21 June 2014

The FTW Transcriber: Review

I got quite excited when I looked at The FTW Transcriber website and read all the wonderful functions this transcription software supposedly has, in particular the automatic timestamping functions.

Unfortunately my excitement was short lived.

I downloaded the FTW transcription software and was informed during the download process that I would be prompted to download three sets of codecs too. Okay fine, no problem, did that.

I opened the FTW transcriber software and tried to explore the timestamping capabilities, which I was most interested in and was very disappointed to get the message box as pictured telling me that I need to upgrade to the paid version of the transcription software if I want to use these functions.

To upgrade it's 'around' $1 per month. On exploring the website in more depth it becomes apparent that it's only $1 per month if you pay $24 for the year upfront, otherwise it's $10 per month.

It would have been great to be able to try out the automatic timestamping functions as part of the free download, even if it was just for a fixed period of time. 

The FTW transcription software will not play sound files longer than 60 minutes long unless you upgrade. I often have sound files in excess of 60 minutes long to transcribe, so the free version of the FTW transcription software is pretty useless to me. 

Whilst trying out the FTW transcriber software I had an issue with my transcription foot pedal functions. It would rewind but fast forward didn't work. 

The FTW transcriber software doesn't load sound files in the same way as ExpressScribe transcription software (ES), instead it plays them direct from your hard drive, which the website claims makes the sound quality superior to ES transcription software. I actually found the sound on the sound file I was using crackled, but when played in ExpressScribe transcription software it didn't crackle.   

I like ExpressScribe transcription software because I can load all my sound files into it and the files are listed on the ES transcription software interface. This enables me to keep track of my transcription projects. As far as I could see the FTW transcriber software does not do this as the sound file is played direct from your hard drive. This was a big downside for me as I would have to use a different method of keeping track of my transcription projects. 

The FTW transcriber software also seemed to be unstable as the recording jumped back to the beginning on more than one occasion.

All in all I was disappointed with The FTW Transcriber software and will be sticking with ExpressScribe transcription software for my transcriptions at King Audio Transcription & Typing Services 


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