19 December 2011

Merry Christmas from KATTS Professional Transcription Services

It's that time of year again and I would like to thank all of my clients for all the transcription projects they have passed to me this year.

I would also like to thank my colleagues and friends for all their support. Working from a home office can sometimes make one feel quite isolated and it has been really nice to have friends and colleagues who I have been able to contact via email groups, Twitter and Facebook.

The transcription projects KATTS has covered this year have been quite diverse and very interesting and it is much appreciated.

Besides providing transcription services to my regular clients, I have had some really interesting transcription projects from new clients this year including two large projects, both of which consisted of focus groups and interviews and both on fascinating subjects so that was a real pleasure. 

It has also been really nice to see some returning clients, one of whom I last transcribed a conference for back in 2006. We've stayed in contact via Twitter and when they were once again in need of transcription services they came back to KATTS for some focus group transcription.

So all in all 2011 has been a really good and positive year for KATTS and I'm looking forward to 2012 with enthusiasm.

This office will now be closed until 3 January 2012 and all that remains is for me to wish all of my clients, colleagues and friends very 

 Merry Christma
and a 
happy, healthy and prosperous 
New Year 2012!

07 December 2011

Updated transcription services website coming soon

The King Audio Transcription & Typing Services website has been undergoing some maintenance and updates and will have a new look when it is uploaded.

The website will display the 'KATTS Professional Transcription Services' logo instead of 'King Audio Transcription & Typing Services'.

This is just a little message to let you know that the site will look a little different when it goes live soon.

I hope you will find the website informative and easy to navigate although if you experience any problems please do let me know.

I'll update you when the site goes live.

29 November 2011

Top tips for identifying voices in Focus Group Transcription

If you’ve ever worked on focus group transcription you will know how difficult it can be to identify people from their voices. Hardly surprising, you’ve got a bunch of people you’ve never met before and the only way you can identify them is by the sound of their voice.

This can be very tricky especially when you’ve got several of the same gender in a group with similar voices.

Someone once said to me it’s like being a blind person in a room full of strangers. A pretty good analogy I think.

So I asked some colleagues for their top tips for identifying speakers during focus group transcription and these are some things we came up with:

  • A good facilitator of a focus group will ask the participants to introduce themselves at the beginning and say a little about themselves. This is your opportunity to make a voice map. Get yourself a piece of paper and write the names as they are introduced. Imagine they are sitting around a table and place the names around that table as they introduce themselves. 

  • Make notes about each participant. 

  • Make a note of the time in the recording when each participant speaks next to their name on the voice map. This will be useful for checking back to that time to check voice identities. 

  • Can you tell whether the person is on the left or right of the microphone or are they more audible through the left or right headphone? 

  • Have they got an accent or any recognisable features to their voice, e.g. quietly-spoken, loud, nasally, deep or any other describing word you can think of to describe the way they sound? Or perhaps they sound like someone famous like an actor. Write these descriptions on your voice map. (Don’t worry; you can destroy the voice map when you’re finished). 

  • Make notes about each person such as where they work, where they are from, if they've got children, a partner, a dog. This can come in useful later if they mention it and you can check back with the ‘find’ function to make sure you've got the right name for the right voice. 

  • As well as loading the sound file into your transcription software, also load it into Windows Media Player so you can use this if you need to check back and forth to identify voices without losing your place in the transcription software. 

Thanks to Cathy, Suzanne, Pat and Kate for your really helpful tips.

Have you got any tips or techniques you use to help identify voices during focus group transcription? If so we would be really interested to hear them. Please leave your tips in the comment box below. 

If you would like more information or a quote for transcription services take a look at focus group transcription on the KATTS website. 

11 November 2011

Disciplinary and Grievance hearings: should they be independently transcribed?

Although it is not a legal requirement for an employer to make an audio recording of disciplinary and grievance hearings it seems more and more businesses are proactively choosing to take this route.

With the agreement of all parties disciplinary and grievance proceedings are being recorded so that the recording can then be sent to an independent professional transcription services provider for transcription.

The foreword to the Acas Code of Practice (PDF) advises employers to keep a written record of any disciplinary or grievance cases they deal with including notes of any formal meetings.

However, making an audio recording of disciplinary and grievance hearings and any formal meetings for transcription by an independent transcription services provider is advantageous because it provides a full, complete and impartial record, both by way of the recording and a full transcript, of everything that is said.

