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#24273 - 11/25/12 07:35 PM Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
I have purchased Dragon Dictate 3 for the Mac. I need a digital recorder that will record voice files in .wav format. Dragon Dictate 3 is compatible with these audio file formats. .wav, .m4a, .m4v, .mp4, .aif and .aiff. For me, disc space is not an issue. I prefer a file that is not compressed. I have my eye on a Sony audio recorder ICDUX523 silver. Sony’s description is that I can select recording formats that include PCM or LPCM and a variety of other files most of which are compressed and/or not compatible with the Dragon Dictate 3 software. I don’t know much about this, but, from what I’ve read in Wikipedia, it is possible that the .wav format is one form of PCM or LPCM. Is this true? If not, I’m wasting my time and money on this recorder. Can anyone help with this?
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#24282 - 11/26/12 07:09 AM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: JoBoy]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: JoBoy
...it is possible that the .wav format is one form of PCM or LPCM. Is this true?

Strictly speaking the answer is 'no', but in practice it's probably 'yes'. That seeming contradiction is explained by the fact that WAV is the Windows file format, which contains (L)PCM audio data ('bitstream'); the equivalent Mac file format is AIFF.

The real question you want to have answered is to which file format(s) that Sony can output its recordings. This Sony product page states that supported playback formats are MP3, WMA and AAC (m4a), but also that the 'recording quality of the unit has been optimized and validated by Nuance to work with the Voice to Print Dragon NaturallySpeaking® software'.
So these output formats are compressed, but will likely work with Dragon Dictate as well.
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#24293 - 11/26/12 01:20 PM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: alternaut]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
As you can tell, I'm an ignoramus about audio recording. I read the same Sony product page before ordering the recorder. It says: Music can be recorded in MP3 or linear PCM.
According to Nuance, MP3 is NOT compatible with Dragon Dictate, but if the Mac equivalent of linear PCM is .aiff, I'm home free as I see it.

Here's a snippet from a Nuance web page:

Dragon NaturallySpeaking for your PC can recognize .wav, .wma, .dss, ds2 and .mp3 files.

Dragon Dictate for Mac 3 supports .wav, .m4a, .m4v, .mp4, .aif, and .aiff audio file formats.

I've learned in using Nuance's web site to follow Ronald Regan's old saying about foreign affairs: "Trust, but verify."

Your comment about the Mac file format equivalent for (L)PCM being AIFF combined with Nuance's list of supported file formats for Dragon Dictate gives me new hope that I've found the right recorder. Time will tell, but you have given me hope that I didn't have before your answer. I didn't have a clue about that. Thanks.


Edited by JoBoy (11/26/12 01:24 PM)
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#24297 - 11/26/12 01:39 PM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: JoBoy]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
I'm not so sure as you are about the WAV/AIFF issue. As I mentioned, the Sony records internally in (L)PCM, but doesn't store that bitstream in either WAV or AIFF formats. AFAICT, its only playback/output options are compressed formats, and that's probably because of limited storage space.
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#24300 - 11/26/12 02:12 PM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: alternaut]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
I lack the expertise to keep up with you. I wish I knew more. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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#24302 - 11/26/12 02:39 PM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: JoBoy]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
I just checked the Owner's Manual, and it appears that (1) LPMC is referred to as if it were a file format, and (2) items (files?) recorded in LPCM may be moved to your computer. If that is correct, you could test this and see if those LPMC items are seen as AIFF or WAV files by your Mac. If so, you're in business.
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#24306 - 11/26/12 03:36 PM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: alternaut]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Moving an audio file from the recorder to the computer is something with which I'm very familiar. That's what I do now using Sony recorders and Sony software to play back my speech on my computer. After the recording is finished, I plug in a USB cord and move a copy of the file from the Sony recorder to a folder on Windows7. Sony software on Windows7 will play it back so I can manually transcribe it to a document on my computer.

There's a thread here ("Re: Current status of speech to text?") that describes my disillusioning experience trying to use DNSv12 on Windows7 running on VMware to electronically transcribe speech to text in a Windows environment. Rather than repeat that here, you can just look at it there. It will probably be the end of the week before all the pieces arrive so I can try DragonDictate 3, but I definitely will let you know when I have some results to report. Given my past experience, I'm reasonably optimistic about the file transfer, but we'll never know for sure about the electronic transcription until we try it. Thanks again for all the help. It's really appreciated.
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#24321 - 11/27/12 05:28 PM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: alternaut]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
I received Dragon Dictate 3 from Nuance today. See my comment in the Re: Current status of speech to text? topic.

