Live Transcribe Problem

Posted by joyces @joyces, Dec 4, 2019

First, I bought a cheap Android tablet and downloaded Live Transcribe. It worked, but the mic was so weak that it was useless, except for my own voice. I ditched my perfectly good IPhone and switched to an Android (Samsung A20) and downloaded Live Transcribe. I tried it at home with the TV, but most of the time there were no icons at the bottom of the screen, so I couldn't make it start. I did go to "Accessability" and ask to use Live Transcribe, but it still didn't work most of the time. I thought perhaps the mic wasn't strong enough to pick up electronic voices from the TV. Today, I went to a meeting of 10 people and fired up Live Transcribe…and got a message "App is offline. You'll see sound events, but not transcription." I was able to connect to the internet, but my phone continued to give me the same disappointing message. Another meeting of mystery discussion, dammit! I've searched on line to find an answer, but haven't been able to. This is extremely disappointing…the IPhone could connect for phone calls, at least, even though Otter was a dismal failure because it lagged five minutes or more behind and was unable to understand tech terms. Anyone else have this problem or know what I might be able to do–other than hurl the phone at the brick wall next to my desk????

Joyces, I'm a bit confused on how you're using Live Transcribe. You say you only sometimes see the icon? Does this mean that you're casting the Android phone to the TV instead of using the app on the phone itself? The only time I get the message that "Live Transcribe is offline" is when I don't have Wi-Fi. There are certain networks, especially in hotels, where you have internet access, but you have to authenticate the connection by agreeing to terms setup by the hotel network before it lets you go further. As you've mentioned, when there is no Wi-Fi, you'll still see the sound events and the blue thingy at the top-right of the screen shows that the mic is working, but there will be no transcriptions. These speech-to-text apps are only one of several tools that we can use to help. They're not perfect and will fail miserably in the same environments where we need them the most.
Tony in Michigan

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Hmmm…I thought you needed WiFi to get internet…stupid me. We have no cell reception at home–none, zip, nada, not weak but none at all. I figured out how to connect my IPhone to our own WiFi, but the signal wasn't strong enough to use it for phone calls. Every time there was a new OS upgrade for the phone, I had to attach it to my computer CPU in order to get the upgrade. When I got the Samsung (in the hopes of being able to use Live Transcribe), I connected it to our own WiFi–why, I'm not certain. <g> I'm afraid to try to connect my Bernefon mic to the Samsung because it IS connected to my aid. Sometimes, that's a real help: watching TV or listening to a speaker in a large room if I'm close enough. I've already lost the connection of the IPhone directly into my ear when I'm away from home with reception, which is a real loss, due to switching to the android Samsung so I don't want to lose more.

I tried using Live Transcribe with the TV simply by pointing the Samsung at the TV in various ways, but it doesn't pick up anything, not even when it's only four feet from the TV.

Three months ago, I tried using the android tablet and Live Transcribe during an appt. with my kidney doc, but it plainly stated that I had no WiFi, which even stupid me can understand. Some public places have signs to enable you to connect to their WiFi, but that's not the case at the Hatfield Marine Science Center where the workgroup meets. Ditto for the Oregon State Extension Service office where the fly fishing club meets. Both those public buildings are 30 miles south in the largest town on this part of the coast–10,000 permanent residents. Our entire county only has 35,000 residents,most of whom live within two blocks of the ocean, leaving the entire eastern bulk of the county unroaded for the most part.

HOH or deaf people need a handbook to help steer us through the fine points of internet and WiFi! I've found that the concept of not having reception is a total mystery to all the tech people in the Willamette Valley, where cell towers are everywhere. On the coast, there aren't many towers, and there are steep hills throughout even "downtown" (if you can use that term to refer to the strip of shops along Hwy 101). From my house, I can walk uphill on our place to a point just behind the house that's 300' higher, and a half-mile north there's a "peak" over 600' higher. Reception is spotty…none in the City Hall building, none many places in town. You learn where you can go to get spots with reception. In the valley, it's everywhere except for a few huge cement buildings like the Expo center–during trade shows there's always a clutch of folks outside the exhibitors' entrance making calls.