This independently transcribed transcript can then be shared with the employee, so both the employer and the employee have a full and complete record of the proceedings.

By choosing an independent transcription services provider to transcribe the disciplinary and grievance proceedings rather than doing the transcription in house ensures that there is no question of a conflict of interest.

It seems that employers are now seeing the benefits of making audio recordings of their disciplinary and grievance cases for transcription by an independent transcription services provider, as producing full and independent transcripts of all proceedings to be shared with employees also promotes a greater degree of fairness and transparency within organisations.

Benefits of recording disciplinary and grievance hearings and using an independent transcription services provider :

  • a full and complete record of all proceedings

  • an independently transcribed transcript ensures no conflict of interest

  • promotes a greater degree of fairness and transparency within organisations

  • employers and employees know exactly what was or wasn’t said  

KATTS professional transcription services provides a fully independent, confidential and impartial transcription of disciplinary and grievance hearings, investigatory meetings and appeal hearings at reasonable rates. Contact KATTS for a quotation and then send your audio recording to KATTS here for transcription. The completed transcript will be sent to you via email attachment.

Here are some useful links which provide information relating to disciplinary and grievance cases: 

Do you think disciplinary and grievance hearings should be independently transcribed? Please leave your comments.

08 November 2011

MFY Schools Prom at Royal Albert Hall

Monday was the amazing opening night of Music for Youth's Schools Prom at Royal Albert Hall London. 

All the young people who performed were absolutely amazing and super talented; congratulations to them all.  

I particularly liked the various collaborations between groups, which made for some really interesting and vibrant entertainment. 

The night was topped off by the fantastic Wessex Youth Orchestra from Dorset finishing with Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 

The Schools Prom runs for three nights 7th, 8th and 9th November 2011 and tickets are available to book online at Royal Albert Hall.

Visit Classic FM for behind the scenes information and interviews with the musicians themselves. 

A truly amazing night!

27 October 2011

18 October 2011

Express Scribe Supports Video

I use Express Scribe Transcription Software which is professional audio player software for PC or Mac designed to assist with the transcription of audio recordings. 

Yesterday I loaded an MP4 video into Express Scribe for transcription and was pleasantly surprised when the video displayed in the bottom pane of Express Scribe. The video plays along with the recording which I can control with my foot pedal

I've never noticed this feature before with other video formats because I normally keep the Express Scribe window minimised. 

This is a really useful feature as I'm finding that watching the people talk in the video as I transcribe helps enormously as I'm transcribing people with accents at the moment. 

This is a handy and very clever feature. I'm very impressed!

17 October 2011

Transcriptions this week

I'm starting my week with the transcription of an MP's speech followed by extracts from a conference for an Italian company - in English I hasten to add - and of course any other transcription work that comes in throughout the week. 

What's on your agenda this week?

30 September 2011

Summary of the Week

Well its been an amazing week weather wise; its been absolutely beautiful and definitely the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

Its been a really productive week here at KATTS too.

I have transcribed and proofread over eight hours of audio this week. This includes staff appraisal interview transcription, patent application transcription and corporate video transcription.

And next week is more of the same together with three hours of conference transcription thrown in.

So its going to be a cracking start to October.

To find out more about transcription services feel free to visit the KATTS website.

Have a great month!

20 September 2011

Giffed by the Gaffer! Saving pounds on mobile charges!

I have been running my transcription services company since 2003 so I'm always trying to keep up with new technologies, although I have to admit that this one has taken me a bit of time.

At last I've got myself a smartphone so now I am able to check my emails to see if I've received any transcription services enquiries and keep up with social media on the go.

The reason I haven't done this sooner is because I was worried about expensive internet browsing and calls and didn't want to have an expensive contract as I don't use a mobile phone enough to warrant the cost.

However, I have now discovered Giffgaff and this is the reason why I took the plunge and bought myself a smartphone.

At last I've got freedom without paying through the nose for it!

Giffgaff's tariffs are cheaper than many other mobile service providers and one of my favourite things about it is the £10 Goodybag, which includes 250 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited web which lasts a month. I can also call and text other Giffgaff users for free, which is fantastic because the kids are on Giffgaff too.

Another great thing about Giffgaff is the affliliate program. If someone orders a SIM card through my affiliate Giffgaff link and activates their SIM card by topping up by £10 or buying a £10 Goodybag then both of us will get a free fiver... brilliant!

One of my clients and I have already benefitted from the free fiver... thanks Keith!

