We undertake transcription from:
Tape, using Microcassette, or Compact Cassette. We have an Olympus transcription machine using Microcassettes, and can transcribe from a Compact Cassette, but this will take longer due to the transfer of the recording on to the Microcassette for ease of transcription, and there may be some loss of quality.
We can also transcribe from the following formats:
DSS, DSS Pro, WMA, MP3 and WAV/AIFF. Other digital formats can be converted using an appropriate program.
Other sources, from DVDs, for example, can also be transcribed.
To help speed the transcription process (and keep costs down), here are some guidelines:
Speak as clearly as possible - a test recording might be a good idea.
Make sure the recorder/microphone is placed in a position so that it picks up everybody's speech. This is particularly important in a group.
Try to use an empty room or area where there is no background noise. Recording in a café or restaurant is not a good idea, as so much of the speech can be drowned out by chatter and music and may also result in the transcriptionist mishearing the recording (refer to blog).
Where more than one person is being interviewed, advise them to speak one at a time, as so many ends of sentences are lost this way; although this can be difficult when people cannot wait their turn.
Turn off mobile phones or keep them at a distance, as their interference is picked up by the recorder.
Make sure the battery is fully charged.
What Sort of Transcription?
Transcription can be in the form of verbatim, when a transcript of everything that is said is produced. This includes all umms, errs, slang words or shortened words, for example, wanna or gonna. This takes longer than the alternative intelligent verbatim, which omits all the umms, errs and unfinished sentences, resulting in a sensible and grammatically correct piece of typed work.
A quick calculation of how long your dictation is going to take to transcribe:
For every minute of dictation, you need to multiply that by about three to four times, depending on the quality of the dictation - see Transcription Tips...