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Summary:

Earlier December saw the launch of Cogi (pronounced co-jee), an audio recording and transcription service in the mould of QTech’s reQall and SkyDeck, bringing a potentially a valuable note taking tool for web workers. The US-based service enables users to capture the audio content of any […]

Earlier December saw the launch of Cogi (pronounced co-jee), an audio recording and transcription service in the mould of QTech’s reQall and SkyDeck, bringing a potentially a valuable note taking tool for web workers.

The US-based service enables users to capture the audio content of any phone call or conference calls in their entirety for later transcription to text by the service. Users can also markup parts of the call for particular emphasis during the transcription process. Apparently marking up such segments of a call is as simple as hitting a touchtone keypad to issue stop and start commands, though I’m sure a visual aid to this would be a welcome future addition.

Indeed, the service derives its name from ‘cogent ideas’, the parts of conversations that seem to be the most important.

Like reQall, the service is using a combination of speech-to-text technology and human assistance to produce accurate transcripts. However what’s probably more useful than the transcript itself are the implications of a digitized record of audio conversations. All of a sudden, a previously transitory and inert medium becomes searchable, sharable and intrinsically more valuable. Of course there are privacy implications in recording calls, but no more complex than existing issues in retaining phone calls.

At $30/month for 1000 minutes it’s a pricey service, but perhaps the company has inadvertently developed a ‘Gmail for voice’. Regardless, additional price tiers may be neccessary to encourage casual use and wider adoption.

  1. See also recordmycalls.com
    It’s $0.20/min, or $0.15 if you commit to higher volume. Cogi works out to $.03/min which is cheaper, but committing to 1000 minutes a month is a big leap.

    Google’s GrandCentral (rumored to be relaunching at CES) also features call recording. (It is free but has been closed to new sign-ups since the Google acquisition.)

    Reqall does use voice transcription, but it is for short blips of text that are intended to be reminders (e.g. “pick up the dry cleaning.”) Jott is in this same category.

    And I don’t see the connection to Skydeck. They are about parsing your call history, not call recording.

    Disclosure: My company, Fonolo, will be offering call recording as part of our Intelligent Call History feature. Fonolo is in open beta right now, but the call recording is not yet enabled.

    – Shai

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  2. If you want a pre-paid route and not have to pay any monthly fees, there is recordiapro.com

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  3. Now, it seems the ‘automatic’ voice transcribing into SMS is not so automatic. Companies pass our voice messages to outsourced personnel in South Africa and they actually hear and type the SMS. Where is the confidentiality of all this? One of the outsourced employees was clear enough: “the machines (for automatic voice transcription) do not understand nothing, we need to start typing upon hearing the voice message”. I think WebWorker Daily’s reporters should investigate which other companies use acutally human beings to make ‘automatic’ transcription. This could be a major security breach for private and corporate clients that use those ‘automatic’ transcription systems. Please check this article by BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8163511.stm

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  4. I actually just signed up for the “free” trial for cogi call recording. Buyer Beware- nothing is as simple as is sounds-

    if u want to make quick recorded calls, and have easy access to the files easily this isnt your product. record my calls, call recorder card are all good options. these guys seem like a classic bait and switch

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    1. Hi This is Dave from Cogi. We take your feedback very seriously, and would like to know how we can improve the experience.
      Cogi lets you record calls several ways:
      1) Software you can load on your desktop will connect your phone to the destination phone number;
      2) From your online Web Portal (click to call similar to the software)
      3) Via a dial-in number (no PC or software required)
      4) We also offer a “memo line” that records and transcribes up to 3 minutes
      5) Coming soon: An iPhone app that lets you dial any contact in your iPhone with Cogi recording.
      You can access the audio several ways: Online in your Cogi Portfolio (its like an online playlist that streams the audio to your PC). You can also choose to download MP3 of any recording.
      About the trial:
      Cogi offers a free trial and asks for a credit card up front. If you cancel before day 30, you pay nothing. You also have the option to downgrade to a Pay-per-use service with no monthly fee. After day 30, if you don’t cancel, you are subscribed and charged. The reason we ask for credit card up front is because the transcription and call time included in the trial has a very real cost. Validating a credit card is one of the most effective ways to ensure that only those who are genuinely interested in the service and have a viable means to pay can use the trial, and also its a good way to avoid those attempting to get repeated free trials (returning to the homepage to register again and again).
      Please email us at support@cogi.com if you have any questions about the service.
      Regards,
      Dave

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  5. Agree with Cogi.com Sucks Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    1) I tried the Cogi iPhone app and you cant get anywhere without paying big time for an app that hardly works and doesnt really do anything.

    2) Recording calls the other way thru a phone or the website is a PAIN IN THE ASS!

    Dont go near Cogi. SCAM SCAM SCAM

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