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Digit-Eyes: Identify and Organize Your World

About Audio Labels
Q. What is an audio label and how does one work?
A.  Digit-Eyes text labels are a particular kind of barcode label that you create on the Digit-Eyes website and print on the printer attached to your computer system. Each audio label is unique.  The audio label is the key that you use to record and retrieve a recorded message on your phone.

When you initially print an audio label, it is just an empty serial number. When you stick an audio label on something and scan it with the Digit-Eyes on application your phone, you'll be invited to make a recorded message.  The Digit-Eyes application then will store your recorded message on your phone.  When you use the Digit-Eyes application on your phone to scan the label later, the audio content that was saved on your phone is played back to you.

After playing a recorded message, you can change the recording, leave it as it is or delete it completely.

Q. What are the advantages of audio labels over text labels?
Audio labels are useful when you don't know exactly what you will be labeling or where you want a lot of content.  You can, for instance, use them to record  long "post-it" notes to yourself.   The recording associated with an audio label is naturally private because it is stored on your phone and only accessible when the Digit-Eyes application on your phone is used to scan the label again.

This is different from a text label where you type content into the label and your phone voices that content to you.

Q. So the "audio" for the audio label is stored on my phone?
A. Yes.  In fact, it does not take a connection to the host computer to record, play back or re-record an audio label.

Q.  Can I change a recording?
A.  Yes. Every time you use the Digit-Eyes application on your phone to scan a label and play back a message, you are given an option to change the recording. To do so, just click the "record" button and make a new message. The new message becomes the one that is retrieved when the code is scanned again.

Q. What is the length limitation of an audio label?
A label 1,000 hours long will use about half the storage on the iPhone that has 16Gb of memory.  We believe it is unlikely you'll want a label that long, but it is certainly possible.

Q. How many audio labels can I have?
The only limit to the number of labels you can have is the amount of storage on your phone.   In practice, most labels are between 15 seconds and 1 minute in length.  Given an average length of 30 seconds, this means you could have 120,000 messages on the 16GB iPhone and roughly 500,000 messages on the 64GB phone.

Q. Will my labels use up the storage on my phone? How do I get rid of an audio label I don't want?
A. After using the Digit-Eyes application on the phone to play the message, just click the "delete" button to remove it from the storage of your phone.  If you have, for instance, used up a can of something and are putting the container in the recycling, scan the label one last time as you put the can in the bin.  After the recording plays, click "delete" and the recording will be erased.

Q.  Fine, so I want some -- how do I get audio labels?
A.  There are several ways to go about this

  1. If you need washable labels that you can sew into garments, click here
  2. If you'd like to buy some preprinted labels and have them mailed to you, click here.
  3. If you are printing labels your own, you'll need to start by getting some blank address labels. Click here for a list of the labels you can use. Then, using your free account on the Digit-Eyes website, you'll be able request audio labels from the Digit-Eyes website for the size of address label that you purchased. The Digit-Eyes website will give you a PDF file that contains the codes you requested, formatted so that they will fit on your sheet of labels. Using your own computer printer, you will simply print the PDF file on one of the sheets of address labels. Click here for the tutorial on creating audio labels

In all cases, when you want to label something, just stick a label on the item you want to identify and scan the label with the Digit-Eyes application on your phone. Digit-Eyes will prompt you to make a recorded message for that label and will save the recording in the storage on your phone.   When you use the Digit-Eyes application on your phone to scan the label later, the audio message you recorded is played back.

Q.  Is there a separate charge for making labels on the website?
A.  No.

Q. When I make Digit-Eyes audio labels, will I need to specify anything to be put on the label?
A.  No.

Q.  But there is something on the label.  What is it?
A.  A long, unique serial number (the labels look alike to humans, but they are actually all different.)

Q.  What are the serial numbers used for?
A.  They are the key that is used to store your message on your phone and to retrieve it.

Q.  Do I need to specify a starting value for the serial numbers for my audio labels?
A.  No.  The system manages this and makes sure that no serial number is issued twice.

Q.  Do serial numbers have to be unique?
A.  Each number is issued only once, but there are times that you might want to use the same number on more than one item. The same number will retrieve the same recording.  This could be to your advantage in some situations:

  • Labeling CD's is an example of this -- it is handy to have the identical number on the CD itself and on outside of the case.  That way, when the CD is out of the case, you know which one it is.
  • Leftovers are another case.  Put one label on the container and record what is in it and when it was stored. Put a matching label on a post-it note and stick it to your fridge. You can then simply scan the post-it notes to find out what is in your fridge.
  • Washing labels are another example. If you create two identical labels and stick them back-to-back before encasing them, you'll be able to scan the tag from both sides.
You will probably think of other cases where this might be handy.

Q.  How do I make multiple copies of the same label?
A.  The label file you get is a PDF.   Just print it more than once.

Q.  What if I want to label a bunch of the same thing with the same recording -- like putting the content and date purchased on each container of a six-pack of yogurt?  Do I have to record each label individually?
A.  No.   Digit-Eyes remembers the recording you used last and lets you copy it to a new label.  Scan the label that has the recording you want to copy and listen to at least part of the recording to make sure it is the one you wan (or just do the recording for the first item).   Put a new label on the next item, scan it and just click the button to tell Digit-Eyes to copy the prior recording to the new label.

Q.  Can other people retrieve my recordings?
A.  No; the recording is stored only on your phone and in your iTunes backup library, so the content is private to you.

Q.  What if I lose my phone? Will my labels be lost too?
A.  No; when you backup your phone to iTunes, a copy of all information on your phone is saved -- including your labels. If something happens to your iPhone and you end up getting a new one, when you first hook the replacement phone up to iTunes, it will ask you if you want to restore from your backup. The correct answer in this case is "Yes".

Q.  What if I decide to get rid of my phone? Are the audio labels retrievable?
A.  No.  The recordings are on your phone and iTunes, so if you get rid of your iPhone, you'll effectively be getting rid of the recordings as well (although you could retrieve them from your iTunes backup if you changed your mind and replaced the phone.)

Q.  How do I know if a label has been used?
A.  Scan it with the Digit-Eyes application on your phone. If it has been used, you'll hear your recording.

Q.  Will Digit-Eyes run out of serial numbers?
A.  Not anytime soon.  The serial numbers can be as long as 100 digits.   That is a very big number; enough to make Digit-Eyes labels for every grain of sand on Earth -- and have enough left over to do the planet Mars as well!



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