Tips On Recording Narration On Your Own

Image by Todd http://bit.ly/1KWYxUq
Image by Todd http://bit.ly/1KWYxUq

In current day and age, you really do not have to be an engineer to be able to record anything. However, if you do plan on DIY a recording project for a narration, make sure that you stick to some of these handy tips to record high quality audios.

Place Your Microphone at the Right Distance from Yourself

People who place the mic to close to their mouths are only making things worse; the resulting audio recording is a clipping sound with distortions. In the same way, if the mic is too far away, the recording picks up on less comprehendible ambient noises.

The ideal distance is between 6 to 12 inches from the narrator; here you will easily get a clear, crisp voice.

Record A Demo First

A demo is very important for you to test not just how you sound but whether all the equipment are working as you expect. It is frustrating when you find that you are through the entire narration and something had been wrong which you over looked. So save yourself time and effort with a quick demo.

Listen To The Playback With Headphones

Listening to the resulting audio file in an isolated manner is the best way to find any minor problems. If you use speakers, you may not be able to tell which sound is part of the audio file and not from your real life surroundings.

Stick to Simply The Audio

If you are recording your audio file with the help of some e-learning app or software, you may be prompted syncing animations with the audio that you record. It is easy to get distracted trying to time the narration exactly with the ongoing animation. This is something that can easily be noted by the audience. Therefore, it is very important that you prioritize your recording over the animations and capture the best narration possible without having to time the animations.

Make Your Script Easy To Understand

Make sure that you practice reading the script more than once and try to make the tone conversational. If you are stumbling over words incorporated in the script, it is best that you replace them with easier words.

Record While Standing

When you record while standing, you are better able to breathe and are more energized in delivering the lines. If you must sit, do not slouch and make sure your chin is sticking out.

Have Liquids Available Around You

You will need to keep your vocal chords hydrated, so make sure that you have water or mild tea near you when you are recording. Your narration can be as long as you want. However, make sure that you avoid carbonated beverages, dairy products, and coffee for this purpose.

Useful Tools for Bloggers And Content Writers

Blogger
Image by Thomas Lefebvre http://bit.ly/1UXS2nu

If you are a blogger or content writer for several blogs and platforms, you know your content management systems by hard. Typo3, WordPress, Blogspot, you got that down. SEO and keyword optimization shouldn’t be a problem for you either. You know how to create your content and blog articles according to your, your readers, or your client’s standards.

However, there may be the one or other tool or helpful gadget you are still missing out on. Writing blog articles is more than just creating text and adding one or two nice pictures (and even finding those can be pretty hard). Make the very best of your content by adding more value, visuals, or fun gimmicks.

To enable you to make the acquaintance of some helpful tools, we have set up the following list with screenshots and description of several handy tools and web services for your blogger needs.

Blog Systems

This is essential. If you are an ambitious blogger already, you already found the blog system of your choice. For those that want to start, we have gathered three well-known and versatile platforms that are not only suitable for beginners.

1. Blogger

Blogger

Blogger is the blog system under the big umbrella that is Google. To create a blog on blogger, all you need is a Google account. If you have one already, you can already set up your blog using one of the many customizable layouts presented by Google.

As everything that is operated by Google, you can promote your blog easily on various channels, and the management of the blog itself is very easy and straightforward. If you want to give your first blog a try – and if you have a Google account anyway – Blogger is a quick and easy way to start.

2. Worpress

Wordpress

Contrary to Blogger, WordPress is a CMS not only used for private blogs, but to create company blogs and even websites as well. As a ‘beginner’ you can choose and customize either one of the default WordPress themes, or you can download and install a free theme from the huge community WordPress has.

Additionally to a very easy and intuitive blogging system, WordPress also provides many widgets and plugins you can install and use for your blogs. They range from SEO Tools to picture optimization, from spam protection to your own personal ‘hiatus’ page.

If you want to dive into blogging and website creation even more professionally, you can change to the paid version of WordPress as well. This version leaves way more room for customization of the layout, CSS, and HTML. Many website hosts provide WordPress as a standard CMS as well.

3. Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr combines having your own blog with the social networking idea. While you do have your own blog with a personalized layout (many Tumblr users offer amazing and free layouts on their pages, just try the search option), the Tumblr dashboard itself works as a constantly refreshing array of posts. Creating different kinds of posts yourself is easy, whether you want to upload a link, text, video, song, or picture set. The posts appear on your blog as well as on the dashboard of your “followers”. Furthermore, you can reblog other people’s posts or answer the. They appear on your blog as well.

If you do not look for a more fun platform with a big and lively community to share your thoughts and interests with, Tumblr is your place to go.

Image Resources

You are in need of a beautiful picture to underline your blog post content, but you can not take or create one yourself? Then check out these websites that provide free stock photos and images for you to use.

1. Flickr

Flickr

One of the largest image resource pages on the web surely already heard of is flickr. On flickr, people upload graphics and drawings, but mainly photographs. You will most likely find pages worth of images to every topic imaginable.

However, when using the images, do not forget to give proper credit. Many images are are copyright protected, but if you use the search filters to browse for images you may not only be allowed to use but even alter, you will still find many appealing images for your purpose.

2. Pixabay

Pixabay

Choosing from 420.000 pictures, Pixabay may be not as big as the flickr community, however all images you find on this page are free for your usage. Illustrations, vector graphics, as well as photographies can be found here. The usage is for free, however you can buy your favorite artists a coffee to support them.

Don’t be repelled by the first image suggestions though, they refer to the stock image page shutterstock. Underneath, you will find the pictures you can download in various sizes after entering a captcha.

3. Unsplash

Unsplash

The underdog of the three websites presented here is Unsplash. The variety of the photographs displayed is not as big as with the other two, however, Unsplash takes a more artistic touch to the concept. The images are all free to use and especially appealing for social media websites like Pinterest or a generally more ‘romantic’ and visually ambitious audience.

Graphic Generators

In an earlier blog entry, we have given you a list of open source image editing programs and web services, that allow you to enhance and edit your pictures without having to install Photoshop. However, there are more visual aids you can add to your blog to not only attract readers, but also generate some additional value.

1. Text Effects & Logos

CoolText

Want to quickly create a logo, banner, or text? Then check out CoolText. On the page, you can choose form different logo styles using different fonts, styles, and even animation. The styles are customizable to a degree, allowing you to change size, color, gradient, shadow, outline, and more!

You can download the logo for free, depending on the style even choosing between various image file formats. PNG and GIF images support transparency.

2. Infographics

easel.ly

Add some extra value to your post by summarizing your findings or ideas in an appealing infographic. And you do not even have to set it together using some image editing software. Easel.ly allows you to choose between existing layouts or a blank canvas. Drag and drop different items like graphics, texts, banners, and backgrounds onto your canvas. Uploading your own graphics and icons is possible too, of course.

3. Comparison Tables

Another great way to add some extra value to your blog post is by adding a comparison chart of the most important facts – if it fits, of course.

CompareNinja

An easy and visually appealing way to do so is registering for a free account at CompareNinja. With your basic account, you can at least create three comparison tables for free. The different layouts let you choose between different styles, fonts, and colors. Adding text and check boxes is easily done with one or two clicks. However, if you use the code provided on your blog entry, at least when using the basic version of CompareNinja, your table will show a banner of the page.

EricsEstimate

A free if and almost equally visually appealing variant is Eric’s Estimate’s Free Comparison Table Generator. Create your tables to your liking, choosing colors and even different icons displayed instead of text, and generate the according HTML and CSS code for your blog post.

4. Word Clouds

WordItOut

Word clouds are still a fun eye catcher. At WordItOut, you can generate your own word clouds. Background color, color, color gradient, font, font size, and many more options can be toggled to create a word cloud that matches your layout design or “mood” of your blog post. After entering your email address, the image containing your word cloud will be sent to you.

5. Animated GIFs

Static images are boring? Then try to generate an animated GIF from a video, clip, or movie. Check out this handy tutorial how to make your own animated GIF for free using Online-Convert.com.

Optimize Your Videos For Vimeo

Vimeo
Image by manseok https://pixabay.com/en/users/manseok-1005494/

Sure, YouTube is the number one video platform out there, but it is by far not the only one! Today, we want to take a closer look at a YouTube “competitor”, namely at Vimeo.

Vimeo is a video platform that allows you to watch and upload videos created by the Vimeo user community. Movies, episodes of series, and sport events are often offered by broadcasters and companies either as Video On Demand or Download for a small fee. Especially the VOD feature makes Vimeo stick our from the mass of other video platforms on the net.

