Coolest technology- OneNote audio recording synchronized with note-taking


Onenote_audio_recordingOneNote is a program that has revolutionized the way I work with its stellar note-taking features.  It is also one of the best programs for a Tablet PC (although it works well on any PC) with superb ink-handling capability.  I have taken literally thousands of pages of notes using ink on the screen of my Tablet PCs and it is hard to imagine life without OneNote.

One of the coolest features of OneNote is nothing new, it’s been around for a long time but I often hear OneNote users mention that they aren’t aware of it.  That technology is the audio recording feature of OneNote that can be used for a variety of functions.  OneNote will use a computer’s microphone to record a meeting or lecture for example and it compresses it on the fly so the audio file is not huge.  Once a recording is made OneNote puts the player controls right on the note page for easy access but this is just the start of the coolness. 

Audio recordings on a OneNote page are synchronized with the notes being entered on the note page.  This happens for typed notes and inked notes as well.  This means that in the future when you are going back over your meeting notes that if you read a note and wonder exactly what triggered it in the meeting you can hit play on the controls that appear when you hover near that particular point in your notes.  You can thus listen to the audio recording of the meeting or lecture from the EXACT POINT IN TIME that you made that note.  I have done this countless times and been able to hear right away exactly what was being discussed in the meeting that led to my note.  This is just awesome, there is no other way to describe it.  Try it and see for yourself.



The real killer app for the Livescribe smartpen will be released on Monday Nov. 24th when the Mac version of livescribe desktop will become available. I just bought a smartpen and, while not nearly as capable as a tablet pc, it is a LOT cheaper and a LOT lighter. I am surprised that it hasn’t been talked about much on jkontherun. Now that it will work on my mac I will be able to make pencasts where ever I am and upload them to the livescibe server. Then I can record the flash versions with the soon to be released Mac version of Camtasia and include handwriting and drawings in my screencasts. Not quite a Mac tablet, but for $200 not a bad start.


I dont actually use this feature on One Note, however, I bought the Pulse Pen two weeks ago and use the feature. It works perfectly on the pen and is a great feature. For those people that still use a pad to take notes, the Pen is a great addition.


That feature is the absolute best feature of OneNote in my opinion. I use it and the same feature with video recordings. For the past 5 years I have been syncing my handwritten notes with my client interviews and conferences. I find that it allows me to concentrate more on what is being said than on transcribing it. If the Livescribe Pulse pen can someday sync with ON 2007, that will be the killer app for the pen IMHO.


I’m just holding out hope that the version of OneNote Mobile for Windows Mobile 7 (or Android?) has half the features the desktop client has, ideally with the ability to (selectively) sync with your main notebooks instead of having a mobile-only area. Then a searching ability, non-neutered media support, better text format control, the list goes on and on.

Or maybe I just need to get an OQO and a watch phone :)

Dave Beauvais

I love this feature and use it frequently while reviewing meeting notes. Countless times each week I wish I had a Tablet PC while I was in school, as I truly believe it would have revolutionized my studying. The ability to record lectures and take synchronized notes would have been a tremendous asset. especially with the ability to embed the professor’s PowerPoint slides and other materials into the notes. I find myself more than a little envious of today’s students!


(Also posted this comment on FriendFeed)

The LiveScribe Pulse (IIRC) pen can do this also — record audio while you’re taking notes on paper. And when you tap on a particular part of your notes, it will playback the audio that was recorded at that time. I am curious to try the Pulse (it’s available at Target), but it’s a little expensive…

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