Giffgaff uses the O2 network so an O2 or unlocked handset will work.

So if you're coming to the end of a contract and would like something more flexible or you just want cheap pay-as-you-go tariffs I would highly recommend that you check out Giffgaff for yourself. Its dead easy to join!

Get a free Giffgaff Sim

How do the Giffgaff tariffs compare to your provider?

13 September 2011

Interview transcription formatting

Outsourcing your interview transcription to KATTS could save you hours of time. A 30 minute interview with one individual can take approximately three hours to transcribe by a competent transcriptionist. This does not include proofreading time.  

I have transcribed numerous interviews for many different clients and they all require their own particular interview transcription formatting.
Indented paragraphs

For this reason I don’t use interview templates that are set in stone; it’s all very flexible so you can decide exactly how you want your interview transcripts to look.

Here are some things you may wish to consider for your interview transcription formatting:

  • If you are studying with a university ask your tutor if there is a preferred interview transcription format for the course you are doing.

  • Do you want the participants to be identified in the interview transcript; for example by their initials or I = Interviewer, P = Participant or another method of identification?

    Unindented paragraphs
    Indented or unindented paragraphs. See the images on this page for examples of indented and unindented paragraphs in interview transcripts.

  • Do you want a large left or right margin to accommodate analysis notes?

  • Do you want the audio to be typed into a table with rows and columns that can be converted to text?

As mentioned above, I am flexible with regards to interview transcription formatting and can usually provide an example interview template that will suit your requirements. However, in cases where you may need a particular interview transcription format I can adjust the interview template to accommodate this. Alternatively you can send me your own interview template.

If you would like further information about interview transcription please visit the interview transcription page of my website or contact me.

Did you find this article useful? Please leave a comment.

31 August 2011

Transcription Projects Update

Below is a snapshot of part of the KATTS home page as it appeared on 24 Aug 2011 in the Google cache:

King Audio Transcription and Typing Services (KATTS) work on a variety of transcription projects including for example most recently: focus group transcription, interview transcription, international conference transcription, video production company transcription, patent application transcription, museum transcriptions, disciplinary hearing / appraisal interview transcription for an HR department and oral history interview transcription.

This information has now been updated and can be viewed at www.kingaudio.co.uk.

14 July 2011

Facebook: my links

Over the coming weeks I will be featuring more links to small businesses and people on the KATTS Facebook page.

This will be an eclectic mixture of businesses and people that I find interesting and is just for fun.

These links will also be visible on a couple of pages of the King Audio Transcription & Typing Services (KATTS) website. 

So keep your eye on KATTS on Facebook and please like my page if you think it's worthy.

P.S. I now have my personal URL at Facebook: www.facebook.com/katts03.

24 May 2011

How to upload an audio file for transcription

At last I've joined the YouTube revolution and I've made my first 'How to' video and here it is
This video gives detailed instructions on how to upload a sound file to me via my website for transcription.

I have also prepared detailed instructions in text format of how to upload a sound file to me for transcription:

Go to www.kingaudio.co.uk, come down the list on the left and click ‘Send a File’.

When the page loads, in the grey SendThisFile Box type your email address into the box marked ‘Your email’ after deleting the words ‘Your email’.

Type me a little message in the message box.

Next to File 1 click ‘choose file’ which will open a window to enable you to navigate to where you have stored your sound file on your computer. Select your sound file and click ‘open’.

Your sound file should now be attached to the File 1 line of the SendThisFile page on my website. 

If you want to upload more than one sound file then next to File 2 click ‘choose file’ and do the same again.

You can upload up to 5 files in this way.

When you are ready to upload your sound file(s) click ‘SendThisFile’ in the centre of the grey box.

The dashed line underneath will turn yellow and as your file starts to upload the dashes will turn red. It may take a little while. Keep the page open until all the dashes have turned red right to the end of the line.

If you close the page before the entire dashed line has turned red it will cancel the upload.

The upload will be complete when all the dashed lines have turned red and a notification appears underneath saying ‘complete’.

And that’s it.

Let me know if you found this helpful. 

13 May 2011

The story of KATTS: the acronym

Last week my Mum asked me what KATTS was and I had to explain to her that KATTS is an acronym of King Audio Transcription & Typing Services.

I don’t use an acronym because it’s the ‘in thing’ or because I like cats although as it happens I do rather like cats.

It just so happened that when I started my business back in 2003 I chose a rather long name. The name had to reflect the service my business offers, which is audio transcription and typing and the King, well that’s my name, Sarah King.

