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Record Online Meetings in Pear Note

While Pear Note is primarily geared toward recording notes in the physical world, it's possible to use it to record things in the virtual world as well. For instance, you can use it to record and take notes on Skype calls. To do this:

  1. Download Soundflower and install it (along with the Soundflowerbed app that comes with it).
  2. Download LineIn and install it.
  3. Start Soundflowerbed, and select Built-in Output (or whatever output you'd like to listen to the conversation on).
  4. Start LineIn, and select your microphone (e.g. Built-in Mic) as the input and Soundflower (2ch) as the output, then press Pass Thru.
  5. Open Pear Note Preferences, select Recording, and select Soundflower (2ch) as the audio device.
  6. Open Skype Preferences, select Audio, and select Soundflower (2ch) as the audio output and your microphone (e.g. Built-in Mic) as the audio input.
  7. Hit record in Pear Note and make your Skype call.

This will allow you to conduct your Skype call while Pear Note records both your audio and the other participant's.

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TomTom Car Kit Now Supports Original iPhone and iPod touch

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TomTom has released version 1.2 of several of its turn-by-turn navigation software packages for the iPhone OS, including TomTom U.S. & Canada ($99.99). This new release enables owners of the original iPhone, which lacks internal GPS hardware, and those with any iPod touch to gain access to satellite-based navigation through the TomTom Car Kit for iPhone ($119.95).

The car kit is a suction-cup windshield dock (be sure to read "Beware the GPS Thieves," 24 April 2009) with a built-in microphone and speaker, a stereo audio output jack, and a required connection to a car power port. The kit has its own GPS receiver, which communicates with the iPhone and iPod touch via the dock as an external device. Hands-free calling may be used over Bluetooth with an iPhone. The dock charges the iPhone or iPod touch as well. (Apple allows dock-based hardware to communicate with specific application software.)

The new version adds text-to-speech synthesis for street names and other information in several languages, drops in better volume control for vocal instructions, and features a minimal iPod control interface. Other GPS navigation apps have embedded nearly all the iPod functionality within themselves. The program also includes a display of lane positioning, showing a driver which of multiple lanes to be in, a feature found in some competing programs.

While this support for the original iPhone and all iPod touch models is welcome, the combined price of about $220 for the application and hardware seems rather steep compared to similarly featured low-end standalone GPS devices. The big advantage? One fewer device to keep track of.

 

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