29 July 2010

Convert cassette tapes to digital format for transcription

I came across a really useful article on converting cassette tapes to digital media, which I thought I would share with you: http://www.andybrain.com/archive/convert-cassette-to-cd-digital.htm

As you will see from this article it is quite easy to convert cassette tapes to digital media. This principle also works with mini cassettes, micro cassettes and minidiscs providing the respective players have a headphone jack.

Converting your own analogue-to-digital could save you money if you’re sending it to a transcription services company for transcription as you may be charged more for the conversion.

An important point in the article: ‘You should record a ten-second clip at first, so you can play it back immediately in Audacity (green triangle button) and make sure your volume levels are right. If the recorded audio is too loud or has too much static, decrease the volume on your cassette player.’

If you’re sending your digital audio to a transcription services company the transcriptionist will listen to the audio through headphones which can sound different to listening on loud speaker. So if you have some headphones, have a listen through them to make sure it sounds clear.

On occasion I’ve received audio for transcription where at full volume quietly spoken words were inaudible so try to ensure that the recorded volume is adjustable for the transcriptionist, i.e. the volume can be turned up to an audible level and higher if necessary for quietly spoken words.

In the UK a male-male stereo audio cable can be purchased at electrical stores or at Amazon. Gold plated plugs give better sound quality.

15 July 2010

What are transcription services?

I am sometimes asked what I do and what transcription services are. The simple answer to this question is I convert the spoken word from audio recordings to text.

Say for example Bob has a digital audio recording of an interview he has carried out for research purposes and he needs a typed transcript of what was said in the interview.

Bob will send the digital audio recording to me via the internet and I will load the audio recording into my transcription software (I use Express Scribe).

I will then listen to the digital audio recording through headphones using a foot pedal to control playback and type what I hear into a Word document, thus producing a typed transcript of everything that was said in the interview.

I will then send the completed transcript of the interview back to Bob as an email attachment.

To find out more about transcription services visit the website.