Are you wondering what it takes to do transcription? Well, in post #1 we talked about a brief history, and in post #2 we discussed the types and uses of transcription services. In this post we are going to discuss equipment and software. You can go on Google and search for equipment and software, but I will talk about what I use to do transcription services.
First let’s talk about software. I use Express Scribe and have been using the free version for some time now. However, you should be aware that the free version is limiting its compatibility to the use of .mp3, .wav, .wma, .aif, .aiff, and .dct. You will also want to research your foot pedal to ensure that it is compatible as they have also limited the foot pedals that are being used with the newer release of Express Scribe. It’s good software to use and if you need to start off with the free version then you can still work with it just make note that you won’t have as many options as in the past.
Express Scribe is easy to use. Allows for the use of hot keys for those who don’t like to use foot pedals, it has stop, play, pause, rewind, and fast forward. You can customize your hot keys to do what you want them to do.
As for equipment virtually any computer is suitable as long as it’s not ancient. I use a basic Samsung these days. It’s a laptop with Windows 7. It works great and is compatible with the software.
You will need a headset. Get one that is comfortable and fits well. I recommend a wireless and lightweight one, but good quality. Noise reduction is also a nice feature. It is a small investment that will make doing transcription much easier than trying to listen through your computer’s speakers.
Many recommend using a foot pedal. I have not used one in years. I’ve grown quite comfortable with the use of hot keys and actually find it easier as I can just keep typing straight through. It’s a matter of preference really, and whatever works best for you.
You can try out Express Scribe or purchase it here: http://www.nch.com.au/scribe. You can get a foot pedal by doing a Google search, and as for headsets you can either get those through doing a Google search or going to your local electronics or many office supply stores will even have them.
To learn more about transcription please check out my interview podcast with Collette Schultz by clicking here.