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)

 
AAPL
$101.79
Apple Inc.
+0.21
MSFT
$46.68
Microsoft Corpora
+0.16
GOOG
$589.27
Google Inc.
+4.50

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

iMazing 1.0 - Complete iOS device manage...
iMazing (formerly DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and... Read more
Xcode 6.0.1 - Integrated development env...
Apple Xcode is Apple Computer's integrated development environment (IDE) for OS X. The full Xcode package is free to ADC members and includes all the tools you need to create, debug, and optimize... Read more
Apple Safari 7.1 - Apple's Web brow...
Apple Safari in OS X Mavericks brings you all-new ways to find and enjoy the best of the web. It works with iCloud to give you a seamless browsing experience across all your devices. It looks out for... Read more
Delivery Status 6.1.2 - Check delivery s...
Delivery Status displays delivery status of packages for a variety of shipment services. Can't wait for your packages to arrive? Don't waste your time checking the site constantly, just open this all... Read more
Mavericks Cache Cleaner 8.0.9 - Clear ca...
Mavericks Cache Cleaner is an award-winning general purpose tool for OS X. MCC makes system maintenance simple with an easy point-and-click interface to many OS X functions. Novice and expert users... Read more
OneNote 15.2.2 - Free digital notebook f...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Apple Configurator 1.6 - Configure and d...
Apple Configurator makes it easy for anyone to mass configure and deploy iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in a school, business, or institution. Three simple workflows let you prepare new iOS devices... Read more
SpamSieve 2.9.16 - Robust spam filter fo...
SpamSieve is a robust spam filter for major email clients that uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering. SpamSieve understands what your spam looks like in order to block it all, but also learns what... Read more
OS X Server 3.2.1 - For OS X 10.9.5 Mave...
OS X Server is the next generation of Apple's award winning server software. Designed for OS X and iOS devices, OS X Server makes it easy to share files, schedule meetings, synchronize contacts, host... Read more
Apple Security Update 2014-004 - For OS...
Apple Security Update is recommended for all users and improves the security of Mac OS X. For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Down Among the Dead Men (Games)
Down Among the Dead Men 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Avast! Take to the high seas in a fully interactive piratical tale of broadsides and buccaneers. From author Dave... | Read more »
Sling Adds Chromecast Support Through Sl...
Sling Adds Chromecast Support Through Slingplaye​r Mobile Apps Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
How to Completely Delete Your iPhone’s C...
The iPhone 6 is out tomorrow, and plenty of people are excited about it. So much so that they’re planning to – or already have – traded in their old iPhone to go towards it. The thing about trading in hardware is it’s very important to make sure... | Read more »
Dragon Quest I Review
Dragon Quest I Review By Andrew Fisher on September 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: THINE QUEST AWAITETHUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Its historical significance aside, Dragon Quest 1 is a fun, campy, difficult, thoroughly... | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Overkill 3
Overkill 3 is like every trope of big modern gaming rolled into one. It’s a sequel to an action-packed military shooter. It’s flashy and scripted and flaunts its sophisticated graphics. And it’s a mobile game with a heavy emphasis on in-app... | Read more »
New Modes and Leader Boards in Update fo...
New Modes and Leader Boards in Update for Rules! Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
TwistedRun Review
TwistedRun Review By Rob Thomas on September 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DON'T TWIST YOUR ANKLE!Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad TwistedRun is kind of like running up a giant curly fry into the sky. Or maybe that was just... | Read more »
Scope Review
Scope Review By Jennifer Allen on September 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LOCATION AWAREiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Want to easily find photos from around the world based on their location? Scope is a... | Read more »
HipstaFox Review
HipstaFox Review By Jordan Minor on September 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FANTASTIC MR. FOXUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad HipstaFox is a great single that makes players long for the whole album.   | Read more »
Ninja Raft (Games)
Ninja Raft 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** Special Launch Price ** "Ninja Raft is definitely the game to play if you’re into Tower Defense games and want to play something... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $300 on the price of a new Mac wit...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more
16GB iPad Air on sale for $449, save $50
Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air WiFi on sale for $449 on their online store for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup. Their price represents a $50 savings over standard... Read more
13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale for $1099,...
B&H Photo has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz 256GB MacBook Air on sale for $1099.99. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Toshiba Introduces TransMemory ID High-Speed...
Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today introduced the TransMemory ID USB 3.0 Flash Drive, a simpler storage solution for people who... Read more
New iPads and OS X Yosemite Release Coming Oc...
The DailyDot’s Micah Singleton reports that Apple is planning to hold its next product announcement event on Oct. 21, at which it will unveil the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 and release a final build... Read more
Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Cross-Platfor...
Logitech has an enviable track record of making some of the best computer keyboards and mice. At least in my estimation, the best freestanding keyboards I’ve ever used have been Logitech units,... Read more
Roundup of Apple refurbished iPad Airs and iP...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
Sprint offers 16GB iPad mini for $199.99 with...
Sprint is offering 1st generation 16GB iPad minis for $199.99 with a 2-year service agreement. Standard MSRP for this iPad is $429. Their price is the lowest available for this model. Read more
2.5GHz Mac mini remains on sale for $549, sav...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more

Jobs Board

Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.