News

Dropbox Business - Dictate Australia Become An Australian Reseller

24 May, 2019

Find Dropbox Business Reseller Partner Australia

As part of our 2019 strategy to grow our brand outside of just dictation and transcription, we have just become a Dropbox Business reseller here in Australia. This year has already seen us add iOS microphones from Rode and explore new voice-to-text capabilities with Amazon's AWS Transcribe, now we focus on SaaS storage and collaboration with Dropbox.

Why buy Dropbox Business licences from Dictate Australia?

We have been users of Dropbox since June 2009, almost ten years, and it has been invaluable for our business to quickly and securely store, share and collaborate on all kinds of files both in the cloud and on our local devices.

Sure you can buy Dropbox Business licences direct from Dropbox but by going through a trusted partner like us you will receive the dedicated support and guidance you need.

Can I try before I buy?

Of course, Dropbox offers a 30-day trial. We can guide you all the way from initial setup to configuration to migration of data and users into Dropbox followed by training and support.

We have O365 so can just use One-Drive can't we?

Dropbox Business and Microsoft Office 365 O365 Australia

Yes, depending on your Office 365 plan you will have up to 1TB of cloud storage. With Dropbox Standard you get 3TB but with Dropbox Advanced storage is unlimited.

With technology unique to Dropbox you can choose to sync some, all or none of your files to your device (Windows PC, Mac, iOS device, Linux computer). Changed files are Smart Sync'd to Dropbox in file chunks, so the whole file does not need to be uploaded every time it is updated or changed. And with network sync, users on the same network can sync files across that network. Fast and secure.

Click the link ( https://dictat.es/dropbox-o365 ) for the one-pager Why Teams use Dropbox Business with Microsoft Office 365

Thinking of moving your on-premise storage to the cloud? Have a chat with us at Dictate Australia ( https://dictat.es/contact ) for some free advice on the benefits of Dropbox Business.

Amazon AWS Transcribe - Automated Speech Recognition of Interviews & Meetings

04 May, 2019

Recorded digital audio of interviews and meetings has long been the pain point in the voice-to-text world. Traditional voice recognition software has failed in its attempts to process audio with more than one speaker. Expensive transcription typists was the only viable option to convert spoken voice to text for meetings and interviews, that is until now. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a service called AWS Transcribe. Amazon Transcribe converts audio to text, for single or multi-speaker audio, quickly, cheaply and very accurately all in the cloud.

To show you just how quick and accurate AWS Transcribe is below is a video of an interview between ABC’s Leigh Sales and Australian politician Bill Shorten (short 90-second audio extract) which we processed through Amazon's AWS Transcribe:

As you can see the output text is highly accurate. Each word is tagged with a confidence score and time-stamp for each word (see image below) which allows proofreaders to quickly focus on words that need review. With punctuation automatically added, no need to speak “full stop” or “period” or “comma” only formatting of the text needs to be applied. 

Amazon AWS Transcribe Confidence Score and Time Stamp

In our post on the iDictate blog, we estimate that AWS Transcribe will cut voice to text conversion costs by 75%-80% while also increasing turnaround times significantly.  This is a big deal for anyone using transcription services, outsource or in-house, in terms of speed and costs. How will this affect the transcription typing industry? 

Here at Dictate Australia, we are in the process of building a solution to accept and process digital audio files which will be automatically converted to text using AWS Transcribe on behalf of our customers, should you not feel comfortable setting up Amazon AWS accounts and services yourself. More on this service to come.

Olympus ODMS R6 for Windows - End Of Life - Upgrade Now to ODMS R7

02 May, 2019

 

Olympus ODMS R6 EOL End-Of-Life Upgrade Now

Olympus declared ODMS R6 Dictation & Transcription Module end-of-life as at 31st March 2019.

What does this mean?

  1. The software is no longer supported by Olympus or their resellers. If you have an issue you will be advised to upgrade to the latest supported version of ODMS which is R7
  2. No more updates or patches will be developed or released. The last and final release of ODMS R6 was version R6.4
  3. To ensure that your business stays secure in terms of cybersecurity best practice is to ensure that all your software is supported and patched

What should you do?