So being very unimaginative in the timeframe I had, I couldn’t come up with a better name and hence the mouthful King Audio Transcription & Typing Services.

Therefore to simplify things I have been using the acronym KATTS for a few years now - hope you’re paying attention Mum! :-)

So there you have it, the story of KATTS: the acronym.

P.S. If you use Twitter you may notice that my Twitter name is KATTS03. That is the acronym KATTS and 03 as in 2003 being the year I started my business.

29 April 2011

Royal Wedding 2011

Hearty congratulations to Prince William and  Catherine on their wedding day! A beautiful ceremony.

13 April 2011

Olympus v Express Scribe Transcription Software

I purchased an Olympus Transcription Software kit when I first started my transcription services business back in 2003. Initially I was very pleased with the transcription software. It did what I needed it to do at the time.

However, as time went by I began to realise that the Olympus transcription software was fairly limited in the sound file formats it supported. At the time mp3 sound file format was becoming more and more widely used for recording interviews for transcription, so I needed another solution.

I was advised by a colleague to download the free Express Scribe Professional Transcription Playback Software and to purchase a compatible foot pedal in order to cover the file formats that the Olympus transcription software did not support. 

Purchasing the compatible foot pedal worked out a lot cheaper than purchasing the Olympus transcription software and I soon found that Express Scribe digital transcription software supported most if not all of the sound file formats that the Olympus supported plus a whole lot more. I was delighted with it and have never looked back.

I think the Olympus Transcription Software kit is a very good quality product and the newer versions may support more sound file formats, however I find that I really do prefer Express Scribe transcription software and I don't think I could be persuaded to go back.

I'm interested in your opinion so please feel free to leave me a comment. 

18 March 2011

Busy March

It's hard to believe it has been a month since I last posted. At last it feels like spring is on the way and I've actually worked with the door open a couple of days this week.

The reason I have been quiet here on my blog is that things have been very busy at KATTS. I've been working on a variety of transcription projects over February and March such as: interview transcription, focus group transcription as well as quick one off jobs for my regular clients.

In fact I had quite a lot of the quick one off jobs all come in at once at one stage and things were a bit frantic. However, that hurdle was conquered as usual.

The transcription services business can be a feast or famine and it has definitely been a feast at KATTS so far this year.

I'm presently working on a large project involving focus groups and interviews, which is really interesting so March is pretty well taken care of from a transcription point of view.

And on that note I have some more transcription to be getting on with so I will post here again soon.

I hope you're all having a fabulous March!

13 February 2011

Transcription Services Love

I spent some time yesterday updating my comments page of my website. As I read through emails from my clients I was actually amazed at how many lovely comments I get.

I am dedicated to providing my clients with quality transcription services and can be relied upon to deliver transcription services on time and very often ahead of deadline in a professional way and this is reflected in my clients' comments.

So I'm feeling the love, which is quite appropriate as it is Valentine's Day tomorrow.

A big thank you to all my clients who appreciate the transcription services I provide.

02 February 2011

iPhone m4a transcription services

KATTS provides m4a transcription services; m4a being the format which the iPhone produces.

I use Switch Audio File Converter Software to convert the m4a to mp3, which enables me to load the audio transcription file into Express Scribe Transcription Playback Software.

I can then transcribe the audio transcription file in the usual way.


19 January 2011

Convert wav to mp3 for transcription

If your wav audio files are large they can take a long time to upload to your transcription services provider. wav files can also take up a lot of space on a hard drive.

To combat this convert the wav to mp3. Converting the wav to mp3 will compress the file to a smaller size. The audio file will then be quicker to upload to your transcription services provider over the internet.

There are hundreds of file converters to choose from on the internet although the file converter I mainly use is Switch Audio File Converter Software, which is really easy to use.

16 January 2011

Thanks Sarah - you are a star!

Thanks Sarah - you are a star! - This was the message I received from my client after completing an urgent Friday afternoon project. Its lovely to be appreciated, thank you.

07 January 2011

Great start to 2011

Well I have reached the end of my first working week of 2011 and what a cracking week it has been. I've been working on a really fascinating oral history interview transcription project for one of my clients, together with some Patent transcription and some legal transcription for next week. All in all it looks like its going to be a good year!

How has 2011 been for you so far?

04 January 2011

Business as usual

Back to business as usual today and wishing my clients and colleagues all the best for the New Year 2011.