SpeechLive 8 Gets an Update
On July 1st, 2017, Philips® Speech Processing Solutions rolled out some significant changes to their SpeechLive cloud subscription service—changes that make SpeechLive much more feasible as a standalone dictation management solution. Much of the basic functionality from SpeechExec is now incorporated into the cloud, which means that you could legitimately consider using SpeechLive as your main dictation/transcription system.
Please note in the above statement that we mention “basic” functionality; SpeechExec and SpeechExec Pro still vastly exceed SpeechLive in terms of functionality, flexibility, and customization. Be sure to talk to your Philips reseller about which solution works for your needs. If you don’t have a Philips dealer, we’d be happy to connect you with one.
Since SpeechLive is a cloud service that you access on the web, it works on both Windows® and Mac® computers. Let’s look at which browsers are supported.
- Internet Explorer 11 (with Java)
- Google® Chrome (no Java)
- Mozilla® Firefox (no Java) support has been added
- Google Chrome (no Java)
- Apple® Safari is no longer supported in SpeechLive 8
Changes for SpeechLive Administrators
For those of you in charge of SpeechLive for your office, Philips introduced some changes to make management a little easier. These break down into three categories: user interface, user experience, and functionality.
- Philips migrated the “Workflow” submenu items to the gear wheel on the right. “Workflow” now takes you to the user management screen.
- Users have status colors now, so you should be able to easily tell if they’re activated or not.
- You will see new user management and user relationship tutorials when first getting started.
- Question mark [?] help icons now provide more information about a particular function.
- You will be prompted with an orange bar across the screen if you have unlinked users. Unlinked users are those SpeechLive team members not assigned to an author-transcriptionist workflow relationship.
A new auto-archive feature enables you to file dictations with a transcription finished status in the SpeechLive archive after ‘x’ number of days. This number can be configured by the SpeechLive administrator.
Changes for SpeechLive Users
For authors and transcriptionists using SpeechLive, Philips made some significant changes to the web application. As a result, SpeechLive has become a viable substitute for SpeechExec for Windows— and should be considered as superior to the SpeechExec for Mac software.
Since there are more updates for actual SpeechLive users—rather than administrators—we’re going to break them down with a little more granularity. At the top level, though, they can be categorized into general, organizational, and functional updates.
- There’s a new tutorial for the dictation management page. You should see this the next time you log in.
- You can now download dictations, their .XML files, and the corresponding transcriptions to your computer.
If you are new to SpeechLive and want to try it out first, now it’s easier to sign-up for a trial. There’s only one trial option type, which is “full-featured,” and the SpeechLive transcription service isn’t required anymore. Philips also redesigned the user interface, trimmed down the registration process to fewer steps, and enabled signup in the Philips Voice Recorder smartphone app.
Please note that if you start a SpeechLive trial without a Philips dealer, you will get a local dealer assigned to you automatically. This dealer will be your first line of support if you have a question or need assistance with SpeechLive.
- A new search filter allows you to specify metadata fields to target when you’re trying to find a dictation. This search works within any folder you have selected.
- There are 11 new dictation property columns, including “Creation Date,” “Category,” and more.
- Philips added a little blue bar in front of all unread dictations, to let you know if a file has been played by a transcriptionist yet.
One of the biggest improvements that Philips made to SpeechLive 8 was adding a folder system. Similar to SpeechExec—but not as extensive—the SpeechLive folders enable authors and transcriptionists to organize and manage their dictations more effectively.
- On the author side, there’s a “My Dictations” folder, for active files.
- The transcriptionist has both an “InTray” and separate author subfolders. These allow the transcriptionist to see one author’s dictations at a time, or all of them (if she has a workflow connection with them).
- Both types of users have a “Private” and an “Archive” folder. Finished dictations go into the archive, and dictations that you unarchive go into the “Private” folder.
- There are also “Pending” and “Suspended” filters, which allow you to isolate dictations with these statuses. These filters are only available for Advanced Business Package members.
Philips added a new “More Options” menu button. This […] button shows up when you highlight a dictation, and will offer these submenu items, if they apply to your file:
- Dictation Properties – Edit the metadata for the dictation
- Change Dictation State – Change the status of the dictation manually
- Send to Archive – Put the dictation in the “Archive” folder
- Un-archive Dictation – Remove the dictation from the archive and put it in “Private”
These are all brand new functions in SpeechLive 8.
Advanced Business Package members can now configure popup and audio notifications for both authors and transcriptionists. When a new pending dictation arrives, transcriptionists get a notification; and when a transcription is marked finished, the author gets a notification.
The audio notification, and notifications in general, can be turned on or off. Additionally, authors can now enable email notifications when their dictations are transcribed. This was something only admins could configure, previously.
Perhaps the biggest change in SpeechLive 8 is that everyone gets access to the advanced web player—which was formerly reserved for Advanced Business Package members. The advanced player includes:
- Audio playback buttons (fast-forward, rewind, play, etc.)
- Speed and volume controls
- Winding speed configuration, which controls how fast the recording rewinds/fast-forwards
- Auto-backspace functionality, which will rewind the dictation ‘x’ seconds after you press pause and then play again
The player is also easier to use for transcriptionists. When they click the play button next to the dictation, the player opens and the dictation status changes to “transcription in progress” automatically. In addition, the “Edit” icon on the toolbar is now a play button, with “Preview” and “Open in player” as your two options.
All transcriptionists now have footpedal support—including the ability to play dictations in the advanced player, and to program the buttons on their foot control. Please note that the foot control must be plugged in to customize its buttons, it only works in the player, and only for transcriptionists.