Browser

Which browser should be used to upload videos to Vimeo? While Vimeo is supported by all major browsers, it is advised to use one that allows the usage of the Advanced Uploader. The Advanced Uploader allows for more secure uploading and enables the user to pause and resume uploads should the internet connection fail.

  • Firefox (version 5 or above)
  • Chrome (version 10 or above)
  • Safari (version 6 or above)

Video File Formats, Size, Codecs, and Resolution

Video File Formats

On Vimeo, uploading is not as much a question of file formats, but rather of video codecs used in the specific files. Thus, encoding the video correctly is more important than choosing the “correct” file type. However, the service supports all major video file extensions like:

  • 3GPP
  • AVI
  • FLV
  • MPEG4
  • MOV
  • WebM
  • WMV

Video File Size

If you are using a Vimeo Basic account, you can upload videos up to a size of 500MB per week (not per video!). Vimeo Plus members can upload videos up to 5GB per week, while members with a Vimeo PRO account have a limi of 20GB per week.

Every seven days, the upload space is refreshed and you can upload according to your quota again.

Video Resolution

Depending on the Vimeo account you have, you can watch and upload videos in HD. Thus, the by default down-scalled videos of 720p can be also watched in 1080p. The following settings have to be met to display the videos in the according resolution:

  • 1080p
    • Width: at least 1824px, OR
    • Height: at least 1026px
  • 720p
    • Width: at least 684px, OR
    • Height: at least 513px
  • SD
    • All videos

Vimeo is also currently working of making the streaming of 2K and 4K videos available. Currently, however, uploading 2K and 4K videos is possible for Vimeo Pro members. To display the videos, they will be down-scaled to 720p or 1080p, however they can be offered for download in 4K quality. The same applies to the Video On Demand (VOD) feature.

Furthermore, deinterlacing videos before uploading them to Vimeo is advised. As is resizing them to 1280×720.

Video Codec

Most of the major video codecs are supported by Vimeo, however using the High Profile H.264 codec is the site’s very own recommendation, as videos using this codec produce the best results. As for audio, the Vimeo team recommends using the AAC-LC codec.

Codecs that are not supported by Vimeo are: G2M2, G2M3, Canopus HQ,  and Apple Intermediate Codec

More details about bit rate, frame rate, compression, etc. can be found in Vimeo’s Compression Guidelines.

Optimize your Video

Optimizing your videos to upload them according to the Vimeo standards and guidelines isn’t difficult at all. All you need is a properly encoded video and a trustworthy and reliable online video converter.

The many different options given allow you to optimize your video according to the compression guidelines when it comes to bit and frame rate, and screen size. Furthermore, you can cut videos that are too long, or change the audio or video quality to reduce the file size.

Video Options

Lossless File Formats

Image by Groume http://bit.ly/1J5ORGH
Image by Groume http://bit.ly/1J5ORGH

It does not matter if you are making use of music, images, or plain video files; everyone needs to understand what various types of formats are and how to use them. By this we mean, by using the right format, you can retain a file’s audio and visual quality without making it too big in size.

Many people prefer to make use of lossless music files. Lossless are the files that reproduce exactly what you have on CD without any loss in quality. It can also offer its users high resolution with sample rates superior to that of CD.

One of the major benefits of lossless files is that when it is decompressed, it becomes a replica of digital downloads or CD. Once you rip a CD to lossless and play it back on any software you desire the file will be converted into the exact same digital stream as was on the original CD.

What Is the Difference between Lossy and Lossless Formats

RAW format is what we refer to as Lossless format because it preserves the file’s original data. While you may call JPEG lossy format as some data is always lost when we covert it to JPEG format. Here are some more examples of the lossy and lossless formats.

  • Images in GIF and JPEG formats are lossy, while PNG, BMP and Raw are lossless formats for images.
  • Audio files in OGG, MP4 and MP3 are lossy formats, while files in ALAC, FLAC and WAV are all lossless.

Some lossless formats also offer compression. For instance, WAV is entirely uncompressed but takes up a lot of space. ALAC and FLAC are lossless audio files that have the same data as the WAV file. These files use a type of compression to make smaller sized files. These two formats also retain all the data while compressing. But these are still bigger than the MP3 files. MP3 files omit a lot of data.