Upgrade your Olympus software to the latest supported version ODMS R7 by purchasing upgrade licence keys:

  • Olympus Part AS-9003 - Dictation Module (DM) Upgrade from DSS Player R5 or ODMS R6 to ODMS R7
  • Olympus Part AS-9004Transcription Module (TM) Upgrade from DSS Player R5 or ODMS R6 to ODMS R7

How do I know if I need AS-9003 or AS-9004?

This is defined by the module that you have installed based on the licence you you received with your Olympus eqipment, either for dictation or transcription. Olympus Windows software has two modules, Dictation Module (DM) and Transcription Module (TM). 

  • DM is the software that is supplied with the professional digital dictaphones. A valid original licence key which can be upgraded to ODMS R7 would start with the letters RD5 or RD6
  • TM is the software that is supplied with the transcription typing kits. A valid original licence key which can be upgraded to ODMS R7 would start with the letters RT5 or RT6

Yes, I have my original licence key so can buy my upgrade licence. How is the licence delivered?

  • Your licence key starts with the letters RD5 or RD6 buy AS-9003
  • Your licence key starts with the letters RT5 or RT6 buy AS-9004

Your licence key will be emailed to you automatically after checkout. The latest ODMS R7 software can always be downloaded from this link - https://dictat.es/r7 - and all the latest Olympus documentation can be found here.

I have my upgrade licence key now, how do I upgrade?

To upgrade to ODMS R7 you must have your original module (DM or TM) installed, either DSS Player Pro R5 or ODMS R6, using your original licence key first.

Once you have that installed you can then download and run the ODMS R7 installer, please install as an Admin user, which will recognise the old version and prompt for your upgrade key.

I have a DSS Player Pro R5 licence key that i'm upgrading to ODMS R7 on Windows 10. DSS Player Pro is not compatible with Windows 10 what do I do?

Correct it is not compatible with Windows 10 but must be installed with your original RD5 or RT5 key before you can upgrade. Just use your RT5/RD5 licence when installing DSS Player Pro but do not run DSS Player Pro once it is installed.

I have my original DSS Player Pro R5 or ODMS R6 licence key but I can't find the original install disk, where can I get a copy of the old software?

Olympus Release Minor Windows & macOS Dictation / Transcription Software Updates

02 May, 2019

Latest Olympus Dictation Transcription Software for Windows macOS Update

Olympus last month (April 2019) released some minor updates to their macOS and Windows audio software. The updates do not include any new functionality just bug fix and performance updates.

The updates bring the latest available versions of their Dictation and Transcription software to:

  • ODMS R7 v7.2.0 Patch 0003 for Windows
  • DSS Player v7.7.1 for macOS

You can download the latest updates and installers from the following links:

macOS – DSS Player Plus v7.7.1 Release Notes:

This update resolves an issue whereby when the audio output is switched over or the external headset is physically inserted/removed during file playback, audio output will stop even though the screen continues to playback.

Windows Olympus ODMS R7 v7.2 Patch 0003 Release Notes:

Resolves an issue regarding playing dictations from Windows Explorer.

Olympus DSS Player Plus v7 for macOS Update v7.7.0 - Mojave 10.14 Compatible

10 February, 2019

Olympus have released an update to their macOS dictation and transcription software for macOS taking it to version v7.7.0 and bringing official macOS 10.14 Mojave support.

Olympus DSS Player Plys v7 for macS Mojave 10.14 DownloadAlthough Mojave has been out for a while and fortunately with this macOS release there were no DSS Player compatibility issues this release you should upgrade to v7.7.0 if you are running Mojave.

A couple updates of note in this release as details in the release notes below. The Windows WMA (Windows Media Audio) audio format has been dropped leaving supported audio formats as:

  • .ds2 (DSS Pro) with or without encryption
  • .dss (older DSS Pro format)
  • .aac
  • .mp3

As always a link to the latest release of the Olympus software is on our webpage. Please review the video at the bottom of this post for details on how to find the latest sofware and how to install it on your Mac.

Release notes:

====================================================

OLYMPUS DSS Player Version 7 Readme                  

====================================================

 

Copyright (c) 2008-2019 OLYMPUS CORPORATION

 

This Readme explains the updates of DSS Player V7.

