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

PopChar 7.1 - Floating window shows avai...
We're also selling a 5-license family pack for only $25.99! PopChar helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to... Read more
BBEdit 11.1.1 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
Picasa 3.9.139 - Organize, edit, and sha...
Picasa and Picasa Web Albums allows you to organize, edit, and upload your photos to the Web from your computer in quick, simple steps. Arrange your photos into folders and albums and erase their... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0.5 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
NetShade 6.2 - Browse privately using an...
This promotion is for NetShade and 1 year of Proxy and VPN services NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN... Read more
CrossOver 14.1.3 - Run Windows apps on y...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
Little Snitch 3.5.3 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.2.3 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
OmniFocus 2.2 - GTD task manager with iO...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more
1Password 5.3.2 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more

MooVee - Your Movies Guru (Entertainmen...
MooVee - Your Movies Guru 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: MooVee helps you effortlessly manage your movies, on your iPhone. | Read more »
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (Games)
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enjoy the next chapter in the award-winning Geometry Wars franchise and enjoy stunning, console-quality... | Read more »
CHAOS RINGS Ⅲ (Games)
CHAOS RINGS Ⅲ 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $19.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The newest addition to the popular smartphone RPG series is finally here! ・CHAOS RINGS Overview | Read more »
The Popular Insight Series of Travel Gui...
Getting around in a country when you can't understand the primary language can be tough. Fortunately there are several options available to help wold travellers with the important stuff like giving directions to a cab driver or asking where the... | Read more »
Desktop Dungeons is Now on the iPad Desp...
Desktop Dungeons has been a well-loved roguelike on PC for quite some time, and now it's finally available for the iPad! Just the iPad, though. Sorry iPhone users. [Read more] | Read more »
Moleskine Timepage – Calendar for iCloud...
Moleskine Timepage – Calendar for iCloud, Google & Exchange 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The most elegant calendar for your pocket and wrist, Timepage is a... | Read more »
QuizUp Gets Social in its New Update
Plain Vanilla Corp has released a new and improved version of their popular trivia game, QuizUp. The app now emphasizes social play so you can challenge friends from all over the world. [Read more] | Read more »
The Deep (Games)
The Deep 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Swipe Controls Delve into the deep in this retro rogue-like! Swipe to move your diver around and keep away from the enemies as you... | Read more »
Sproggiwood (Games)
Sproggiwood 1.2.8 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.2.8 (iTunes) Description: Sproggiwood was developed for devices with at least 1GB of RAM. We recommend you only download Sproggiwood if your device... | Read more »
Battle of Gods: Ascension (Games)
Battle of Gods: Ascension 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: TURN-BASED TACTICAL COMBATFight tactical battles against the forces of Hades! In Battle of Gods: Ascension you play... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
What Would the ideal Apple Productivity Platf...
For the past four years I’ve kept a foot in both the Mac and iPad camps respectively. my daily computing hours divided about 50/50 between the two devices with remarkable consistency. However, there’... Read more
PageMeUp 1.2.1 Ten Dollar Page Layout Applica...
Paris, France-based Softobe, an OS X software development company, has announced that their PageMeUp v. 1.2.1, is available on the Mac App Store for $9.99. The license can be installed on up to 5... Read more
Eight New Products For USB Type-C Application...
Fresco Logic, specialists in advanced connectivity technologies and ICs, has introduced two new product families targeting the Type-C connector recently introduced across a number of consumer... Read more
Scripps National Spelling Bee Launches Buzzwo...
Scripps National Spelling Bee fans can monitor the action at the 2015 Spelling Bee with the new Buzzworthy app for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. The free Buzzworthy app provides friendly... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $120 o...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $979 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model (except for Apple’... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899, $10...
B&H Photo has the new 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $50 on iPad Air 2, NY tax only, fr...
B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549.99 $50 off - 128GB iPad... Read more
Updated Mac Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
New 13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from... Read more

Jobs Board

Program Manager, *Apple* Community Support...
**Job Summary** Apple Support Communities ( discussions. apple .com) helps customers get the most from their Apple products and services by providing access to Read more
Senior Data Scientist, *Apple* Retail - Onl...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail - Online sells Apple products to customers around the world. In addition to selling Apple products with unique services such as iPad Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Watch SW Application Project Manager...
**Job Summary** The Apple Watch software team is looking for an Application Engineering Project Manager to work on new projects for Apple . The successful candidate Read more
Engineering Manager for *Apple* Maps on the...
…the Maps App Team get to take part in just about any new feature in Apple Maps, often contributing a majority of the feature work. In our day-to-day engineering work, we Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.