Anyone who has had the need to transcribe an audio document can testify to how painful this apparently-easy task is. Listen N Write is a transcription software with an integrated text editor that enables listening and transcribing text from WAV or MP3 files. Although one can simply play audio files in any media player to transcribe text, what makes Listen N Write handier is the fact that it provides a text editor bundled with its media player, and provides bookmarking functionality for audio files. This means that you can bookmark specific areas of a speech, lecture or any recording, and continue your work from where you left just by opening the bookmark rather than having to manually find the required part of the recording. Furthermore, it provides hotkey support to help you quickly stop, rewind and forward your audio files. Another factor why you might prefer Listen N Write over a common media player is because it is quite lightweight and has an approximate memory stamp of 15 MB.
To start transcribing, select an audio file to begin the playback. You can play, stop, forward and rewind the recording from buttons on the player’s interface, or via the following hotkeys: Play/Stop F5, Rewind F6 and Forward F7. The text editor contains almost all functions that one would expect in MS WordPad, including font management, cut, copy, paste, undo, redo, numbering, line spacing etc. After transcription, you can save your text documents in RTF or TXT format.
Bookmarking utility is arguably the best feature of Listen N Write. To bookmark a specific part of an audio file, use CTRL+M hotkey or go to Playback –> Add Bookmark. This will bookmark the currently playing part of the audio file. You will also be provided with the option to add a custom name to the bookmark, to help you easily identify and launch the audio file from the bookmarked section (e.g. 0.32 seconds).
To launch a bookmark, head over to Playback –> Preview Bookmark.
The only thing that you might want to watch out for is that when you install Listen N Write, the default language is Italian. So, if you have a different preferred language (e.g., English), make sure you select it from the drop down menu. The interface language can be changed anytime from Options –> Language. Listen N Write works on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.