 

====================================================

 

====================================================

Version 7.7.0

====================================================

Updates

=======

 

1. Migrated to a 64-bit version.

DSS Player runs as a 64-bit application on macOS.

 

Note:

WMA playback is no longer supported.

 

2. macOS Mojave 10.14 is supported.

 

Note:

Dark Mode introduced in macOS 10.14 is not supported.

Amazon AWS Transcribe The Nuance Dragon Slayer?

30 December, 2018

Will 2019 be the year that Nuance's domination of voice recognition starts to wane thanks to Amazon's foray into ASR (Automated Speech Recognition)? We think so ..

Amazon AWS Transcribe ASR Automated Speech Recognition Nuance Dragon

Image Credit: Dragonslayer by Lonesome Cowboy on Daz3D.com

With the advent of Amazon's AWS Transcribe in late 2018 it brings with it the prospect of majorly disrupting the speech recognition space. Why? AWS are addressing and solving some of the key voice-to-text issues that Nuance has struggled with for years, in particular:

  • Multi-speaker voice to text e.g. meetings and interviews
  • Streamed real-time audio converted to text
  • No profile training
  • No expensive add-on language packs for specific industries (Nuance, we're looking at Legal and the old medical) 
  • No expensive software to install on your PC (Mac was discontinued by Nuance recently)

Really it is the multi-speaker audio that is the breakthrough for AWS Transcribe. The ability to now take any audio, not even your voice, and have that converted to text. The opportunity here is huge for AWS moving speech recognition out of the traditional legal/medical space and encompassing pretty much every industry.

Some of the examples cited by Amazon include:

Customer Service - When you call a company for help/support your phone calls, which you have always been recorded can now be auto-converted to text, a boon for analytics for any business

Cataloging Audio Archives - think of the amount of audio out there, TV, radio, research, education the list is endless. That audio can now be converted to text and any subject easily found and referenced.

Captioning/Subtitles - Always a pain point for any video producer whether creating live or recorded content, this can now be passed through AWS Transcribe and converted to text and time coded. YouTube creators will love this one.

The key features of AWS Transcribe are:

Easy-to-Read Transcriptions

Most speech recognition systems output a string of text without punctuation. Amazon Transcribe uses deep learning to add punctuation and formatting automatically so that the output is more intelligible and can be used without any further editing.

Timestamp Generation

Amazon Transcribe returns a timestamp for each word, so that you can easily locate the audio in the original recording by searching for the text.

Support for a Wide Range of Use Cases

Amazon Transcribe is designed to provide accurate and automated transcripts for a wide range of audio quality. You can generate subtitles for any video or audio files, and even transcribe low-quality telephony recordings such as customer service calls.

Custom Vocabulary

Amazon Transcribe gives you the ability to expand and customize the speech recognition vocabulary. You can add new words to the base vocabulary and generate highly-accurate transcriptions specific to your use case, such as product names, domain-specific terminology, or names of individuals.

Recognise Multiple Speakers (the game changer)

Amazon Transcribe is able to recognise when the speaker changes and attribute the transcribed text appropriately. This can significantly reduce the amount of work needed to transcribe audio with multiple speakers like telephone calls, meetings, and television shows.

Channel Identification

Amazon Transcribe is able to process audio and video where each speaker is recorded on different channels. Contact centres stand to benefit significantly by submitting a single audio file to Amazon Transcribe, which will identify each channel and produce a single transcript with annotated by channel labels.

AWS Transcribe is extremely easy to use, we have already been testing with audio from the Olympus LS-P4 (perfect for meeting/interview recording) and even Voice Notes on our iOS and Mac devices.

AWS Transcribe requires audio in one of the following formats:

  • mp3, mp4 (m4a), wav and flac 

As always with voice recognition minimise background noise for best results.

Sending Digital Dictation From Your Olympus DS-9500 - You Have Three Options

11 July, 2018

Remember the old days when you had to return to your desk to dock your dictaphone to be able to send your audio dictation files to your transcription typist? 