The recorder won't arrive until Thursday probably. It was delayed by a problem at UPS. I'll let you know how it works.
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#24326 - 11/28/12 01:46 AM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: JoBoy]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: JoBoy
After the recording is finished, I plug in a USB cord and move a copy of the file from the Sony recorder to a folder on Windows7. Sony software on Windows7 will play it back so I can manually transcribe it to a document on my computer.

Just a thought....if I understand the issue correctly....why not just get a recorder that has the features you want and then convert its recorded material to the format you want for transcription?

I use an Olympus recorder for meetings and like you, just plug in the USB and drag the WMA file to my hard drive. I then open the file with Amadeus Pro where I can edit out extraneous material et cetera, and transcribe. Amadeus can "Save As" in about 10 different formats, one of which is AIFF.

It might be worth checking.

NOTE: The Pro version of the software does a lot more than you need but they also have a "Lite" at a much reduced price. And there may be others out there, I only mentioned Amadeus as it's the one I use for this and other functions.


Edited by ryck (11/28/12 01:56 AM)
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#24327 - 11/28/12 05:49 AM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: ryck]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
If I understand JoBoy correctly, the issue is not so much getting a WAV or AIFF file in the end, but to start with one. If you have to convert a lossy file format to an 'uncompressed' one, you have not recreated the data lost in compression, and conceivably produced a file even farther removed from the original. It's another question entirely whether a properly chosen lossy file format can do the job as well as an uncompressed file.
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#24330 - 11/28/12 07:27 AM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: ryck]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
I don't know how I missed it, but I would have loved to get Amadeus if it can transfer an uncompressed Windows audio file to an uncompressed Mac file. However, I've found a recorder that the labeling implies can produce an uncompressed Mac audio file thus eliminating the need to convert the file. Amadeus may yet be very useful to me for converting uncompressed Windows files to Mac since I have quite a few of those already. Thanks for the tip.
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#24331 - 11/28/12 07:31 AM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: alternaut]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
You're exactly correct re my specific need right now. I wish UPS would hurry up. As you know, it took a lot of looking to find the recorder that I hope has the specs I need. In theory, we're home free, but theory doesn't always add up to reality.
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#24332 - 11/28/12 07:42 AM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: JoBoy]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
Just adding to possibilities; I believe that GarageBand, Quick Time, and certainly Audacity can all convert a WAV to an mp3 (or other formats).
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#24333 - 11/28/12 08:14 AM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: roger]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
That's right and I would have tried it, but there is a small detail that bugs me to this day. Dragon Dictate 3 for the Mac will not accept MP3 files! It's as though they are trying to maintain a distance between Windows and Mac, but I'm not sure of the reason. Are they trying to protect DNSv12? I don't know. Sony software on Windows will convert my current Sony recorder's files to MP3, but I can't use them on DD3 for the Mac. That's why I looked and finally found a Sony recorder that apparently produces a Mac-compatible uncompressed audio file. I've had a lot of excellent service from Sony recorders, but now I need a Mac-compatible file for DD3. Another thread documents my travails in that effort. See the topic "Re: Current status of speech to text?".

My interest in uncompressed audio files for use on DD3 skyrocketed yesterday when I received DD3 and installed it. Instead of doing only one voice training session for DD3 to get used to my voice, I did all four of them. I then used the microphone that comes with DD3 to dictate a fifteen-minute speech I gave a while ago that already had been reduced to writing the hard way. The accuracy was incredibly good--far beyond anything I was expecting. If this result carries over to the uncompressed files I hope to get from the new recorder, I'll be amazed and very happy. However, I'm saving the celebration until it actually happens. The recorder will arrive tomorrow or the next day.
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#24340 - 11/28/12 10:45 PM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: JoBoy]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Audacity can also convert an MP3 file to a Mac file in a format like AIFF.
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#24345 - 11/30/12 09:08 AM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: alternaut]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
The recorder showed up and the LPCM format turns out to be .wav on the Mac. Yes, I'm in business! I've had to train the Dragon Dictate3 for the recorded output essentially the same way I had to train it for my voice. It's not quite as effective as the voice training for the microphone, but I'm new at this and still learning. However, hope is strong and results are fairly good even in this early going. Thanks a bunch for all the suggestions. They are greatly appreciated.

Since the audio format question has been solved, I'll carry on the rest of the discussion on the other topic labeled "Re: Current status of speech to text?." Again, thanks for the assists and comments. They enabled me to pick a recorder that actually works on the Mac and produces an uncompressed audio file for the Mac. That was a huge help.


Edited by JoBoy (11/30/12 09:16 AM)
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#24349 - 12/01/12 07:13 AM Re: Are LPCM and .wav audio formats virtually the same [Re: JoBoy]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
Good to hear! cool
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