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This article by Tim Young appeared recently in the MissionBytes email list.
There are many professional quality tools out there that do some awesome things. But regularly, missions find themselves using free tools to do the same tasks. Sometimes the free tools are not as complete as the professional ones, but nowdays this is changing.
Global Recordings Network has found that a free tool, Audacity does most of what they need to do with their audio editing, but also does more. GRN has recently digitized over 5,600 languages worth of material, and is in the process of doing fairly stringent quality control on them. It allows them to have volunteers who can check out audio segments and verify that what GRN thinks is in it, to help eliminate any errors that have crept into the system. They are building an infrastructure to allow many volunteers check out these thousands of audio segments in all these languages, so that without even knowing the language, a volunteer can determine a correct match and quality. And it is possible because of free tools, like Audacity, which can be given to volunteers freely, and which have extra functionality that makes the process much simpler.
MissionBytes is an email list, geared towards people in the technological world who are already mission-minded but either do not have a familiarity of computers in missions, who want to broaden their understanding, or who simply want to see some of the things we see as we work with different organizations.