Well, times have changed. Olympus are embracing new technologies and building them into their leading ODMS software for dictation and transcription and also their hardware through the latest wifi enabled handheld digital dictaphones. The below graphic from an earlier blog post, Simplifying Olympus ODMS Licence Management For Growing Legal & Medical Practices, shows the types of integrations currently available:

Olympus ODMS R7 for Workgroup large medical legal practice multi-user concurrent licence model 

The latest Olympus dictation dictaphone the Olympus DS-9500 can send your dictation to your transcription team in one of three ways:

  1. Dock, the good old tried and tested method
  2. Connect your DS-9500 to a WiFi hotspot (could be home, law firm, medical practice, even Starbucks or Maccas) and send your audio from the device via email
  3. Olympus Wireless Communication Service (WCS) - Connect to your practice wifi and transfer files directly to shared network folders for you to pick up and run into Dragon for automated voice to text or for your typists to collect and transcribe

The theme from the above is no need to always dock, use the built-in wifi connectivity in the Olympus DS-9500 to connect and send wherever you are dictating from. Lets go through each one in more detail:

Dock the Olympus DS-9500

This method has been around for years. The Olympus DS-9500 comes with a docking station (Olympus part CR21) which serves two functions on Windows computers:

  1. Keep the Olympus DS-9500 digital dictaphones rechargeable battery (Li-92B) charged while resting in the dock
  2. Facilitate a USB connection to the PC for the ODMS (Olympus Dictation Management System) Software (supplied with the recorder) for automatic transfer of audio to your computer and then on to your typist (either via email or dropped to a shared drive)

 

Send DS-9500 Dictation by Email When Connected to WiFi Anywhere

This method is new in the Olympus DS-9500 digital dictaphone and something that is very popular. By configuring your DS-9500 to connect to a wifi hotspot (or tethered to your smartphone) the device itself can email your dictation from anywhere in the world to your office or transcription typist. 

Click here for our detailed step-by-step guide to configuring your Olympus DS-9500 to send audio via email.

 

Connect To Your Practice WiFi and Drop To A Shared Folder With Olympus Wireless Communication Service (WCS)

Also included with the Olympus DS-9500 digital dictaphone is the Olympus WCS software. This software is designed to be installed on a Windows PC or server that is constantly running and connected to your network.

That computer running the WCS software acts as an access point for one or many Olympus dictaphones used in your practice. The idea is that by connecting the dictaphone to your wifi network, anywhere on your site perhaps across a hospital or over multiple floors of a legal business, each device can connect and share their dictation to pre-defined shared network drives.

Details on how to set up and configure Olympus WCS can be found here

Olympus Dictation App - Error - Enable The Microphone To Perform Recording

30 November, 2018

The below issue with the Olympus Dictation App on iOS 12 was resolved with the release of v1.3.0 on the app store 20th December 2018. Please ensure you have v1.3.0 or higher installed:

Olympus Dictation App for iOS v1.3.0 Australia

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We recently pickup up a shiny new iPhone XR for app testing and of course the first app we dropped onto our new device was the Olympus Dictation App version 1.2.1 but this is what we were met with:

Error Enable the Microphone from Settings > Privacy > Microphone > Dictation to perform recording - Olympus Dictation App iPhone

We ran this past Olympus Australia and got a very quick response, they confirmed that there is an issue with the Olympus Dictation App in iOS 12.1 - officially it is only supported to iOS 11. The issue however does not affect all iOS 12 users.

Only if:

  • The app is newly installed on an iOS 12.1 device (my scenario) then the mic can not be set.

Or

  • You have upgraded to iOS 12.1 from version 11 then the mic can not be set.

If you had gone originally to iOS 12 (where the mic setting could be set) and then gone to iOS12.1 then you will be fine.

The last update to the app v1.2.1 was two years ago, Olympus have confirmed that they are actively working on an update to be submitted to Apple and should appear in the iOS App Store towards the end of January 2019.

