and did some mixing with that video without any trouble, so I could not wait to get my RC plane into the air.

This past weekend we had some beautiful weather and I got the chance to fly to my heart's content. After coming home and downloading the video, I fired up VideoPad and two hours later I had exactly what I wanted to best represent the day flying.

I've heard of problems people have using the big name brands but I have not had any of those issues with VideoPad, the software just works!

I hope you enjoy my video. Check my YouTube channel for more high flying videos in the future. I plan to go back to Pullman this summer to fulfill that dream of flying over the wheat fields!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

UnZIP, UnRAR and More on a Mac or PC

Zip, UnZIP and UnRAR and more on Mac or PCZip and Rar archive formats might be particularly popular for compressing files on Windows, but that doesn't mean that Mac users shouldn't also be able to open those files. Express Zip is an easy way to open and extract files from many different archive formats, and we recently released it for OS X for the first time. Mac computers are more common than ever, which has helped with file compatibility issues that have been one of the biggest challenges between Macs and PCs. Express Zip joins our range of file converters that all help you open or convert file formats that might otherwise leave you helpless, making sure you never have a file you cannot open whether you're on a Mac or a PC.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Do More with Audio - Blog Carnival February 6, 2012

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

Stephanie presents The Use Of Silence In Audio Recordings posted at Vox Daily. Silence can be perceived as either friend or foe depending on its application and use of timing. Know how long it takes to go from a moments of golden silence to an awkward silence so you can use silence effectively in your audio recordings.

Rick Goetz presents How to Build a Music Career with Technology posted at Musician Coaching. Interview with Todd Tate, a consultant who manages web and social media strategy for musicians ranging from emerging artists to Grammy winners, as well as being a musician himself. Todd talks about how he got involved in music and technology and gives advice for artists who want to gain more visibility online.

Brian Li presents Streamlining and Simplifying Your Audio Interface Setup; The Perfect Live Rig posted at Meaningful Ramblings, saying, "Read about the perfect studio and live keyboard rig!"

Hudson Horizons presents Local New Jersey Church Creates Online World Choir posted at Hudson Horizons Blogs, saying, "Liquid Church is one of New Jersey’s fastest growing Christian churches with campuses in Northern New Jersey and online. All around the world people are celebrating, and thanks to the Internet and one church’s mission to unite the musically inclined, they can celebrate together through song."

Mind Box presents SXSW Film Festival 2012 posted at Austin Video Production, saying, "There is a two step online system that lets the SXSW community to be heard in film, interactive programming and music related conferences for this year."

Stephanie presents The Endangered Sounds List posted at Vox Daily. Just as there are animals that have become endangered, with many species having suffered extinction, older technologies can also fall to the wayside when newer, faster tools come along. As these technologies disappear from use, so can the sounds those technologies made. Should we be sampling these sounds that may disappear from from the literally or figurative wild?

That concludes this edition of Do More with Audio. If you have an audio story to share or advice, tips or tricks to share, we hope you will submit your audio posts and articles to the next edition.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

D is for Dictation

NCH Software ABCs Series

D is for Dictation SoftwareDictation is still a reality in many industries. While automatic voice-to-text applications may be on the rise, and can be wonderful for the casual user, in professions like medicine and law, a mis-translated term or phrase is a costly error. In the past we have talked to professionals who have benefited from the streamlined efficiency of a digital dictation process for getting their medical reports, correspondence or case notes documented. We aim to provide a wide range of solutions to fit anyone that needs to record dictations. These flexible options allow recordings to be made from anywhere then sent off for transcription instantly, saving you time.

NCH Dictation Solutions include:

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Next: E is for Easy >>>
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