Last week Farallon began shipping a voice digitizer that should make voice mail and voice additions to files an easy reality. Farallon's new product, the MacRecorder Voice Digitizer, can be used to input voice messages to many Macintosh electronic mail systems, including QuickMail 2.2x from CE Software, Microsoft Mail 2.0, and WordPerfect Office Mail.
The new Voice Digitizer does not come with sound editing software and is targeted to people who wish to add simple sounds or voice to a Macintosh file. People who need sound editing capabilities will still find them in Farallon's two-year-old MacRecorder Sound System, which comes with editing software and an input jack for sound from a stereo system. In exchange for its reduced functionality, the Voice Digitizer lists for $149, $100 less than the list price for the Sound System.
Voice mail is an exciting application for the new digitizer, but because its lower price may make it a realistic purchase for more people, we might find other, perhaps more interesting, types of applications accepting voice input. For example, FrameMaker (a desktop publishing application), when running on the NeXT machine (we've never seen it running on the Mac or any other workstation, so we don't know if this only applies to the NeXT) has a facility for incorporating sound into files. The sound is represented by an icon which can be clicked to hear its message. This is handy for critiquing a colleague's work on screen. If you didn't like the design or wording, you could explain it verbally instead of trying to show it on the screen or writing a message. It is also handy for leaving messages to yourself and for hypermedia-like applications where the document is intended to be read online.
Farallon -- 415/596-9000
Farallon Press Release
InfoWorld -- 11-Jun-90, Vol. 12, #24, pg. 41