Latest Olympus DS-9500 Firmware Update - v1.11

16 November, 2018

Olympus have issued another firmware upgrade (v1.11) to the high end DS-9500 professional dictaphone. Thanks to the advances in the ODMS R7 software (included with the dictaphone) for Windows both software and firmware updates are now automatically detected and applied. The video below shows how to apply any Olympus DS-9500 firmware update:

The release notes for the Olympus DS-9500 Firmware v1.11 are:

Issue: Change v1.11 History / Notes for previous version
Not Booting Correctly

Fixed character
conversion
processing of DS-9500 so that special
characters can be converted correctly

Phenomenon:
When a battery is inserted into DS-9500, after the boot icon (■■□□□) is displayed on the LCD, the LCD changes to black screen and the
device will not turn on.


Cause:
An exception error occurred due to file conversion processing of
special characters in a file/folder name.

Drained Battery /
Battery Cannot be
Charged
Resolved an issue with the device charging flow so that even a drained
battery can be
charged.

Phenomenon:
The included battery with DS-9500 cannot be charged.

•There is no reaction when inserting a battery into DS-9500, connecting the recorder to a PC, or when setting the recorder in the cradle. The CHARGE indicator on the cradle is not on.


•When inserting a battery into DS-9500, the LED flashes Red then it turns off. When connecting to PC or setting the recorder in the cradle,
Red LED flashes and turns off, there is no reaction. CHARGE indicator light of cradle is not on.


Cause:
Since the recorder does not have enough voltage to power on correctly, it does not move to charging operation when the battery
voltage is low.

Firmware
Confirmation
Message is Displayed
on PC Connection
Resolved so that the current firmware version of DS-9500 is reflected correctly
in the ODI file.

Phenomenon:
When connecting DS-9500 to a PC where ODMS R7 is installed, a prompt asking the user to transfer the latest firmware version to the
device is shown although the device has the latest firmware applied.


Cause:
The system information of DS-9500 is recorded to an ‘ODI’ file in the internal memory. The application references this file to obtain the
firmware version when the device is connected in Storage Mode. Since the current firmware version was not reflected to the ODI file
correctly, ODMS was incorrectly detecting that the recorder had F/W version 1.0.0 applied.

Note: This issue does not occur when in Composite Mode as the recorder version information is obtained via HDI command.

Nuance Announce End-of-Life for Dragon for Mac - Voice Recognition

26 October, 2018

In a surprise annoucement, this week Nuance announced that it will be pulling the plug on their voice recognition software for macOS - Dragon for Mac.

Nuance Dragon for Mac macOS End of Life 2018

This is a sad day, we have been involved in the evolution of Dragon for Mac since the early days back in 2009 when at version 1.0 it was owned by MacSpeech and then called Scribe. In 2010 v2 was launched and MacSpeech was swallowed up by Nuance, this was a promising move. Since then we have seen the slow evolution of Dragon for Mac culminating in their last and final release v6.

Citing no reasons for the pull Nuance announced on their website this week that it would be discontinuing Dragon for Mac from 22nd October 2018 with support to cease soon after.

Nuance Australia Dragon for Mac Discontinued End-of-life EOL

Nuance wrote: 

"Nuance is constantly evaluating its product portfolio to see how we can best meet the needs of our customers and business. After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the Dragon Professional Individual for Mac line-up.

Dragon Professional Individual for Mac is being discontinued effective 10/22/2018 and will no longer be available for purchase. Customers may still receive telephone support for up to 90-days from date of activating the software in North America and up to 180 days from date of software activation in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific regions. Your statutory rights are not affected. Customers who have purchased Dragon Professional Individual for Mac version 6 (“Software”) benefit from a perpetual license to the Software and may continue using the Software.  Nuance will no longer provide updates for the Software after 22nd October 2018 and the Nuance support team will adhere to supporting the Software according to the support policies outlined above. In addition, customers will continue to have access to the Nuance Dragon Knowledgebase for online resources."

This leaves the voice recognition space open on the Mac, perhaps Apple will step up and evolve their built-in macOS dictation, lets hope so. If you haven't used the built-in voice-to-text on your Mac enable it via System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Dictation

macOS voice to text voice recognition builtin to osx

For best results make sure you enable "Use Enhanced Dictation" this will let you dictate while offline and stores data and processes audio locally rather than sending your voice snippets to the cloud. This is still a long way off the accuracy and correction capabilities of Dragon for Mac but may be useful for you.

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