Analysing audio in Techsmith Morae

Techsmith’s Morae software is typically used to record and analyse video, recorded off a computer screen, with picture in picture video of the computer user’s face. Sounds dull, but for anyone doing user testing it’s quite exciting. I won’t go any further into that…

The problem I had is that I’d done some user tests that only consisted of pre-recorded audio files. We were testing a mobile device application and recorded the conversations taking place, and user comments, using a dictaphone and clip mic on the user. I thought it would then be a simple case of importing those audio files into Morae as the primary source to analyse – I’d then be able to listen to the files again, logging instances of frustration, user errors, negative comments, positive comment, etc. However, Morae didn’t really allow me to do this. It was either a problem with the file type, or missing codec on my machine. I even tried converting ??the audio file to a video file with black screen first, but then more codec issues.
With many of these things though, there was a fudge…

The solution, which I discovered yesterday, was to go back to the Morae recording machine, rather than the Manager PC and make a new .rdg file consisting of the audio.??
  1. First I plugged a double ended male to male mini jack 5mm audio cable, out of the headphones socket on the PC, and into the mic input socket. So, any sound coming out of the PC would go back into the mic. Sounds a bit odd, I know.??
  2. I then started Morae Recorder. I set the mic input to be the sound going into that mic jack on the PC.??
  3. I started recording using Recorder.
  4. I started playing the audio file I wanted to analyse, using whatever media player.??
  5. When the recording finishes, stop the Morae recording and voila you now have a .rdg file just like any other Morae recording, which can be taken into Manager for analysis.??

Like I said, fudgy, and inelegant, but it works. The only shame is you need to convert in realtime, by playing back all the audio files.??

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