Should Lossy Be Converted To Lossless

Now it makes sense that we only right the digital wrongs, and convert back all our lossy audio files back to lossless, but unfortunately, it does not work that way. When you rip from an audio CD to an MP3 file, which is a lossy format, you lose a lot of data. Now when you convert it to, say, a lossless format like FLAC, you are only getting a bigger sized file and none of the data is lost. The new audio file will be just as good as the MP3 file is.

Now it is also a bad idea to convert lossy files into other types of lossy files. More data is thrown away. It is like taking a photocopy of a photocopy, as none of the copies are as good as the original.

But if you plan on converting the lossless formats to lossy directly, then that could work well for you. If you rip an audio CD to FLAC, you will end up with a file that is just as good as the CD.

How To Convert PDF To Word

PDF to WordOn the section of Online-Convert.com that holds all our document converters, you can find many tools to convert your text files into different formats. No matter whether you are using Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, or another word processing program, on Document.Online-Convert.com you can convert files to DOCX, ODT, RTF, PDF, and more.

There are many reasons for why you may want to convert your documents to one of the available formats. We have already talked about some of the conversions you may want to conduct:

However, today’s article and the attached video tutorial will tell you why you may want to convert PDF documents into a Microsoft Word file.

Online PDF To Word Converter

The PDF to Word conversion is a good way to extract text from a static and non-editable document for further usage. Text passages can be copied from PDF documents that were based upon text documents (contrary to scanned images), however, formatting is oftentimes lost, and longer PDFs can become a nuisance to copy page by page or even paragraph by paragraph.

Converting the whole file into an editable Word document is the more elegant, faster, and less unnerving solution. All you have to do is to choose the Word document converter you need. While computers with older versions of Windows and the according Windows Office suite, may still require to convert to the DOC format, newer versions often choose DOCX instead.

DOCXThe DOCX format succeeded the older Word format. Unlike DOC, DOCX files can be opened more easily in other programs than Microsoft Words, which makes spreading and sending them easier and more approachable. It also manifests the Microsoft Office Open XML standard.
More information about the difference between DOC and DOCX can be found in this article.

PDF to Word only for unprotected PDF files

PDFThis kind of conversion works well with unprotected PDF files. Oftentimes, PDF files are former Word or OpenOffice documents that were saved in the PDF format for better handling and formatting reasons. Such files can easily be converted “back” into the Word formats DOC or DOCX. If the PDF in question contains images, they are imported into the Word document as normal document images. It may be that the formatting needs a bit of adjustment after the conversion though, but the major formatting will remain the same as in the PDF.

Unfortunately, DRM protected PDF files can not be converted. The DRM protection method prevents the conversion process from taking place. If you are the owner of the protected PDF file, make sure to remove the protection before converting your PDF into Word.

However, depending on the complexity of your PDF, it can always happen that formatting errors or other minor problems occur during the conversion.

Different source formats for conversion to Word

Of course the conversion to Word is not limited to PDF files as the source file format only. PDF conversion to Word makes documents editable again, but it can also come in handy when someone sent you a file Microsoft can’t open without producing errors (either in formatting or displaying a list of nonsense symbols). The open standard format ODT as well as Word Perfect’s WPD files can be converted into DOC or DOCX with a few clicks.

When it comes to PDF to Word conversion, however, it’s advised to use the DOC file format instead of the newer, XML supporting DOCX.

Let us show you how easy it really is!

How Do You Convert PDF To Word

This short video tutorial shows you how to convert from PDF to Doc. Underneath, you will also find a quick how-to in written form. The best about it all? The PDF to Word converter is part of the free features of online-convert.com!

Go to Online-Convert.com and choose the DOC or DOCX converter from the list of document converters. These are the common Microsoft Office text document formats. Of course you can also convert it to the open standard format ODT, if you are using LibreOffice or OpenOffice instead.

PDF to Word

Click on “Choose File” if you have the PDf stored on your hard drive. As an alternative, you can enter the URL of a PDF that is saved on the internet, or upload a PDF document from your Dropbox.

Click on “Convert File”. The conversion process starts now. Depending on how big your file is, this may take a few seconds.

