Media Fine Tuner Powertoy for OneNote


    For those of you who take notes while recording audio, Jeff Cardon has created a fine tuner for "moving" the start time of the notes you typed and aligning them with where in the audio you want the note to play.  For those of you who haven’t tried this feature yet, it’s pretty slick (if I say so myself).


    In short, if you are recording an event such as a classroom lecture, any notes you take have a time stamp associated with them.  For instance, if you start typing a line of text at the 10 second mark, when you play the recording back, OneNote will move  a little marker to that line at the 10 second point.  If you take later notes, when that time is hit, the little marker will move along as well.  Kind of like a karaoke machine, really.


    But there is a small problem.  You may want the highlight to occur a few seconds away from the time you initially created it to better synchronize when you want the notes to be highlighted.  Enter the "Media Fine Tuner!"


    Here’s the image of what it looks like:


    Notice the red circle around the toolbar icon you get.  This is how to start it. Here’s the actual running dialog:


    In the example page above, I have a recording I made with two lines of text (I typed “Note 1” and “Note 2”.  I started typing the first line at time 9.608 seconds (9068 milliseconds – everything OneNote does here is measured in thousands of a second), but really wanted it to be at the six second mark.  I have two options to move the time stamp to 6000.  The easiest is to type "6000" in the Current recorded time box and click Close.  Another option is to use the spin controls to move the time forward or backward by 1 second at a click. 


    The Advanced button even lets me control the amount of time the spinners add or subtract from the time field.  It uses one second as a default, but you can use the slider to change that amount as well.  This functionality is useful if you know every item needs to be moved by the same amount of time.


    Update: the link to the setup file is below my signature.  It’s named


    Let me know what you think!


    Questions, comments, concerns and criticism always welcome,

    John Guin


Comments (19)

  1. OneDave says:

    Cool tool.  When I take notes in class, I write about 2 seconds later than the professor speaks (I’m writing on background images of the professor’s PowerPoint slides).  Is it possible to cause all of my written timestamps to back up by 2 seconds so that they come closer to the professor’s spoken words in the recording?  Like a batch file that I can run against all of my written notes in a recorded lecture?

  2. JohnGuin says:

    Interesting idea – let me try to dig up the code Jeff used and see it it is easy to modify.  If not, you could write a c# file yourself – it would be more than a batch file, but would not be too complicated.


  3. Tags: karaoke , ffun , fun stuff I was playing around with Jeff’s media

  4. Generic User says:

    Im going to try to use this for the same purpose of note-taking during lectures, and also while reviewing recorded iLectures (audio only prob). Will let you know how it goes.


  5. JohnGuin says:

    Great – thanks for using OneNote!


  6. mattias says:

    I get:

    Invalid XML from onenote

    when trying the tool. Any idea on how to fix this?

  7. tim says:

    yep, another that doesn’t download.

    be good if there was a central repository for all these PTs – considering all the work you put in them that is wasted when we can’t dl

  8. Hadi says:

    I test it but my program's windows have some difference from the windows shown here. tere isn't advanced and remove link bottons!

  9. John says:

    Do you have an audio file on the active page?  The addin thinks there is not one there is what it sounds like.

  10. Tripp says:

    Hi, and thanks for your program!  I'm running Windows 7 and when I go to OneNote to add Fine Tuner as a button on the top toolbar, it's there but it's greyed out.  I can't select it, so i can't use it.  Any ideas?

  11. John says:

    What version of OneNote do you have?

  12. Tripp says:

    It's part of the Office 2007 Suite.

  13. JohnGuin says:

    Hmm.  Here's what I would do:  uninstall it and reboot.  Then reinstall it.  Then start OneNote.  This ensures that the interop DLLs are not loaded when installing.

  14. Tripp says:

    OK, will try it and let you know.  Thanks!!!

  15. Kevin says:

    Does it work with Onenote 2010?

  16. Travis says:

    Would it be possible to replace the audio with a new track and then adjust the time stamps to the new audio?

    My university has a somewhat unreliable lecture recording system. Maybe 5% of lectures don't get recorded at all due to someone forgetting to book the recording to the right lecture theatre, or the lecturer's microphone battery dies, or whatever.

    So I record all lectures myself using my laptop's microphone. I try to sit up the front to get good audio, but it's only barely acceptable sound quality most of the time. It also time stamps the text and links it to the audio, which is brilliant.

    But for the 95% of lectures which are recorded properly, I'd like to download the MP3 from the university website and substitute that for the WMA recording made by OneNote itself and I'd like to move the time stamps to line them up with the new audio and preserve the wonderful feature that lets me click on any typing or pen mark I made and have it begin playing the audio at that point, or to highlight text that I was working on at any given point in the recording I fast forward to.

    Unfortunately at the moment if I link in new audio there is no way to carry over the time stamping from the old audio, so I'm stuck with my lousy personal recording and date stamps, OR a clear professional recording, without my date stamps.

    Is there a workaround? A power toy? Can someone pass this along as a feature request for the next version of OneNote maybe? (And if it's a full feature of OneNote, how about automating it, it compares the two audio tracks and then automatically lines them up!)


  17. JohnGuin says:

    The answer is yes, but it would be very tricky.  You would need to change the name of the new file to match the same name as the cached copy of the file in the cache folder – use the same GUID to identify it – and then alter all the time stamps on the typed notes…

  18. JohnGuin says:

    I should add I have not tried this just to be clear.