[Athen] Smart Pen audio input from computer?

Shelley Haven shelleyhaven at techpotential.net
Mon Feb 15 14:09:08 PST 2021

There’s definitely a need for this, and it’s technically possible, but it’s not easy due to Livescribe's proprietary pin connections in the audio jack. Most stereo audio plugs have 3 connections: tip, ring, and sleeve (TRS). Plugs that incorporate a microphone (like the iPhone) have 4: TRRS. Note that the Livescribe Echo’s proprietary recording headset <https://us.livescribe.com/products/livescribe-3d-recording-headset> has 5 pins (TRRRS), and we don’t know how they use those connections.

BTW, this came up in a Nov. 4, 2019 ATHEN thread ("Using Another Audio Source for LiveScribe Pens"), and we decided it would be a great project for a music or audio engineering student to pursue.

However, if you use one of the newer Livescribe pens – Aegir (discontinued) or Symphony – they don’t have built-in microphones, so they record audio directly into the Livescribe+ app <https://us.livescribe.com/pages/livescribe> using the mics on a Bluetooth-connected device (iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, PC). If the device running Livescribe+ is using an external mic or other audio source plugged in the mic input, Livescribe+ will link handwritten notes to recordings of that audio. (I tried this on an iPad – haven’t tried the other options.)

This ought to allow additional audio patching possibilities – e.g., using a virtual audio patch utility like Soundflower <https://rogueamoeba.com/freebies/soundflower/> (macOS) or VB-Cable <https://www.howtogeek.com/364369/how-to-record-your-pcs-audio-with-vb-cable/> (macOS, Windows) to route audio between Zoom and Livescribe+.

- Shelley

Shelley Haven ATP, RET
Assistive Technology Consultant
www.TechPotential.net <http://www.techpotential.net/>
www.AT4LD.net <http://www.at4ld.net/>

> On Feb 15, 2021, at 12:41 PM, Bourbeau, Maureen <Maureen.Bourbeau at unh.edu> wrote:


> Hi all,

> Given the move to remote classes and students still wanting to use their Smart Pens, is there anyway to capture the audio output from a Zoom session on the computer into the headphone port on the LiveScribe Echo pen?

> Scenario -- when the student is listening to the Zoom session with headphones because they are in a shared or noisy environment.

> I’ve been trying to use a patch audio cable from speaker out to the headphone port on the pen, but all I hear on playback is the sound of the pen moving on the paper.


> Has anyone found a successful hack for this? For either the single audio port on Mac and newer PC’s, or for a mic-in, and speaker-out option.


> Thanks so much!


> Maureen Bourbeau (she/her/hers)

> Assistive Technology Specialist

> Student Accessibility Services (SAS)

> 201 Smith Hall, 3 Garrison Avenue

> Durham, NH 03824

> P: 603.862.2400 | F: 603.862.4043

> maureen.bourbeau at unh.edu <mailto:maureen.bourbeau at unh.edu>

> www.unh.edu/sas <http://www.unh.edu/studentaccessibility>


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