PDF to Word

The successfully converted Word document will be stored on your hard drive in the usual folder for downloaded items. However, you can also choose to upload the file to your Dropbox or Google Drive.

PDF to Word

If you open the DOCX file now alongside with the PDF, you will see that there is almost no difference between the two documents.

However, since DOC is a “discontinued” file format, it may happen that formatting errors occur in the text, or that the alignment of pictures can change. However, that’s the good thing about converting to DOC: you can easily make these minor adjustments in Word! Anyways, the most important thing is the correct transfer of the text content of the file.

PDF to DOC


Icons from Treetog ArtWork on iconarchive.com

 

Song Conversion 101

Image by Todd http://bit.ly/1Sa99jJ
Image by Todd http://bit.ly/1Sa99jJ

You may think that there is not much to converting an audio file that you downloaded from iTunes. It is true that it’s simple, but did anyone ever tell you the mechanics behind it all. Here is how you can convert a song from iTunes to a different file format and keep a copy of the original intact.

When you are converting files from a compressed format to an uncompressed one, for example converting an MP3 file to an AIFF one, the sound quality will remain the same. But if you are converting between two compressed files, then you will easily notice the sound quality has gone down.

Now the solution to this is that for best results, you might want to import the original audio file using a different encoding method.

To convert the format, you need to follow the steps given below:

  1. Go to iTunes Preferences. If you are using Windows, you might have to select edit first and then click on Preferences.
  2. Click on the General button and then select Importing Settings.
  3. From here, you will see the Import Using menu as a pop up. Choose the encoding format you desire and click OK.
  4. Next, choose the songs from your library and move on to File and from there Create New Version. The menu will show options for: MP3, AAC, AIFF, WAV and Apple Lossless.

If there are some songs that you have not imported to iTunes yet, you can do that now, and after that convert them then and there. Based on your preferences, a converted copy will be made of the file in the iTunes library. If you want to convert all the songs in the library then hold the Option key if you are using Mac or the Shift key if you are using Windows, and select File, then Create New Version, and then click on Convert. The Import preference setting will easily match what you chose in step number 3.

iTunes will automatically ask you for the location of the folder you want to import and have it converted. And viola all the songs will be converted just like that.

Compressed Data

When you are converting a song, some of the data can be lost because of the way some formats compress it. Because of this reason, sometimes the formats are called ‘lossy’ formats. There is a benefit of using such formats; the file sizes are always a lot smaller which means you can always store a lot more songs in the same amount of disk space. The downside of this is that the sound quality will not be what you expect it to be, that is the quality you heard from the compressed file. That being said, if you are using a really good pair of headphones or speakers, you might not be able to tell the difference at all.

Remember, once you compress a song file, (that is forcefully let go of some of its data) you will not receive that lost data back by uncompressing it.

Online-Convert: It’s That Easy To Use

Easy Usage
Image by stevepb http://bit.ly/1H2Jt6G

Are you the type of person who dreads turning that computer on every day because you are sure it is secretly out to get you? When your fancy new television set beeps, do you worry that an explosion will follow? Do you have to ask your kids for help when you want to check your phone messages?

If this sounds like you, you may think that “converting” files on your computer is way out of your league – and you may wonder why you would ever want to do that, anyway.

What is file conversion?

Technology and the Internet have a way of bringing the world to our doorstep – have you noticed that it is extremely easy to get exactly what you want within seconds of deciding you want it?

However, that doesn’t mean that everyone who uses technology is on the same page. Sometimes the thing you want – video, audio, or a text file – is out there, but it is not in a format that your computer can use.

Online-Convert.com can help. If you can get a hold of that file, we can make it work for you!

Why would I want to “convert” my files?

Let’s say you are working with a new client, and they have sent you a document in a format that your computer doesn’t recognize – you can’t get it to open, and when you finally do it looks like a bunch of nonsense. Instead of calling tech support (or your teenage son or daughter, who you usually call for help), make it easy on yourself by using online file conversion. All you have to do is upload the document to Online-Convert.com, click a button, and we’ll do the rest.

But you can do even more.

If you really want to impress those at work, how about creating a YouTube video of your latest proposal? YouTube is notoriously easy to use – however, when you want to upload music or photos or video to use in your video, it has to be in a specific format.
This used to mean spending hours trying to figure out how to work with the file you want, spending hours searching the Internet for a version you can use, or scrapping the idea altogether.
But not anymore – an online video converter can help. It even lets you apply special effects or enhance images during conversion, so that your video can really impress.

