TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Kool Tools:

Volume Number: 25
Issue Number: 05
Column Tag: Kool Tools

Kool Tools: Pulse Smartpen and Livescribe Desktop

by Dennis Sellers


LiveScribe (http://www.livescribe.com) debuted its self-titled, Mac-compatible software for the Pulse smartpen at January's Macworld Conference & Expo, where it won a Best of Show award from MacTech and Macsimum News. It's a specialized product with a bit of a learning curve, but, for a certain group of users, it could be invaluable.

Livescribe's Pulse smartpen captures handwriting and simultaneously records audio and synchronizes it to the writing so you don't have to miss a word you hear, write or speak. Students, medical professionals and others may find this dual purposing a timesaving and efficient way to improve their workflow.

Not only can you record, but, after recording, you can tap on your notes to replay what was recorded from the exact moment you started writing.

With the Livescribe Desktop software, notes and audio recordings can then be transferred to a Mac, where they can be digitally stored, searched, or shared. A short demo of the Livescribe Desktop software is available at http://www.livescribe.com/smartpen/desktop.html. The Livescribe Desktop software for Mac will be available as a free download at http://www.livescribe.com/install on February 17.

The Livescribe/Pulse combination comes with a training notebook, which you'll have to work through to use the technology efficiently. The notebook is filled with icons that you tap with the Pulse smartpen to activate features and walk you through those features.

First, you must set the time and date on the smartpen. That's important because files you create with your smartpen are named using the time and date they're created.

You should note that the Pulse smartpen requires Livescribe dot paper. This paper is standard paper but with printed microdots on its surface. These dots are nearly invisible to the human eye. However, the smartpen can see these dots and uses them to know which page you are writing on and the exact location on that page. The smartpen can even see these dots through the ink you write on your pages.

Livescribe dot paper products sometimes re-use dot pattern. As a general rule, you shouldn't use Livescribe dot paper products with the same dot pattern at the same time. This prevents a problem that can happen when viewing your notebooks in Livescribe Desktop: when you write in two notebooks with the same pattern, your notes from the second notebook will be superimposed on your notes from the first notebook when you view them in Livescribe Desktop.

When you power on the Pulse smartpen and begin writing on Livescribe paper, the smartpen captures and stores the notes you write. The Pulse makes use of the Nav Plus, a paper-based, five-way navigator that enables you to navigate through the smartpen Main Menu and application menus.

To capture your writing, the smartpen uses its built-in infrared camera to take digital snapshots of the dot pattern as the tip moves over the paper as you write.

When recording audio using the Paper Replay application, the smartpen links the recorded audio to your notes based on the dot pattern on the page. With this information, the smartpen can play back the audio that was recorded at the exact time you were writing your notes.

While your smartpen is paused, it will continue to capture a copy of your digital notes. Any notes that you write after you tap pause are linked to the audio that occurred the moment before you tapped Pause. When you tap on notes that were written while paused, your smartpen will play back the recording from the moment just before you tapped Pause.

There are several ways to control the playback of an audio file on your smartpen and quickly locate any section of the audio file. You can also adjust the playback speed. However, audio that's played back either sped up or slowed down is no longer in stereo. Audio plays in mono until it's returned to normal speed. The Pulse smartpen also support Bookmarks, which allow you to flag a section of audio and later jump to it.

You can add bookmarks while you're recording or later when you are listening to your audio session. After you've added bookmarks to an audio session, you can scan through the bookmarks using the Previous and Next bookmark buttons.

If you want to record audio but can't or don't want to write on Livescribe dot paper, you can create a "paperless" Paper Replay session. To create a paperless session, begin recording audio and don't take any notes. The new paperless session will appear in the Paper Replay session list.

The Pulse also supports background recording, which lets you launch and run another Pulse smartpen application while you're using the Paper Replay application. Paper Replay will continue recording in the background, but no ink is linked to any audio, because the new application you launched is receiving the input from your pen strokes.

You can use the Audio quality setting to change the compression rate of the recorded AAC audio -- the higher the audio quality, the lower the compression rate. As a result, files recorded with the highest audio quality setting will be larger files that require more storage space. These settings can't be changed during recording. Always select the appropriate audio quality setting prior to recording.

Additionally, you can change the smartpen microphone sensitivity for different recording situations. Again, these settings can't be changed while recording, so always select the appropriate microphone setting before beginning a recording. The microphone will stay set at the last setting you chose, so make sure you set it back to Automatic after each use.

