Want a simple way to record your office meeting, podcast, audio book, interview or round table focus group in high quality audio with a shockingly good looking non-intrusive, high quality array mic? Of course you do. Add to that the fact that this little beauty was conceived in Australia, has won an Australian design award and picked up a MacWorld 2012 best in show award earlier this year in San Francisco on its first outing then you not only have a simple to use voice recorder but also a talking point and lets face it something to show off about.
Dev-Audio based on the Gold Coast, Queensland have been developing the Microcone for the last couple of years. Going through numerous design and build phases until it evolved to the stage it is at now, ready for the world. Using the worldwide distribution of the Mac App Store that is exactly where it is headed. With its recent MacWorld 2012 exposure this innovative yet simple voice recording system has caught the eye of the US, UK and Australian press and the momentum is now starting to build with global users enjoying the latest multi person, multi track recording via this solid little award winning array mic. Aimed at the small meeting market of up-to six people this device will be at home in any sized business.
So how does it work? To record on your Mac using the Microcone, Dev-Audio have created a paid app which is available on the called Microcone Recorder. Users download and can instantly record via the app using their in-built mic which is fine for one or two people huddled around a screen. The app though really comes into its own when used in conjunction with the Microcone. Microcone Recorder is not just an interface for starting/stopping your recording it also allows you to store key meeting information such as meeting start/end date and times, meeting location, participant names, their position relative to the Microcone and a scrollable audio time line.
Speakers gathered around the Microcone can be identified by unique coloured dots as they speak and their names can be linked to those colours. This makes it very easy to listen to only one or two key speakers. Finding important events that occur during the meeting has also been catered for with an easy to use tag system, again colour coded. You can tag important events, actions (for those who like formal meetings), decisions and questions. Simply click on the tag that best fits during recording and it is immediately added in the audio timeline and summarised in the Highlights section. Post meeting, any of these tagged highlights can be easily played back by clicking the “play” icon next to each item. A summary field is also available to write a short note linked to each highlight.
I know, its awesome isn’t it. How could it ever get any better? The Microcone Remote iPhone app that’s how . Picture yourself recording a meeting, your work mates are gathered ready to discuss really important stuff, stuff that you are going to capture in crystal clear digital audio. But what is more distracting in a meeting than someone staring into their screen on their Macbook, that just screams ‘I’m updating Facebook‘ or ‘I’m checking my Twitter feed‘ and definitely not ‘I’m all ears and listening to every word‘. With the Microcone Remote app a quick flash of your iPhone to your team and an explanation that you can listen intently and at the same time control the start/stop/pause/record of the meeting, including adding relevant tags (important, action, decision, question) all from the Remote app on your iPhone and your legend status will grow that little bit more. The Microcone Remote app is a free download from the iTunes app store and requires the Microcone Recorder Mac app and your iPhone to be on the same network as your MacBook or iMac.
Finally one more feature I need to touch on although not in detail in this post, I am planning a blog post dedicated to this feature in the coming days and that is the Dragon voice-to-text feature. Using any of the four tags that you can add during or after the meeting, the tag also acts as a marker for sending tagged audio to Nuance for, what is described as “approximate transcription” on the Dev-Audio website. As yet I have not fully tested this feature hence the brief mention for now. This will be quite a big deal, often I am asked about using Dragon variants (NaturallySpeaking on Windows and Dragon Dictate on Mac) for automatic transcriptions of interviews, meetings or any audio with multiple speakers (see previous blog post). With this feature we are slowly edging closer towards the goal of auto transcription although I believe only short audio snippets can be sent to Nuance, more shortly on this.
Where can I buy a Microcone, I want one now? Currently the Microcone can be purchased for worldwide distribution from the Dev-Audio website although talks are well under way with distributors worldwide to ship the device across Europe and the US, Iain McCowan Dev-Audio’s CEO tells us. So help support an Aussie business and at the same time grab yourself a perfect small meeting recorder with a difference, the Microcone.
Who Is Talking About Microcone?
What Awards Has The Microcone Won?
- Telstra Innovation Challenge Awards (2010)
- Australian Design Award (2011)
- MacWorld Expo Best In Show (2012)