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@joyces
Hi,
Sounds like you live in a beautiful area but yikes, so much depends on internet availability. I can use my Live Transcribe app just about everywhere but, as Tony says, it has its limits. In a crowded or noisy environment it fails because I think it cannot “decide” which voice to focus on. I find it works the absolute best when someone is speaking through a microphone. I was on a small motorboat cruise recently and sat near the captain who was speaking through a mic. The app picked up every word. Yet , at a noisy restaurant later, it barely picked up the person’s voice right next to me. Other times in restaurants it’s great. This is a noisy world. Around a family dinner table, it is not reliable. You would have the same problems with Otter or any other similar app.

I have a Samsung Galaxy s7 that has a powerful mic and I sometimes turn the phone so that the mic is aimed towards the sound source. I have seen not so great reviews about the A20. When it comes time for a new phone I will be researching those with the stronger mics.

I can imagine how frustrating all this is for you and wish I could help. I can’t fathom any public building not having WiFi. It’s so so automatic here in Florida and we take it for granted.

FL Mary

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Thanks for sharing the info. I gave up on using Live Transcribe, plus I didn't like the idea of having Google recording all my conversations and sharing the data with advertisers. I'm now using Streamer. It's not an app but rather they create a website for you that you use to caption conversations. You can also add notes to the transcript, which I do a lot during work meetings. If you want to give it a try, go to their website which is streamer.center and click on the "More Info" link. It's free to try but after the first 30-days it costs me $8.25/month, and again, that's for the website not per user. I've got about 50 people that now have accounts to my website.

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@livingat45north

Thanks for sharing the info. I gave up on using Live Transcribe, plus I didn't like the idea of having Google recording all my conversations and sharing the data with advertisers. I'm now using Streamer. It's not an app but rather they create a website for you that you use to caption conversations. You can also add notes to the transcript, which I do a lot during work meetings. If you want to give it a try, go to their website which is streamer.center and click on the "More Info" link. It's free to try but after the first 30-days it costs me $8.25/month, and again, that's for the website not per user. I've got about 50 people that now have accounts to my website.

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Hi @livingat45north. Can you please clarify? When you invite people to your Streamer website, do you pay for each person, i.e., user?

Liked by livingat45north

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@colleenyoung

Hi @livingat45north. Can you please clarify? When you invite people to your Streamer website, do you pay for each person, i.e., user?

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It's one price for the website, not a per person fee. If you have one person or 50 people or 500 people, it's still the same price. If you go to YouTube and do a search on Interact-Streamer you can see videos on how it works.

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Do you have Caption Call at home, Joyces? It works with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). Here’s the cool part, Costco/Sams Club audiologists have the form and will fill it out and send it to Caption Call. They will connect with you and come to your home to set the phone up with your internet. Caption Call also has a app that works with my iPad. Wherever I am, as long as I can connect to internet, I can make captioned calls. I rarely use the actual phone but do use the CaptionCall app.

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This won't solve your wifi challenges, but you could try the Ava app, an alternative to Google Transcribe, and it's available on both iOS and Android. It may be more sensitive. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but will next meeting, rather than Transcribe, and see how it does.

ava

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@banshee

I use Live Transcribe. I have tried AVA and it was basically a total fail. The speaker needs to be very close to the mic in order to get captions. You have to invite others to join and get the app also. Not as easy as it looks. I last used this about a year ago (since got rid of it) and found that, when a group of us were in a restaurant I was able to only get the person directly in front of me. People talking down at the end of the table had their heads turned to whoever was speaking so the voices could not be picked up. This seemed to be a one at a time sort of thing. It also picked up random voices from the next table.
We were all having a problem with it at that time. It involved handing the phone back and forth to each person speaking.