Or maybe you have a file that you would prefer to take home with you, and you wish there was some way to put it on your Kindle or other e-reader. No problem – this is easily taken care of with a few clicks using an eBook converter.

Or perhaps, years ago, you purchased some music online, but it is the wrong format for a device you’ve bought recently. Don’t give up on ever hearing your favorite tunes again, because Online-Convert.com can help you with that, too!

Online-Convert makes you look like a computer expert

You don’t have to have a degree in computer science to use Online-Convert. You don’t even have to pay a fee! Even signing up is optional; however it is for free and provides you with some additional features.

With Online-Convert, it’s like you are suddenly a computer expert. Your kids and colleagues will be impressed.


Tutorials:

 

Windows Phone And Android – What’s The Difference?

Windows Mobile
Image from gail http://bit.ly/1GGr4e3

If you own a smartphone – and even if not – you know the endless discussions about the pros and cons of owning an iPhone or other iOS device compared to any device that runs with Android. However, those are not the only options you have! Next to Blackberry, Windows Phone is an operating system available for a number of mobile phones.

Whether it’s an option for you or not is your very own decision, however we want to point out the differences between Windows Phone and the Android OS, and hopefully this will not only get you some more knowledge, but also helps you in your decision process.

The Difference between Windows Phone and Android

In comparison to the Windows operating system for mobile devices, Android seems rather young. However, in recent years, the Android OS has gained popularity quickly and overshadows the “older” alternative.

Licensing

The most striking difference between the two may be the licensing. While Android is an open source software with a Linux-based core, hardware manufacturers have to pay to use Windows Phone and it’s predecessor Windows Mobile on their manufactured devices. It’s a proprietary software that belongs to Microsoft.

Hardware

The Windows Phone that succeeded the previous versions of Windows Mobile, with Windows Mobile 10 being the newest release that is said to be available later in 2015, is available for a number of mobile phone manufacturers. HTC, LG, Samsung, and Nokia may be the most prominent and well-known here, but partners like Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, and Fujitsu (among others)

Android, as the largest selling operating system for mobile devices, is supported by the most well-known phone manufacturers as well, including HTC, Motorola, LG, Sony (Experia), Samsung, and Google (Nexus). Other companies like Acer, Asus, Huawei, or ZTE support the Android OS as well.

Game and App Development

Due to its “openness” and the code being available openly, Android allows not only manufacturers to create content for Android phones. Developers, whether they do it professionally or as a hobby, can create and develop apps, games, and other kinds of content for their Android phones or tablets. They can be shared in the Google Play store, either for free or for a small fee.

Thus, contrary to the more rigid set of apps and programs available for Windows Phones, Android devices can be easily personalized and offer a wide range of function via different apps available for a broad public. Thus, developers can reach a large number of people to spread their work and knowledge, and users benefit from a large variety.

Updates

Major updates for Android are released by Google approximately every six to nine month. Minor updates and fixes are released much faster.

Before the release of Windows Phone 8, the device running the OS had to be attached to the user’s windows PC to receive an update. By now, Windows Phone supports over-the-air updates as well. Version updates are released every 2 to 6 months.

Created with Compare Ninja

Which Audio File Format Should I Use?

Best Audio Format
Image by Didgeman http://bit.ly/1Hi6Asw

When you’ve been out and about, collecting music from the web, or digitizing your music collection, you have surely found out that there are way more audio formats out there than just MP3 – or Apple iTunes’ AIFF. Usually, it doesn’t matter much in which format you download or save a song or piece of music. But especially when iTunes or Windows Media Player aren’t able to open those files, a fast solution is needed.

Furthermore, with so many file formats for audio files alone out there, which one should you choose when digitizing your collection? Sure, MP3 is the most popular one, but which one is the best for your individual preferences and purpose?

Lossy vs. Lossless Audio Files

In earlier blog articles, we have talked about lossless and lossy audio file types already. In sum, both lossless and lossy describe the quality in which you can save your music files.

Lossless files keep the original audio quality of the medium it was ripped from intact, whether it was a CD or an audio recorder.

