[athen] recording lectures via mp3 players for use on web

Kathleen Cahill kcahill at MIT.EDU
Wed Feb 22 08:52:02 PST 2006

Hi Nick;

Check out Liberated Learning (www.liberatedlearning.com). It's based at
St. Mary's University in Nova Scotia. They are using IBM Products (Via
Voice among others) to convert spoken lectures to digital format and are
willing to partner with other universities.

I am quite concerned, along with many of you, about the accessibility of
podcasts. MIT is exploring the use of iTunes to distribute files of
on-campus events, both audio and video. I am quite concerned about the
lack of accessibility of the audio and video to deaf/hoh people as well as
concerned about the inaccessibility of iTunes itself as a program. In
addition, some iTunes files are of a proprietary format (AAC) that cannot
be played on other, more accessible podcasting software or players.

An MIT professor, Jim Glass, is conducting research to convert audio files
into digitized text via speech recognition technology and we are hoping
that may prove to be a useful tool in the conversion from spoken word to
digitized and searchable text. Someone also mentioned a company called
Podzinger (www.podzinger.com) which uses speech recognition technology to
convert podcasts to digitized format and make them searchable.

I'd enjoy talking more about this issue and exchanging information with
others who are also interested.


At 10:35 AM 2/22/2006, Nick Ogrizovich III wrote:

>There's a lot of interest from professors wishing to podcast, or

>otherwise post mp3 versions of their lectures on the web in Vermont

>all of a sudden. Good.


>Being the Universal Design proponent I am, I want to encourage this.

>Of course, this approach totally leaves the deaf/hard of hearing

>students out of the loop. I am curious if anyone has ever tried

>running a sound file through dragon, to see if it recognized

>anything? What if the speech file was from someone who trained dragon



>Some profs may even be willing to train dragon, and this would be an

>interesting way to get transcripts right away. Otherwise, we would be

>looking at using students to transcibe, or possibly send the files to

>india. (.50 /minute +)


>As for the technology side of it, it seems ipods in general are a

>difficult way to do this. The newest ipods (5th gen) apparently do

>not even have a line in, so many of the mics (griffin, belkin, etc)

>no longer work. I looked up creative, and they have a few models that

>still have a line in, but to use a mic with that, you would have to

>use a powered mic. (Profs prefer a lapel mike.)


>It seems the easiest way to do this would be to buy a really cheap

>digital voice recorder, lapel mic, and then convert the wma or wav

>files to mp3, and then post those. You would have the benefit of a

>high quality sound to use for dragon attempts, too.


>Anyone else ever come across this yet? I've heard from MIT the

>concerns for the Deaf, but I'm hopeful that this will be remedied one

>way or another. I'm curious what others have done. Or if there's a

>portable mp3 player out there with a bonafide mic in that doesn't

>need to be line level. (powered)




>Nick Ogrizovich

>University of Vermont



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Kathleen Cahill
MIT ATIC (Adaptive Technology) Lab
77 Mass. Ave. 7-143
Cambridge MA 02139
(617) 253-5111
kcahill at mit.edu

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