On my phone I also have an app called TextHear which is available on iphones and androids. You have to hit the microphone to speak but it does a good job one on one. You would have to pass the phone back and forth in a large group. If you around a dinner table its easier to lean over to the person speaking. Another app I have used is Otter which I think was originally designed for business meetings. That also did a good job. That one you need to sign up for although it is free. I didn't need all this apps on my Android so I stick with Live Transcribe and TextHear. They are especially helpful in Doctors offices when everyone is speaking behind masks. For all the apps you need good wifi service and a good mic on the phone.

All that being said, there are really no apps out there that will let you sit back and place the phone in the middle of a table and you are able to hear everyone.
Even the Pocket Talker microphone that I used to place in the middle of the table didn't pick up voices less then a couple of feet away and often not at all. The lapel mics are better but you can ear the rustling sounds of the speakers when they move. At least people are still trying to come up with apps.

I would like a new update of my Samsung 7S but am really afraid that the next mic might not be as powerful so I will keep the current version as long as I can because Live Transcribe is so successful for me…as is TextHear.

FL Mary

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@imallears

@banshee

I use Live Transcribe. I have tried AVA and it was basically a total fail. The speaker needs to be very close to the mic in order to get captions. You have to invite others to join and get the app also. Not as easy as it looks. I last used this about a year ago (since got rid of it) and found that, when a group of us were in a restaurant I was able to only get the person directly in front of me. People talking down at the end of the table had their heads turned to whoever was speaking so the voices could not be picked up. This seemed to be a one at a time sort of thing. It also picked up random voices from the next table.
We were all having a problem with it at that time. It involved handing the phone back and forth to each person speaking.

On my phone I also have an app called TextHear which is available on iphones and androids. You have to hit the microphone to speak but it does a good job one on one. You would have to pass the phone back and forth in a large group. If you around a dinner table its easier to lean over to the person speaking. Another app I have used is Otter which I think was originally designed for business meetings. That also did a good job. That one you need to sign up for although it is free. I didn't need all this apps on my Android so I stick with Live Transcribe and TextHear. They are especially helpful in Doctors offices when everyone is speaking behind masks. For all the apps you need good wifi service and a good mic on the phone.

All that being said, there are really no apps out there that will let you sit back and place the phone in the middle of a table and you are able to hear everyone.
Even the Pocket Talker microphone that I used to place in the middle of the table didn't pick up voices less then a couple of feet away and often not at all. The lapel mics are better but you can ear the rustling sounds of the speakers when they move. At least people are still trying to come up with apps.

I would like a new update of my Samsung 7S but am really afraid that the next mic might not be as powerful so I will keep the current version as long as I can because Live Transcribe is so successful for me…as is TextHear.

FL Mary

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I think I posted earlier in this thread. If you go to http://www.streamer.center you'll see an app (actually it's not an app, it's a website they create for you) that easily supports multiple speakers without your having to pass a phone around the table. For example, instead of everyone having to use the same phone they could all use their own phone. If it's really noisy, they could add a lapel mic to their phone (a lapel mic costs about $10 on Amazon). Streamer is free for the first 4 weeks, and then costs $8.25/month ($99/year) for unlimited use with an unlimited number of people. You can share your Streamer website with as many folks as you want, and it's still that one flat fee.

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@livingat45north

I remember you posting that information. Are you currently using it? Thanks for positing it again. I plan to try it when the "social distancing" and coronavirus has abated.

FL Mary

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Here's a new video just released showing how you can caption livestreams: https://studio.youtube.com/video/4JV5JRSXOeE/edit

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@livingat45north

Here's a new video just released showing how you can caption livestreams: https://studio.youtube.com/video/4JV5JRSXOeE/edit

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livingat45north, the link isn't working for me.

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@tonyinmi

livingat45north, the link isn't working for me.

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Not sure where those extra letters came from. Here's the correct link:

Liked by tonyinmi

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Basic problem,… "Not Online" intermittently from everywhere, with wifi.

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