Lossless formats include:

WAV, AIFF, FLAC, Apple Lossless ALAC, or APE

 Lossy files compress the audio files to reduce the file size and thus save space on your hard drive. Thus, they are far more common to the casual music listener and collector. Depending on the bitrate, you may not even here a difference between them and a lossless audio file.

The most common lossy file formats include:

MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, and WMA

 Which One To Use?

Putting aside that you have any special needs regarding the file, which file format should you use for either downloading or ripping music from a CD? The most secure way to go is with either MP3 or AAC. Why? Because these formats are the most common, widely spread, and supported by a big variety of media and music players. If you rip your music using a high bitrate for either MP3 or AAC, it will be almost impossible to notice any difference to the source when it comes to audio quality.

However, this is a very easy answer, and every easy answer has it’s tricky part.

The problem with lossy formats like WMA is that, if you want to convert said file later one, e.g. to MP3, the quality of the music will be noticeably reduced. To prevent that, you can either choose a high bitrate before converting your audio file and thus reduce the quality loss, or you use a lossless format! Converting between lossless formats will result in no quality loss at all. Thus, if you plan on archiving your music collection for future usage that may involve converting or professionally using the files, you should go for a lossless format like FLAC or ALAC.

In the end, every format that is widely compatible with a variety of players and devices is the best choice. As long as you do not convert between lossy formats without setting the bitrate, you can enjoy your music in the best quality.

Make Transcribing Easier!

Transcription
Image by mpclemens http://bit.ly/1wHFOS9

In our daily life as well as in our work life, we have to handle a lot of different file types and formats day after day. Depending on how versatile and computer-savvy you are, you will have to deal with audio, video, spreadsheet, and presentations files more frequently than others. And if you have a job that requires you to work with online or other technical issues, you will find yourself face-to-face with unknown and diverse file formats even more. For example: when you do transcriptions!

Transcribing as a Business

Simply put, transcription services offer the conversion of speech into written text. They are quite often used and necessary when  you held a speech, broadcast, or have any other recorded audio of a conversation or presentation, that you need in text form. Especially in the field of medicine, politics, in court, or for other business purposes, professional transcribers are often required. They are either sitting at a court meeting or event, or receive a recorded audio of the speech/consultation in question.

Transcription is a growing field for either professionally trained transcribers, or people that like to earn some extra money in their free time or after retirement. There are companies specialized in transcription, but many general assistance and administration companies also provide this service among others.

Before the introduction of tape and cassettes, the transcriber had to be present at the time of speaking, writing down what she or he heard, also using skills like abbreviating and shorthand. But since tapes, cassettes, CDs, VHS, DVDs, and – in recent years – audio files can be send to anyone around the globe, the job became a lot easier, and the time spend on transcribing a lot more flexible.

Transcribing Software vs. Manual Transcription

Of course, there are transcribing software and online solutions (via API) available. These programs may be quicker, easier accessible, and – depending on the pricing – cheaper than hiring someone for the transcription, but these programs are by no means error proof.

Having one or even more people do, check, and double-check a transcription made for you can be a bit more time-consuming and a tad more expensive, however you will get a result that is done thoroughly and tested multiple times, best by different ears. A software that always uses the same algorithm can not provide this double security.

Convert for easier Transcription

There are a few problems that can occur whether you are using a transcription program, or transcribe yourself or have someone do it for you.

Obscure Audio File Format

As mentioned above, nowadays it’s way more common to not send CDs or cassettes, but audio files via mail or cloud storage. However, if you only needed a CD player in the past, you now have a vast diversity of audio files that could be send to you – and it may happen that you are unable to open some of them.

Using an online audio converter can help you to receive a format that Windows Media Player, Quicktime, or any other audio player on your computer can open the file. Convert it to MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF, or another format you know.

Distorted Audio Files

What’s also possible is that the file you receive can be distorted, contain a lot background noise, or that the speaker or speakers are generally hard to understand. Adjusting volume may not be enough in such cases, but some files can still be rescued – or at least be enhanced.

Twitter

@cyberspaceayuda is one of our users that brought to our attention how versatile an online converter can be to simplify working with transcriptions as it is one of the many services they offer at Virtuadmin. By changing bitrate, sampling rate, or normalizing the audio stream, it is possible to enhance an audio file to an extend that makes the transcription easier.

Audio Converter