The Pulse set sports a calculator that's located on the inside covers of your notebook performs basic math functions, as well as many scientific, financial, and statistical functions. Quick Commands let you write a one-line command with your Pulse smartpen and get an immediate response on your smartpen display.

With the Translator Demo, you can translate a small set of words and the numbers zero to nine from English into Spanish, Swedish, Arabic, or Mandarin. By writing a word in English in your notebook, you can see and hear correct translation from your Pulse smartpen. It's a clever feature, but the number of words is very limited.

The Livescribe Desktop has existed as a Windows solution for a while before a Mac version was released. But now that it's here, it has some features available only for Mac users. Mac users can export and share their notes as PDF files locally from Livescribe Desktop. They can export audio files (in AAC format) separately from notes so they can play them back in iTunes. And they can change the on-screen ink color of their digital notes.

You connect the Pulse to your Mac via an USB cradle. The cradle also charges the pen.

The Pulse smartpen is available in two models. Priced at US $149, the 1GB model provides storage for over 100 hours of recorded audio. At $199, the 2GB model doubles the storage capacity.


Dennis Sellers is a long time journalist. He started in the newspaper business, but has been in the online journalism business for the past 15 years. He's the editor/publisher of Macsimum News (http://www.macsimumnews.com)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Smooth Operator! (Games)
Smooth Operator! 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Smooth Operator is a weird, weird two-player kissing game. Squeeze in for 2 player fun on a single iPad, creating awkward... | Read more »
_PRISM Guide - How to solve those puzzle...
_PRISM is a rather delightful puzzle game that’s been tailor made for touch screens. While part of the fun is figuring things out as you go along, we thought we’d offer you a helping hand at getting in the right mindset. Don’t worry about messing... | Read more »
Set off on an adventure through the Cand...
Like match three puzzlers? If so, Jelly Blast, the innovative iOS and Android game which launched last year, is worth a look. Jelly Blast sees you head off on an epic adventure through the Candy Kingdom with your friends Lily, Mr. Hare, and Mr.... | Read more »
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. (...
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ys Chronicles II (Games)
Ys Chronicles II 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: After a hard fight to recover the six sacred books in Ys Chronicles I, Adol is back for a sequel! | Read more »
FINAL FANTASY Ⅸ (Games)
FINAL FANTASY Ⅸ 1.0.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $16.99, Version: 1.0.4 (iTunes) Description: ==========●Special sale price for the FINAL FANTASY IX release! ●20% off from February 10 to February 21, 2016... | Read more »
Tennis Club Story (Games)
Tennis Club Story 1.03 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.03 (iTunes) Description: Aim for the ace position of tennis club prestige in this simulation! Your leadership decides if players make it to the big... | Read more »
Juggernaut Wars guide - How to use skill...
Juggernaut Warsis a brand new auto-RPG on iOS and Android that challenges you to build a team of heroes, send them out into various different missions to defeat waves of heroes, and level them up to increase their power. The actual combat itself... | Read more »
Check out the new Pirate Attack update i...
Love pirates and board games? Well, you'll love the new Pirate Attack themed update that just launched in Game of Dice. It adds a bunch of new content themed around pirates, like an all new event map based on a pirate ship which revamps the toll... | Read more »
Splash Cars guide - How to paint the tow...
Splash Cars is an arcade driving game that feels like a hybrid between Dawn of the Plow and Splatoon. In it, you'll need to drive a car around to repaint areas of a town that have lost all of their color. Check out these tips to help you perform... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! B&H Photo offers 12-inch Retina Mac...
B&H Photo has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $300 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $999 $300 off MSRP - 12″ 1.... Read more
App Annie Reveals Future of the App Economy:...
App Annie, a San Francisco based mobile app data and insights platform, has launched its first comprehensive app economy forecast. This new offering will provide brands, agencies, investors and app... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
What iPad Pro Still Needs To Make It Truly Pr...
I love my iPad Air 2. So much that I’m grudgingly willing to put up with its compromises and limitations as a production tool in order to take advantage of its virtues. However, since a computer for... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1399, $100 off...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1399 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP: - 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac (MK452LL/A): $... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Save up to $240 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 12″ Retina MacBooks for up to $240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more

Jobs Board

Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Rem...
…part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
Lead Engineer - *Apple* OSX & Hardware...
Lead Engineer - Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Rem...
…part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
Lead Engineer - *Apple* OSX & Hardware...
Lead Engineer - Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.